Nonprofit Resource Network of Santa Barbara County is proud to announce the launch of our Local Leader Spotlight Series. These spotlights aim to recognize and showcase standout individuals for their commitment to our social sector.
Today we are featuring Anthony Carroccio, Executive Director, Organic Soup Kitchen. Organic Soup Kitchen (OSK) is an 8-year-old 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing wholesome organic nutrient-dense foods to cancer/medical outpatients, seniors, veterans, and other demographic groups and individuals experiencing food insecurity in the greater Santa Barbara area.
Anthony, can you provide us some background on how this journey started?
From an early age I’ve always been aware of energy and frequency and I’ve never chosen a career path based on monetary gains. My belief about myself is that I know my purpose in life, and that is to help others any way I can when they are in need. When I think otherwise, I feel like a fraud.
In 1982 I moved from Rhode Island to Santa Barbara as a land developer which was my most prominent skill at the time, however not the most popular profession here in the land of “Welcome to Santa Barbara” now go home. So, in 1998 the days of wrestling the building and zoning dept were behind me and I decided to start publishing a national magazine “Healing Retreats & Spas”.
I was determined to share my passion for Yoga, Detoxing, Juicing, Organics, Conscious Lifestyle practices, etc with those hungry for alternative information pertaining to health and conscious living. Back in the late 90s, those conversations were a bit foreign to most. However, the circulation grew to 60,000 copies every eight weeks. Fast forward to 2009 taking with me my in-depth exposure to healing modalities from around the world I decided to get hands-on and actually provide meals to those in need and the Organic Soup Kitchen was founded October 2009. We currently provide nutrient dense vegan organic soups to hundreds of seniors, cancer patients and those with degenerative diseases throughout Santa Barbara weekly.
What does “leadership” mean to you? What characteristics do you admire in a leader?
Leadership is like coaching, being mindful of how to bring out the best in people to achieve a step forward for humanity. I also admire leaders that lead by example and know the difference between a boss and a leader.
Who is a person that has influenced your leadership style?
Mister Rogers (Children’s tv guy) His vision was very powerful for a soft spoken guy. He was very selfless and very intentional.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
To grow as a leader, I understand that I am learning every day from those that look to me as their leader, their challenges are my lessons.
How do you lead in a way that allows for creativity and innovation?
I stay open, ask questions and listen to people’s concerns. I don’t judge, I just hope the universe will give me the answer, and it usually does.
Any current projects you are excited about that you would like to share with the NPRN community?
Our most current project is “Nutritional Therapy for Cancer Patients”. Our nutrient-dense soups help build a strong immune system for those fighting the battle. We are currently planning for expansion to increase our service.
What motivates/ inspires you most about your work?
It’s the thank you letters, it’s the emails we get, it’s looking into someone’s eyes who is thanking you for helping them fight the battle.
What do you most value in others?
If you have integrity I’ll accept the rest of you the way you are.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I can’t take credit for this one. Being a father and husband in such a wonderful family is my greatest achievement.
When and where were you happiest?
When you live a life of gratitude, you’re happy anytime and in any place.
Do you know a standout individual who should be recognized for their commitment and dedication to Santa Barbara county’s social sector? Perhaps they are advancing positive change or effective solutions for our cities? Maybe they help build bridges among people with different backgrounds or viewpoints. Or it could be that they are advancing an innovative strategy that directly improves peoples lives. NPRN wants to showcase these individuals in our newsletter and throughout the site. Simply send an email to email@example.com the name of the individual, the organization they work for, and a few sentences sharing why they should be recognized.