Camarillo, Calif., Mar. 27, 2012 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) is pleased to announce the incoming Chair and seven newest members of its Foundation Board.

The newly elected Foundation Board Chair is George Leis, President and Chief Operating Officer of Santa Barbara-based Pacific Capital Bancorp, a nationally chartered bank and the largest independent banking company on California’s Central Coast, operating 48 branches under the highly recognized brand name of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust and having $7.4 billion in assets.  Leis, a 1981 graduate of CSU Northridge, has been a CI Foundation Board member since 2009.  His two-year term as Chair ends in February 2014.

“We are delighted by the leadership experience and dedication to CI that George Leis brings to the Foundation as Board Chair,” said CI President Richard Rush.  “His extensive experience in both business and service to community will serve the Foundation well as CI enters its second decade of growth and development.”

The Board also welcomes seven new members:

Edward Birch – Chairman Emeritus, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust
Janet Garufis – President and CEO, Montecito Bank & Trust
Mark Hartley – Co-owner, Fitzgerald Hartley Company
Bill Kearney – Sr. Vice President, Merrill Lynch
Armando Lopez – Owner, Armando Lopez Company
Ron Semler – President, Malibu Family Wines
Emilio Pozzi – President, American Tooth Industries

Previous Board Chair Steve Blois will continue to serve on the Board as Past Chair.  He is the President of Valley Vista Consulting, Inc.

“It’s a privilege to have Foundation Board members who are passionate about the CI mission,” Rush said.  “I look forward to the new energy, ideas and experience that they will contribute to the Foundation and to the resultant, positive impact on our campus.”

The CSU Channel Islands Foundation was established in 1996 to raise private funds to support the University’s strategic agenda, mission and growth.  Because state funds alone are not enough, the Foundation is a catalyst and conduit through which gifts and endowment income flow to provide immediate and long-term support of the University.  The Foundation also assists the University by creating strong relationships with alumni, friends and partners in the state of California who seek to use their goodwill and influence for the strengthening of CI's mission and goals. 

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.