CEO stepping down from Scholarship Foundation

Staff Report


The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara will begin a nationwide search for a new president and CEO when Candace Winkler leaves the nonprofit organization this month.

As president and CEO, Winkler is credited with instituting a number of organizational and planning reforms.

“It has been a tremendous honor to lead the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara during this exciting period of change, and I believe the organization is well-positioned to continue its critically important work,” said Winkler, who began serving as the foundation’s president and CEO in July 2015.

“I feel very good about all that we accomplished over the last two and a half years, including modernizing and streamlining our scholarship application, evaluation, and distribution processes, and increasing the organization’s focus on student outcomes,” she added.

“We greatly appreciate Candace’s hard work and professionalism as president and CEO of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara,” said Board Chairman Don Logan. “As a result of her efforts, the organization is on firmer ground to expand educational opportunities for students throughout Santa Barbara County. We wish her much success in her future endeavors.”

Winkler oversaw a restructuring of the foundation’s programs department and led a months-long effort to draft a new strategic plan. During her eventful tenure the foundation’s investment portfolio grew by more than 10 percent to almost $50 million, and the organization launched a new website, including Spanish-language content, among other initiatives.

The foundation has awarded more than $100 million to more than 47,000 county students over its 55-year history.

A native of South Carolina, Winkler earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Vanderbilt University and master’s degrees in public administration and social work at Columbia University.

Previously she served as president and CEO of the Alaska Community Foundation for five years, and as CEO of Thread, Alaska’s Child Care Resource and Referral Network, for eight years.

In 2002, she was named to Alaska’s “Top 40 Under 40” list by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and two years later she was nationally recognized as an emerging leader in early education by the Children’s Defense Fund.

Barbara Robertson, the foundation’s former longtime chief operating officer, will serve as interim president and CEO until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Founded in 1962, the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is the nation’s largest community-based provider of college scholarships. The nonprofit organization also provides free financial-aid advising services.

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