Jessica Tade Joins Casa del Herrero as New Executive Director

The Casa del Herrero Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica Tade, PhD as the organization’s new executive director.

In this role, Jessica will guide all aspects of operations in the preservation of Casa del Herrero, a historic house museum designed by the renowned architect George Washington Smith. This includes stewardship of the surrounding gardens and the fine and decorative arts collection as well. The appointment marks the end of an extensive search by Casa del Herrero and responses from many candidates from the western United States.

“I am thrilled to join the Casa del Herrero family as I have a real passion for the organization’s mission,” said Jessica. “The experience of being in and walking through historic spaces can be transformative, and I am pleased to be a part of preserving and stewarding this opportunity for the community’s benefit.”

Jessica brings to this position nearly a decade of nonprofit experience specifically gained in Santa Barbara County previously working as the director of marketing and communications for both the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Santa Barbara City College Foundation. In addition, she has held positions specifically dedicated to arts education working as an associate editor for the McGraw-Hill Companies, where she developed fine art educational textbooks, and as an archivist for the Architecture and Design Collection at the UC Santa Barbara Art, Design & Architecture Museum. Jessica is a three-time graduate of UC Santa Barbara, where she received a PhD in art history.

Always looking for positive ways to impact her community, Jessica is a member of the Board of Directors for Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People; a member of the Board of Directors for the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation; and a third district commissioner for the Human Services Commission of Santa Barbara County. She is a past Steering Committee member for the Santa Barbara Business Giving Roundtable, and a past Steering Committee member for Partnership for Excellence, a yearly conference bringing together leaders from Santa Barbara County’s philanthropic sector in order to build relationships and explore ideas, strategies, and skills that enhance nonprofit organizations and their work.

“Jessica brings extensive Santa Barbara nonprofit experience coupled with a deep passion for art and historical preservation,” said Susan Jackson, president of the Casa del Herrero Board of Trustees. “We are thrilled to have her join our team of loyal Casa del Herrero enthusiasts.”


Photo credit: Image courtesy of Clint Weisman Studio.


About Casa del Herrero

Casa del Herrero, or the “House of the Blacksmith,” is a historic house museum and gardens located in Montecito, California. Designed by George Washington Smith for the industrialist George Fox Steedman, the house is one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in America. An extensive amount of fifteenth and sixteenth-century fine and decorative art objects from the Steedman family collection representative of Spain’s “Golden Age” are also on view. Eminent landscape architects Ralph Stevens, Lockwood de Forest, and Francis T. Underhill completed the Moorish style gardens. Today, the house and gardens are preserved and stewarded for the benefit of the community, and can be visited with advance reservations. More information can be found at

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