Corey A. Pahanish has been named full-time executive director at the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. Pahanish, who will oversee all programs and operations of the organization, begins his new job on Oct. 19.
“As the new executive director of Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, I recognize and embrace the transformational power of the organization’s mission to advocate for families living in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties that have a child with cancer by providing financial, educational and emotional support,” he said.
Pahanish holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in leadership studies. He also brings extensive nonprofit experience to his new position, having worked in the nonprofit sector for a number of years, most recently as the executive director for Bayside Community Center since 2014.
“My desire to join an inspiring organization, such as the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, is strong,” Pahanish. said. “I am a committed individual with a unique leadership style. I am reliable and have consistently fueled my courage of walking into situations where fortitude, perseverance and resilience are needed.”
No stranger to the impact that tragedy has on a family, Pahanish’s difficult life story began with the death of his father when he was 10 months old.
Throughout his childhood and adolescence, Pahanish. experienced and witnessed the struggles of living in a low-income home with his mother, which instilled a sense of humility, limitless empathy, strengthened faith, and a passion for the pursuit of social justice.
He credits his success to a compassionate network of wise mentors and knowledgeable allies, who have directly contributed to his emotional healing, and a variety of academic and professional achievements, including becoming a first-generation college graduate with a Ph.D, breaking the cycle of his family’s poverty; and, as an executive director of a nonprofit in San Diego, helping raise millions of dollars for underserved populations.
“Corey is a rare talent, and we are excited that he has chosen to become the next leader of the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation,” said board chair, J. Paul Gignac. “I am confident that Corey will continue to grow TBCF’s excellent programs and fortify the organization’s reputation as one of the preeminent nonprofits in the tri-county region.”
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation advocates for families living in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties who have a child with cancer by providing financial, educational and emotional support.