Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 9:38 pm | Fair 52º


Santa Barbara Foundation Names Al Rodriguez the VP of Community Investments

The Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to announce that Al Rodriguez has joined its leadership team as the vice president of community investments.

Al Rodriguez
Al Rodriguez

Rodriguez will be primarily responsible for the foundation’s work in communities throughout Santa Barbara County. He will oversee initiatives, grant programs, civic engagement projects and efforts to strengthen the social (nonprofit) sector.

Rodriguez will also work closely with the foundation’s donor investors, helping them connect to the very best opportunities in the county and beyond that capture their philanthropic interests and passions.

"Everything about this is ideal — the position, the organization and the communities that the foundation serves," he said.

Rodriguez comes directly from a six-year stint as a trustee of the foundation, where he was instrumental in guiding all aspects of the foundation’s mission.

“It is fortunate for the foundation and the communities of Santa Barbara County that we are able to bring a person of Al’s talents and skills to this critical staff leadership position," Santa Barbara Foundation President/CEO Ron Gallo said. "And that he also is someone who knows well this institution and its many partners will mean no steep learning curve or loss of momentum for the institution.”

Rodriguez, a Northern California native whose father emigrated from Mexico, has had a distinguished career of leading change and increasing impact in both the public and private sectors. As program director of the Lake County Department of Health Services and then as assistant director/manager of the County of Santa Barbara Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, Rodriguez was a consistent and effective voice of reform, efficiency, and making government a better civic partner in key social and community issues.

More recently, Rodriguez has consulted to Santa Barbara County nonprofit organizations, and will be leaving the executive director position at Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley to assume his new position at the foundation.

“His experience working in both the government and social sectors, and his familiarity with the northern communities of Santa Barbara County are other exciting aspects of this hire,” Gallo said.

Rodriguez follows Martha Harmon, who held the top position in Community Investments for four years and who retired in August.

— Jessica Tade is the communications and marketing manager for the Santa Barbara Foundation.

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