March 24, 2023
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Good Works: Girls Inc. names new CEO; Vitamin Angels reaches new countries


After a nine-month nationwide search, Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara has a new CEO.

Jennifer Faust was hired in September in a consulting role for the nonprofit and took over in January as CEO, Girls Inc. said in a recent news release.

Prior to joining Girls Inc., Faust spent with the Pacific Council on International Policy, a nonprofit associated with the University of Southern California, including the last five years as its executive director. In the late 1990s, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Haiti, and in 2002 she was an elections supervisor for the United Nations in Kosovo. She holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Jen Faust, the new CEO of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara (courtesy photo)


Vitamin Angels, a Goleta-based nonprofit focused on nutrition for children and pregnant women, expanded to nine additional countries in 2021, according to its recently released annual report.

Vitamin Angels is one of the largest nonprofits in the tri-county region, with more than $100 million in annual revenue in recent years. It partners with local nonprofits in the U.S. and around the world to provide prenatal and childhood vitamins in underserved communities.

In 2021, Vitamin Angels reached 70 million women and children in 65 countries, including all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, in cooperation with 1,200 program partners. The nine new countries for Vitamin Angels were Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, Cambodia, Haiti, Thailand, Brazil, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Vitamin Angels also reported a 22% increase in its corporate partnerships in 2021. That includes Walgreens, which recently launched a program to provide free vitamins to underserved pregnant women in Chicago.


Dignity Health Central Coast, which has hospitals in Camarillo, Oxnard, Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo, donated $370,796 to nonprofits in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties at a virtual award ceremony in January.

The recipients were: Future Leaders of America, which led a coalition of youth nonprofits; Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County, representing five nonprofits working on behalf of seniors; Los Osos Cares Resource Center, a coalition of four nonprofits creating a social services network for vulnerable aging populations; the SLO Noor Foundation, which funds dental care for uninsured and low-income adults; the Community Counseling Center, a youth mental wellness program; and the Good Samaritan Shelter, which is collaborating with three other nonprofits on a service center for the homeless in Santa Maria.

The grants were awarded through a competitive program run by Dignity Health’s parent company, CommonSpirit Health.


Pacific Pride Foundation, a nonprofit serving the LGTBQ communities of Santa Barbara County, has added two new board members.

The new members both begin three-year terms on the board. They are Eric Bowers, the director for legal and corporate governance at the Santa Barbara-based home audio company Sonos; and Maria Melo, the executive director of 805UndocuFund.

Bowers is also a former chair of the board of Hospice of Santa Barbara, and Melo is a former deputy consul for Columbia in Los Angeles.


Music Academy of the West, a nonprofit classical music training program and festival venue in Montecito, has added seven people to its board of directors.

The new directors for 2022 are Music Academy Women’s Auxiliary Chair Judy Astbury; attorney and entrepreneur Mally Chakola; arts curator and non-profit executive Ashley Woods Hollister; UC Santa Barbara professor Heejung Kim; Luria Company and Foundation president Kandy Luria-Budgor; former Aspen Art Museum National Council Chair Danner Mahood Schefler, and Patrick Spence, the CEO of Sonos. They join the Music Academy’s 18 returning board members.

UC Santa Barbara has received a $1.15 million commitment over the next three years from John and Jody Arnhold to support the Arnhold A&L Education Initiative within UCSB’s Arts & Lectures program.

John Arnhold graduated from UCSB in 1975 and is a trustee of the UCSB Foundation. He and his wife have donated to many of the university’s efforts over the years, including the departments of English, theater and dance and the tennis program. The new A&L Education Initiative will support artists in multi-day residencies and will “serve to deepen the signature cross-campus collaborations that connect A&L’s featured guests with students in the classroom,” UCSB said in a news release.