Downtown Santa Barbara (DSB) on Wednesday named Robin Elander as its new interim executive director. She starts her new job May 11.
Downtown Santa Barbara has more than 1,200 members and comprises the city’s largest Business Improvement District (BID). It is responsible for promoting downtown businesses, nonprofits and associate members. DSB has for many years also administered to the city’s Plaza Maintenance contract.
Elander has a master’s degree in public policy and administration and a bachelor’s degree in park, recreation, and tourism management.
She has worked for numerous municipal governments and nonprofits. She began her career working on large-scale projects in diverse neighborhoods in Raleigh, N.C. from 1999-2002, then for the city of Ventura from 2002-11.
Elander has worked locally since 2011, supporting the startup efforts of Impact Hub, now KIVA SB. She has extensive event experience and has worked with The Fund for Santa Barbara and other local nonprofits and organizations. She also does business consulting and is founder/director of Global Good Impact.
Elander is known as well for her role the past five years as the executive director of Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration, the annual event that draws more than 100,000 people. She will be continuing with Solstice this summer to put on a virtual community workshop and parade while serving as DSB’s interim executive director.
“It’s going to take us all working together to recover, innovate and grow in these unprecedented circumstances,” Elander said. “Let’s get the conversations started and make some downtown magic happen.”