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Board of Directors

Founder and President

Vicki Ben-Yaacov received her BS degree in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University and her MS and PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She spent more than 16 years in the tech industry, including nearly 12 years as a Principal Radio Engineer and later as a Technical Product Manager at Sonos, a leader in multiroom wireless home audio systems. Having spent most of her career as a female engineer, she experienced firsthand the challenges tech companies face in achieving diversity and gender balance. She is also the mother of two young girls and is very involved in their education. Through volunteering in classes, she learned that many children do not have access to extra curriculum, role models, or even basic technologies needed to engage them in the STEM fields.  During her time at Sonos, she led a number of outreach programs aimed at inspiring a love of science and engineering in elementary school through college age students. She believes that we need to engage youth in powerful, interdisciplinary educational programs starting in primary school, and help them build confidence and solid foundation to face the unforeseen demands of the future. She was elected as the Board of Trustee for Goleta Union School in 2019.  

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Karl Hutterer was born near Salzburg, Austria.  He studied anthropology and archaeology and received his PhD from the University of Hawaii. He has conducted research in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, focusing his efforts on tropical rainforest ecology and long term human interactions with tropical ecosystems. He has taught at Bryn Mawr College, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. He came to Santa Barbara in 2000 to assume the executive directorship of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, a position he held for 12 years. Since retiring in 2013, he has done volunteer work with several nonprofits and he is currently on the board of directors of the Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara. His primary efforts at this point are devoted to advancing climate change literacy.

Caroline Harrah still recalls “that” day in elementary school when she eagerly volunteered to organize the school bake sale/fundraiser. She’s been “raising her hand” ever since: helping dozens of non-profits develop and implement breakout strategies to dramatically boost fundraising and amplify donor, volunteer, and stakeholder relations.

Drawing upon experience in business strategy, technology investment banking, and strategic communications & investor relations, Caroline advises non-profit organizations and social enterprises seeking high impact, sustainable fundraising strategies, and strategic marketing & communications — organizing such events as the highly visible and successful “Kick Ash Bash” gratitude event following the Thomas Fire and January 9, 2018 debris flow in Montecito, as well as advising leading non-profit organizations engaged in STEM education, supporting at-risk youth, and offering humanitarian and disaster relief.

In addition to her non-profit work, Caroline manages marketing and communications for Technology Management at University of California, Santa Barbara. Most of all, she cherishes her two children, Chloe, and Chase, with whom she enjoys exploring the world.

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