United Way of Santa Barbara County Expands Executive Leadership Team

By Giving List Staff   |   November 20, 2023

United Way onboards two new directors to guide expansion in community programming

Rose Levy

United Way of Santa Barbara County has announced the appointment of two dynamic professionals to its leadership team. Rose Levy, director of strategic partnerships and advancement and Frances Contreras, director of programs and partnerships, have joined the organization, bringing a wealth of experience and a shared commitment to advancing the organization’s mission.

As it celebrates its 100th anniversary in Santa Barbara County, United Way has seen continued growth in each of its core focus areas: academic achievement, financial empowerment and crisis response and recovery. Both Contreras and Levy bring experience and expertise to help direct the organization in its approach to new opportunities in order to broaden local impact. 

In partnership with local organizations, service agencies and school districts, United Way continues to build stronger students, families and households with a focus on building a more resilient community. Both Contreras and Levy are set to continue this innovative trajectory, strengthening the leadership team to guide expanding work across the organization in areas like early learning and childcare as well as new programs and initiatives in financial resiliency.  

Frances Contreras

Frances Contreras is a seasoned leader and educator with over a decade of experience in education and youth-serving nonprofit organizations. Her extensive background includes roles at Boys & Girls Clubs, Jumpstart for Young Children, Para Los Niños, Arc Experiential Education and LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program at the Los Angeles Unified School District. In her role as director of programs and partnerships, Contreras will be responsible for overseeing the design, execution and evaluation of the organization’s programs and initiatives, including the Fun in the Sun summer learning program, the United Learning Center tutoring program, Community Schools, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and other annual community impact initiatives. A firm believer in educational equity, Contreras is dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of children through her work.

Rose Levy is an accomplished nonprofit professional with a 17-year tenure in impactful, data-driven programming and collaborations within the nonprofit, corporate and philanthropic sectors. Levy’s career includes notable contributions to organizations such as Direct Relief, Habitat for Humanity, and the US Peace Corps in Botswana and Santa Barbara Hillel. A committed member of the Santa Barbara community, Levy will be responsible for leading and executing the organization’s strategic programs, initiatives, fundraising efforts and external relationships. As a parent, Levy understands the importance of investing in the futures of children as a tool for creating a better and more just world.

“We are thrilled to have Frances and Rose join our team,” said Steve Ortiz, CEO of United Way of Santa Barbara County. “Their combined expertise and passion for community development will undoubtedly contribute to our organization’s success in elevating our impact in critical areas to meet the needs of our county’s vulnerable residents.”

About United Way of Santa Barbara County

Since 1923, United Way of Santa Barbara County has been a key leader in local efforts to empower children, families, and communities through its own unique collaborative programs and initiatives, partnership convening efforts, volunteer development, and funding. United Way’s mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery. To learn more, please visit unitedwaysb.org.


United Way of Santa Barbara County

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(805) 965-8591
President & CEO: Steve Ortiz


Our mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery.

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We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.

Decades of Support

What I appreciate most about United Way’s approach to programming and outreach is that there is an organizational insistence on engaging the whole community. What that means for me personally is that United Way makes it fun and easy to support Fun in the Sun as it encourages more direct donor involvement with the program. This gives me a hands-on and close-up view of the work being done to support both our public schools and students. United Way makes it easy for donors to access all the programs and it involves members of our community at all levels in contributing, volunteering, and active learning about how we can collectively make our wonderful city and county an even better place for all.
David Jackson
Zegar Family Foundation

The Next 100 Years

In addition to its celebration of the 100-year anniversary alongside the volunteers, staff, partners, and supporters who have made the milestone possible, United Way of Santa Barbara County is also undertaking its first endowment campaign since 1982. 

“Our success in launching new programming and establishing new projects and partnerships are a benefit of that campaign 40 years ago,” President & CEO Steve Ortiz says. “With an evolving community, we need to prioritize maintaining UWSBC’s responsive and innovative programmatic infrastructure to adapt to changing needs. Endowment gifts or special anniversary donations will help UWSBC to stay strong for the next 100 years and sustain our impact on behalf of individuals, children, and families countywide.”

UWSBC Board of Directors

Cliff Lundberg, Chair
Vice President Emeritus, Westmont College
Diane B Doiron, CLU, Vice Chair
Owner, Doiron Financial Associates
Susan Hersberger, Vice Chair
Retired Public Relations Executive
Leo Hamill, Treasurer
Senior Vice President/Regional Manager, City National Bank
Steve Ortiz, Secretary
President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County
Rick Scott, Immediate Past Board Chair
Nonprofit Executive
Tim Armour
Retired Executive
Sue Birch
Retired Educator
Lance Connor
Reliable Engineering Services
David Flattery
Vice President of Business Development, DuPont Displays
Robert Hollman
Commercial Real Estate Developer & Owner
Alex Koper
President & CEO, MoXi, Global Mortgage Group
Shari Liu Fellows
Co-Founder/Principal, The Grayson Agency
Terri Maus-Nisich
Assistant CEO, County of Santa Barbara
Art Merovick
Retired Executive
Kevin Nelson
Director of Corporate Compliance, Cottage Health
Patrice Ryan
Retired Executive