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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 3:35 am | Fair 39º


David Selberg Tapped to Lead Hospice of Santa Barbara

David Selberg, longtime leader of the Pacific Pride Foundation, will be the next CEO of Hospice of Santa Barbara.

David Selberg
David Selberg

The homegrown Santa Barbaran will start the new job Jan. 19, leaving the Central Coast’s largest LGBT and HIV/AIDS organization with a solid foundation after spending 20 years on the front lines of civil rights.

His last day as Pacific Pride Foundation executive director will be Dec. 24, when the organization hopefully will have an interim director in place and a extensive search for a permanent leader under way.

Selberg said he’s known Hospice of Santa Barbara personally and professionally over the past two decades as well, having worked alongside the nonprofit in the 1990s when hundreds of locals with AIDS were dying from the virus.

Volunteers from Hospice of Santa Barbara — the second-oldest hospice in the country — have offered free professional counseling and other services to children and adults with life-threatening illnesses or to grieving family members since 1974.

Humbling, exciting and grateful were words Selberg used to describe the transition. 

“I have a heart for the Hospice mission,” Selberg told Noozhawk. “I think I’m ready now to explore and take on new challenges and new direction. I think it will give Pacific Pride Foundation the opportunity to bring in someone who can build on the foundation. I’m making a big shift. It feels like a really good fit.”

Hospice of Santa Barbara announced the appointment Tuesday at the conclusion of a more than seven-month hunt that enlisted the help of executive search firm Morris & Berger, which helped narrow down more than 300 applicants.

In the end, Selberg’s 25 years of experience in local nonprofits and in leadership, combined with strategic development skills and the ability to weather the Pacific Pride Foundation through the recession in 2008-09, won over Hospice’s board of directors.

The board also warmed to the thousands of community relationships Selberg has formed with businesses, donors, fellow nonprofits and more.

“Selberg, a seasoned, successful and highly sought after professional, brings a wealth of philanthropic and health-care leadership to HSB,” Hospice’s current board chair Sam Capra and its 2015 board chair Evie Vesper said in a statement. “Selberg’s proven community collaborations and visionary focus assure HSB the skills essential to strengthen patient care services and growth.”

After leading Pacific Pride for nearly a decade, and working in the trenches for 10 years before that, Selberg said he was most proud of restructuring a support system of partnerships, which could carry the organization into the next phase of its mission.

Bullying in schools could be a focus for a new leader, Selberg said, noting LGBQT rights and advocacy services still need new laws to protect members.

“David leaves our organization with an outstanding record of service,” said Marco Silva, Pacific Pride Foundation board chair. “As the largest LGBT/HIV organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco, we are beginning this next chapter of our 35-year history in strong standing and reputation on the Central Coast and statewide. We wish David the best and will be calling upon him for input and wisdom as we find our next leader.”

An interim director has not yet been named, but the organization is aggressively working to appoint one.

Selberg, a UC Santa Barbara graduate who also serves on the Santa Barbara County HIV Care Council, the California Planning Group in Sacramento and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children, helped raise more than $900,000 annually for Pacific Pride — a talent Hospice hopes will translate.

In the meantime, Selberg plans to remain in conversations with boards from both organizations, keeping a keen ear to those working with Hospice. 

“See what their visions are, what they see,” he said, noting Santa Barbara’s practices could become a nationwide hospice model. “Wouldn’t that be a powerful thing to do?”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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