Jim Morouse and Peter Schuyler Named 81st Persons of the Year: Awards Luncheon April 17, Tickets on Sale Now

Jim Morouse and Peter Schuyler have been selected as the 81st Persons of the Year for the Santa Barbara area. The two will be honored for their volunteer contributions and service to the community at a luncheon on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort Rotunda.

Tickets and tables are on sale now and may be purchased online at SBFoundation.org/PYAwards.

“We are fortunate to be able to celebrate two truly inspirational role models in our community at Person of the Year,” noted Jackie Carrera, Santa Barbara Foundation President and CEO.

“Jim and Peter exemplify what we aim to highlight as Organizing Sponsor of this event: extraordinary service that represents a meaningful commitment to the community, addresses a real community need and enhances the quality of life. Both of this year’s awardees have engaged in community improvement with years of action and commitment.”

Jim Morouse

Jim Morouse has decades of global marketing experience ranging from technology start-ups to billion-dollar consumer brands, from launching several of Disney’s most popular websites to product management for some of the world’s most widely known health, household and beauty brands.

Locally, he has shared his professional expertise while teaching management at Westmont College and entrepreneurial marketing at UCSB, as well as developing community leaders through Leading from Within’s Katherine Harvey Fellows program.

His extensive volunteering – marked by creativity, energy, and his renowned “bias to action” – includes service of more than ten years each on the board of advisors of Westmont College (including as chair), the Lobero Theatre Foundation (including the $7M “Encore Lobero” Campaign), the Santa Barbara Foundation (including as chair), and as a founding board member of Leading from Within.

“There is no other individual in Santa Barbara who better exemplifies the spirit of Person of the Year than Jim,” explained Gayle Beebe, President of Westmont College, one of Morouse’s three nominators for this year’s honor.

“He never does anything for acclaim or accolades, but serves with a sense of ‘How do we make our community better by making every organization in our community better?’ Jim has been exceptional at inspiring those whose lives he touches to aspire to their best selves.”

He resides in Santa Barbara with his wife Mary and their three children.

Peter Schuyler

Peter Schuyler is a Santa Barbara County native whose passion to protect and preserve our local environment spans many decades.

Peter is currently on the board of directors for the Community Environmental Council, Fairview Gardens, and Midland School. Past service includes serving as the chair and on the boards of the Environmental Defense Center and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

He was the chair of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s $4M Backcountry Campaign and played a leading role as co-chair of the $18M Foothills Forever campaign to preserve the San Marcos Foothills.

Schuyler’s true passion is getting out on the land and exploring wild places. He regularly volunteers his time to search for rare plants and lead educational trips on Santa Cruz Island.

In the past, he spent a good portion of the year in the Los Padres National Forest’s backcountry mapping both rare native species and invasive plant species. He enjoys sharing his love and knowledge of Santa Barbara’s natural areas with children from several local schools.

“Peter’s long and steadfast support of the environment, land preservation, local agriculture, education and biodiversity make him a standout for [Person of the Year],” shared Michael Ableman, executive director of the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens.

“It’s not just what Peter has accomplished in his long history of rolling up his sleeves to raise money, raise awareness, make essential connections and provide wise counsel, it’s the spirit and humility in how he has made these invaluable contributions.”

Schuyler’s career roles included director of the Santa Cruz Island Preserve for The Nature Conservancy, head of Hawaii’s Natural Area Reserve program, and director of ecological restoration for the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy.

In 2018, he was named Volunteer of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and received the Botanic Garden’s Pritzlaff Conservation Award in 2023.

He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Lisa, in their home featuring solar, gray water and rainwater catchment sustainable features and surrounded by his 45-year-old native plant garden.

The process to select the 81st Persons of the Year began with open nominations from January 8 to February 23, 2024. Anyone in the community could nominate an individual, couple or family. Former recipients of the award reviewed the nominations and selected this year’s awardees on the morning of March 7, with input from nonprofit leaders.

The first Persons of the Year were Harold Chase in 1942 and Pearl Chase in 1956. The award was known as Man & Woman of the Year until 2020.

Joe Howell and Elisabeth Fowler were last year’s awardees. Other recent recipients of the honor include Ginger Salazar, Katina Zaninovich, Tom Parker, Catherine Remak, Michael & Marni Cooney, David Boyd, Jelinda DeVorzon, Ernesto Paredes, Joni Meisel, Janet Garufis, Jon Clark, Steve Lyons, Carol Palladini, Bill Cirone, Anne Smith Towbes, Ken Saxon, Patricia MacFarlane, Clifford W. Sponsel, Gerd Jordano, Cliff Lambert, John Daly, Judy Stapelmann, Ed Birch and Vicki Hazard.

Persons of the Year are nominated by community members in recognition of their history of extraordinary volunteer service that represents a meaningful commitment to the community, addresses a real community need or enhances quality of life for a wide swath of the Santa Barbara-area community. Nominees may also be acknowledged for exemplary acts of generosity, kindness or innovation in the Santa Barbara area.

The 81st Person of the Year celebration is supported by Legacy Sponsors Montecito Bank & Trust and the Santa Barbara Foundation (also the Organizing Sponsor), Premier Media Sponsor Noozhawk, Gold Sponsors Cox Communications and The Kellogg Organization, Silver Sponsors Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf and Steve and Cindy Lyons, and Bronze Sponsors U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, Ventura Rentals, and Katina Zaninovich.

Individuals and organizations interested in sponsoring Person of the Year may reach out to Kevin Kuga, Business Development Manager for the Santa Barbara Foundation at kkuga@sbfoundation.org.

About Santa Barbara Foundation

The Santa Barbara Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life throughout Santa Barbara County for all who live, work, play and visit here. Working in partnership with individuals, community organizations, nonprofits, business, education and government, the Foundation strives to address our local communities’ most challenging needs. Recognizing that its work depends on the strength of the social sector, the Foundation is committed to the health and vitality of local nonprofits. Nearly every Santa Barbara County nonprofit organization and essential community project has been supported by the Foundation during its 95-year history. The Foundation connects philanthropists, subject matter experts, and our community members facing challenges – all who dream of stronger communities in Santa Barbara County. To learn more, please visit SBFoundation.org. 


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