Robertson to retire as CEO of Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation
Ending an impactful three-decade career in the region’s nonprofit sector, Barbara Robertson announced her retirement as president and CEO of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, effective Dec. 31.
A search for his successor will begin immediately.
“We owe Barbara an enormous debt of gratitude for her calm and steady leadership during a time of unprecedented social unrest and uncertainty over the past two years,” said Scholarship Foundation Board Chair Matt Rowe. , in a press release.
“Despite many daunting challenges arising from the pandemic and its aftermath, she has positioned the organization for continued success as an invaluable educational resource for students and families in our community,” Rowe said. “I am personally grateful to him for his tireless work on behalf of the Scholarship Foundation, and for his courage and pleasant disposition in the face of extraordinary adversity. We wish him a restful and enjoyable retirement. It is well deserved. »
Ms Robertson was barely a month into her tenure as president and CEO when the COVID-19 lockdowns first disrupted scholarship foundation operations. She responded decisively, restructuring staff positions and leading the shift to remote working and virtual alternatives to foundation events and candidate interviews.
Under his leadership, the organization awarded nearly $22 million in college scholarships, adopted a new application software platform, and met all programmatic and institutional deadlines and revenue goals.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what my team and I have accomplished under really difficult circumstances,” Ms Robertson said in the press release. “The Scholarship Foundation is a true community gem, and it has been the honor of my life to have contributed to its 60-year legacy by supporting the educational aspirations of students and families across the county. I expect to see even more from this exceptional organization in the years to come.
Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Ms. Robertson studied business economics at the University of British Columbia and accounting at the British Columbia Institute of Technology before working as a consultant, first at Peat, Marwick and Partners in Vancouver, then Western Management Consultants in Vancouver and the Information Systems group in Ottawa.
After moving to Santa Barbara in 1989, she was appointed tax manager for the Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp.
In 1993, she became financial director of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, a position she held for 11 years.
Ms. Robertson then served as Director of Finance and Administration at the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College. She also served as vice president of finance and administration at the Western Academy of Music in Montecito before joining the scholarship foundation as director of operations in April 2011.
After being named chief operating officer in July 2016, she served as the foundation’s interim president and CEO from April to July 2015 and from February to September 2018.
She was named President and CEO of the scholarship foundation in February 2020.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is known as the nation’s largest community-based college scholarship provider, having awarded more than $140 million to some 60,000 county students since its founding in 1962. The foundation also provides free financial aid counseling services. For more information, visit www.sbscholarship.org.