Jackie Carrera joined the Santa Barbara Foundation this August as the new Chief Revenue and Business Development Officer. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jackie served as the President and CEO of the Parks & People Foundation in Maryland for over two decades. During this time the organization became a national leader in urban parks and recreation, ecosystem research and education, watershed restoration, job training and workforce development, as well as innovative programming for youth.
In this conversation between Jackie Carrera and Sam Waterstone, Communications Officer for the Santa Barbara Foundation, Jackie shares her thoughts about getting to know the communities throughout Santa Barbara County, her new role with the Foundation, why she is passionate about her work, and more.
Sam Waterstone: What drew you to the Santa Barbara Foundation?
Jackie Carrera: From an early age, I learned the value of community. I grew up in a place that is similar in many ways to Santa Barbara County. There was a neighborliness and sense of compassion that made people feel welcome, safe and optimistic about the future. Our community support system was a reassuring blessing for everyone. I see many of these traits in Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara Foundation is at the heart of this beautiful community, devotedly acting as the keeper of that spirit. For 90 years, the Foundation has been an honest broker connecting resources to meet our communities’ greatest needs and continuing to support our residents as a thriving center of civic life and culture. It is a gift to work where community is your mission.
Sam: As Chief Revenue and Business Development Officer, what is your role in helping the Foundation grow and evolve?
Jackie: My role is to secure resources that enable the Foundation and our many nonprofit partners to continue to meet our county’s current and future needs. This means working with many generous people who want to support our communities by donating financial assets such as cash, stock, real estate or retirement accounts. It also means serving as a philanthropic advisor to donors who wish to align their charitable interests with opportunities to make a positive difference. Another innovative facet of my job is to identify investment opportunities that support our strategic priorities and drive systems change. Along with the fantastic Philanthropic Services team, we are always pursuing creative partnerships with individuals, businesses and organizations who share our mission to mobilize collective wisdom and philanthropic capital to build empathetic, inclusive and resilient communities.
Sam: Why are you passionate about what you do?
Jackie: My passion emanates primarily from these two ideas: I love to see individuals, businesses and whole communities thrive. I believe that adverse conditions do not have to be permanent. I am fortunate to have been a small part of many efforts where people shared their gifts to respond to community needs, and the results have been remarkable. From these experiences, I have a developed a vision of the possible. I am passionate about what I do because I know the Santa Barbara Foundation shares this vision and is making great things possible for Santa Barbara County.
Sam: What message would you like to share with community members who want to help make our county a better place?
Jackie: First, I would like to say thank you! Second, I’d like to let everyone know that there are a myriad of ways you can make a difference with your time, talent and treasure. I would be more than happy to help you identify next steps.