The president and CEO of Cottage Health System will discuss health care in the region at California Lutheran University’s Corporate Leaders Breakfast in Santa Barbara on Friday, Jan. 23.

Ronald Werft

Ron Werft

Ron Werft will speak from 8 to 9 a.m. at The Fess Parker: A Doubletree by Hilton Resort. Breakfast and networking will begin at 7:30 a.m.

Werft joined Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in 1987 as executive vice president and chief operating officer and was promoted in 2000 to president and CEO of the Cottage Health System.

The three-hospital, nonprofit system provides acute inpatient, outpatient and emergency care to Central Coast residents. Offering an unusually broad scope of clinical services, it is a teaching hospital for medical residents and a regional referral center for trauma, neurosurgery and pediatric care.

The University of California-San Diego graduate serves on the boards of United Way of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Partners in Education, Voluntary Hospitals of America West Coast and Santa Barbara Fighting Back, a community collaborative focusing on problems caused by substance abuse. He is past chair of the California Hospital Association and the Hospital Association of Southern California.

Werft holds a master’s degree in hospital and health care administration from the University of Minnesota. He worked at the St. Thomas Health District in London for a year and rose to associate director at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic in Minneapolis, a 586-bed university teaching hospital.

The Corporate Leaders Breakfast Series brings members of the business and civic communities together to share ideas and hear from prominent leaders in the region. The series will continue with a talk on “Leading a Successful Nonprofit” by Thomas Vozzo, CEO of Homeboy Industries, on March 3 at the Sheraton Agoura Hills and a panel discussion on “The Future of Online Business” on May 5 at Cal Lutheran.

The Fess Parker is located at 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. Reservations are requested by Jan. 19. To RSVP, contact Sharon Nelson at or 805.493.3150. For more information, go to

— Karin Grennan is the media relations manager for California Lutheran University.