Sunday, July 15 , 2018, 3:14 pm | Fair 75º


Local News

Woman of the Year Vicki Hazard Privileged To Help Others Around Her

Santa Barbara Foundation honoree is driven by the desire to give back to the community

Vicki Hazard will receive the 73rd Woman of the Year Award from the Santa Barbara Foundation during a ceremony this week.
Vicki Hazard will receive the 73rd Woman of the Year Award from the Santa Barbara Foundation during a ceremony this week.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Vicki Hazard grew up in Walla Walla, Washington, the middle child and daughter of an old-fashioned country doctor and public health nurse.

Her life was simple. Fun. Uncomplicated, “like 1950s Ozzie and Harriet,” she said. 

“I was fortunate not to have the struggles other families had,” Hazard said. “I got it all handed to me on a silver platter.”

While some born into wealth and privilege choose to retreat and hide there, Hazard is emblematic of the opposite approach: She has committed her life to volunteerism and philanthropy.

“It’s my way of giving back,” she said. “It’s my way of saying thank you.”

Hazard will receive the 73rd Woman of the Year Award from the Santa Barbara Foundation during a ceremony Wednesday at the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

Ed Birch with receive the Man of the Year Award at the event, which is sponsored by the Santa Barbara FoundationNoozhawk and Montecito Bank & Trust.

Hazard has dedicated more than three decades to leadership roles in volunteerism and public service, with the past 15 years devoted almost exclusively to nonprofit agencies in Santa Barbara, including Sansum Clinic, the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, and the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. 

Hazard has worked to make the organizations she volunteers for more efficient and able to best reach their clients.

“Vicki’s work as chair of the board of trustees of Sansum Clinic and her service on the board of the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara are helping to ensure that our community’s patients have access to the highest quality health-care services, cancer care and wellness support — regardless of their ability to pay,” said Kurt Ransohoff, CEO and chief medical officer of Sansum Clinic.

“She is known for her giving heart and her tireless commitment to strengthening the organizations she serves.” 

Hazard said she owes much of her desire to help to her parents, who always included her and made her feel like she was capable of great things. She followed her mother around at work to learn about the nursing industry, and helped her father set appointments at his doctor’s office. 

In high school, Hazard believed she wanted to be a social worker to change the world, and also scored high in mathematics, two skills that guided her university experience. 

She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology/psychology from Washington State University and a master’s degree in accounting/finance from American University in Washington, D.C.

In her career, she worked as a senior executive in an international hospitality company with responsibility for strategic planning, operations and administration, corporate communications, quality assurance, customer service and human resources.

She also worked as a marketing and communications executive for a national health-care company that owned and operated acute-care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, and assisted living facilities.

As a CPA, she has spent the past 30 years as the manager of her family’s personal investment portfolio.

All of her work, she said, is rewarding, whether it’s getting to know a cancer patient or interviewing teens seeking scholarships from the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

She’s touched by the stories of many of the teens seeking scholarships, and in recent years, the organization has made more of an effort to reach out to North County students. 

“They are just magnificent kids who didn’t have all the things I had,” said Hazard, who has five stepchildren from her marriage to her husband, Bob. 

She’s bothered by the rise in college expenses over the years, calling the cost “prohibitively expensive,” and said, “we need to find new ways to deal with that.”

Hazard said she believes the people of Santa Barbara are committed to finding solutions, with a civic pride here unlike anything she has experienced in other communities.

“I am really optimistic about Santa Barbara’s future because we do such aggressive work in the social-services sector,” she said. “I think we can do better, but we are doing yeoman’s work.”

She is grateful to receive the Woman of the Year Award, and said it’s tough to believe she’s the recipient after so many years of attending the event.   

“To me it’s about celebrating volunteerism in the broadest sense,” Hazard said. “The winners could be almost anyone in that room.”

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >