Community Leaders Luncheon

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2023 Luncheon
Date: Friday, December 8
Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Location: Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

The Community Leaders Luncheon is a popular annual event that brings together local leaders and Scholarship Foundation supporters to celebrate the importance of education. Speakers share their own education experiences and highlight the important role the Scholarship Foundation plays in helping deserving students pursue their dreams of higher education. One of the most anticipated events of the holiday season!


Leadership Sponsor – $5,000

Community Partner Sponsor – $2,500

Opportunity Sponsor – $1,250

Click here for sponsorship details. For additional information, contact Nicole Jones, Associate Director of Development.

To purchase a sponsorship online, click here.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Richard Yao

Dr. Richard Yao was appointed President of California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) in January 2022 after serving as Interim President for one year. He joined CSUCI in June 2018, initially serving as Vice President for Student Affairs. Dr. Yao previously resided in Las Vegas, where he was an active member of the higher education and mental health communities. Early in his clinical career, he worked with individuals with chronic and persistent mental illness, as well as transition-aged youth from the foster care system. He then focused primarily on forensic psychological assessments for the Juvenile Court and Public Defender’s Office, the Department of Family Services, and the Bureau of Disability Adjudication. Throughout this time, he also served as a full-time Psychology Lecturer at Nevada State College, which like CSUCI, opened its doors in 2002. He was eventually tasked with building out the campus’ Student Affairs programming and went on to become the college’s founding Dean of Students. Dr. Yao earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University, a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Eastern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Eastern Illinois University.

Honoree: Steve Hicks

Stephen Hicks grew up on the East Coast in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and his MBA from the University of Southern California. He enjoyed a 30-year career in the computer and software industries with various responsibilities in marketing, finance, new product development, and management. After moving with his family to Santa Barbara from the Washington, D.C., area in 1994, Steve became an active community volunteer, serving on local nonprofit boards, including as Board chair of CALM, the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands YMCA, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Montecito Community Foundation, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, and the Santa Barbara Foundation. He is an honorary trustee of the Museum of Natural History and was Man of the Year in 2007. Steve led the Santa Barbara Investment Forum for 13 years and is a member of the Santa Barbara Angel Alliance.