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Elena Zhukova

New trustees bring ‘unique vision, leadership and passion’ to the university’s foundation board

With professional expertise that ranges from medicine, finance and insurance, to real estate, education, aerospace and more, eight new individuals — six of them alumni of the university — have been appointed to the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees. The new cohort joins the leadership body that promotes the university by increasing philanthropy and managing and growing the endowment.

“UC Santa Barbara is thrilled to add eight new trustees to our strong and engaged foundation board,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “Each of our new trustees brings unique vision, leadership and passion to the board, and we are immensely grateful for their invaluable contributions and dedicated partnership. We will continue to work together with all of our trustees to advance our educational, research, and public service mission as we strive to educate our future leaders and learners, unlock new discoveries, promote creativity and innovation, and create rich consequences for our society.

“This moment of welcome also gives us the opportunity to express our deepest thanks to Chair John Arnhold for his energetic and innovative leadership of our trustees, and to offer great appreciation to all of our current and past trustees for their tremendous impact on our campus community,” Yang added. “Together we are reaching new heights.” 

 John Arnhold ’75, a trustee himself for more than a decade, was named chair of the foundation’s board in 2022.

“We are very fortunate to welcome eight new trustees to our UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board this year,” Arnhold said. “Each new member brings special talents and abilities which promise to move our board forward. I welcome these highly-talented individuals to the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board and thank them in advance for their service to the university.”

As UC Santa Barbara’s principal fundraising organization, the nonprofit foundation generates and administers private gifts to the campus, including support for students, research and instruction. It also ensures the appropriate use of all private funds.

Helping to forge links between the professional and business communities and the campus to increase private support for university programs, the foundation plays a critical role in promoting and achieving fundraising goals and priorities. The board consists of philanthropic leaders sharing a commitment to advance UC Santa Barbara’s mission and sustain its reputation for excellence.

“We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of trustees leading the foundation. Each of them shares a commitment to UC Santa Barbara’s vitality,” stated Chris Pizzinat, interim executive director of the foundation.  “We are immensely grateful for their counsel, advocacy and generosity in advancing the priorities of the university.”

The new trustees are:

Dr. William “Bill” Cheadle — practicing surgeon and professor of surgery, University of Louisville (Louisville, KY) 

Laura Cox ’83 — retired, past executive director, Bridge the Gap College Prep; past director of development, World of Children; past president, The Reed Schools Foundation; strategic consultant for numerous nonprofits (Tiburon, CA) 

John “JD” Davis ’82, ’84 — retired, Raytheon Vision Systems; aerospace engineer and consultant (Santa Barbara, CA) 

Jayron Larijani ’93 — consulting corporate systems architect, insurance and reinsurance companies; philanthropist, Martin and Larijani family initiatives (New York, NY)

Francesco “Fran” Mancia ’80 — government relations advocate for local government jurisdictions and related private sector clients; Regent Emeritus (Cool, CA)

Mercedes Millington — Retired teacher and realtor; philanthropist; board member and secretary, John C. Mithun Family Foundation (Santa Barbara, CA) 

Otieno Okatch ’92 — founder, CEO and president of Per Ankh Life Skills, Inc., also known as PALS, Inc. (Long Beach, CA)

Lindsey Wilde ’05 — former business development director, Element Capital Management; past vice president of emerging market sales, Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland (Santa Barbara, CA) 

The UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees includes up to 100 elected distinguished trustees and 14 additional university representatives, and complies with the University of California Policy on Campus Foundations set by the Regents of the University of California. From its inception in 1973, members of the foundation’s board have formed a valuable link between UC Santa Barbara and the local, regional and national communities. As they encourage private gifts and identify and cultivate potential donors, trustees build interest and support for the campus and communicate to the public an informed understanding of UC Santa Barbara’s mission. 

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