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Karen Ramsdell Installed as President of Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society

Karen Ramsdell Click to view larger
Karen Ramsdell (Lynn Houston photo)

Effective July 2016, Karen Ramsdell will take over as president of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.

Ramsdell served as the director of the Santa Barbara Airport from 1987 until her retirement in 2013 following a 37-year career with the City of Santa Barbara.

As airport director, Ramsdell was responsible for the airport’s operations, maintenance, fiscal management and capital planning.

She led a staff of 54 employees and managed a $17 million budget.

In 1970 she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from UC Santa Barbara. 

In 1992 Karen was named Santa Barbara County’s Woman of the Year (Third District), and in 2000 she was named Executive of the Year by the Southwest Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives.

In 2011 Ramsdell was awarded the Heritage Oak Award for Lifetime Achievement by Santa Barbara Beautiful.

She has served on the Goleta Valley Historical Society board of directors for the past seven years, including two years as president.

“I am honored and delighted to serve as president of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society for the next two years. The society, an all-volunteer-run organization, has created an amazing family history research library and first-rate educational programs for the benefit of its 640 members and the community.”

Along with Michel Nellis, Ramsdell is co-author of the local interest book With Their Eyes Turned Skyward: Santa Barbara’s Fallen Aviators of World War II.

More information about the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society can be found online at

Glenn Avolio is the public relations chair for the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.

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