Steve Ortiz
Steve Ortiz

Steve Ortiz, president/CEO of United Way Santa Barbara County (UWSBC), has been elected to the United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees.

Ortiz was confirmed after a global vote at the organization’s annual membership meeting July 26, making him the newest member of the worldwide board.

Ortiz’s confirmation was made possible by United Way Worldwide’ new governance policies, which were approved last year by the global membership and included the requirement that four CEOs of United Way member organizations across the network be added to UWW’s Board of Trustees.

Ortiz has been elected as one of the first of these member CEOs and will serve a three-year term.

“It’s an honor to expand my leadership role within the United Way network.” said Ortiz. “The global organization has taken some significant steps in recent years and it’s exciting to be a part of their continued impact worldwide.”

Under Ortiz’s leadership, United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has been identified by the worldwide leadership as an innovative and future-focused organization that leads the network in annual revenue growth and local community impact.

UWSBC’s success in developing and leading direct service programs and services has diversified organizational revenue and represents the direction in which United Way’s global leadership hopes to turn in the coming years.

Input from the member CEOs like Ortiz is expected to bring diverse perspective and insight as the organization carries out its mission and vision for a new generation.

Ortiz joined the United Way network 18 years ago. Since then, he has been dedicated to the individuals and families who benefit from the programs and services created, led and sustained through United Way.

Since joining UWSBC in 2005, Ortiz has helped the organization flourish. He assumed the role of president and CEO in 2017. His sixth year in the role coincided with UWSBC’s 100th year of service to Santa Barbara County.

He has maintained UWSBC’s focus on critical issues facing the community, including school readiness, academic achievement, financial empowerment, and response efforts in times of crisis, including the Thomas Fire and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Ortiz’s leadership, UWSBC has made significant strides in expanding its community services, increasing diverse revenue, and strengthening its presence in local initiatives.

In addition to serving as UWSBC’s president/CEO, Ortiz is on the Cottage Health Board of Directors, is a member of the Foundation Roundtable Executive Committee, and Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Managers Committee. He is also the commission chair for First 5 of Santa Barbara County.

Ortiz holds a bachelor’s degree from UCSB and a master’s in business administration from Cal Lutheran University.

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