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Noozhawk Article: Four Local Leaders Join Board…

Four Local Leaders Join Board of Leading From Within


January 28, 2021 | 11:42 a.m.
Ashley Costa
Ashley Costa
Katya Armistead
Katya Armistead

Four new members, Katya Armistead, Ashley Costa, Alma Hernández and Kiah Jordan, have joined the board of directors of Leading From Within, marking a key transition as the 12-year-old nonprofit expands its board by one member and embarks on a strategic plan in 2021.

Leading From Within’s volunteer board works closely with the organization’s executive director and president to oversee and support the nonprofit’s commitment to its mission to invest in people who drive and create change in Santa Barbara County.

“We are no longer a start-up organization,” said Edward France, executive director of Leading From Within. “It’s a testament to Leading From Within that trustees with great depth of experience would say yes to joining our board.

Alma Hernández
Alma Hernández
Kiah Jordan
Kiah Jordan

“Each new member contributes to civic leadership for our community in their own way, and they are complementing the whole of our board of directors  in coming together to support leadership programs that improve our communities.”

As the assistant vice chancellor and dean of Student Life at UCSB, Armistead serves as the control point for 10 Student Affairs departments and works on special projects often related to campus climate and diversity. She teaches a leadership course at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education and is a certified trainer for The Leadership Challenge Workshop, a research-based curriculum she co-facilitates at Leading From Within.

Armistead’s involvement with Leading From Within dates back to her participation in the Katherine Harveys Fellows program more than a decade ago. She also serves on Leading From Within’s alumni committee and participates in one of the organization’s peer learning circles.

“I have so enjoyed my work with Leading From Within and have personally received so much value through my involvement with the organization,” said Armistead.  “It’s an honor to be part of the Board.”

Costa is the executive director of the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization, which facilitates the Healthy Lompoc Coalition, a partnership of local leaders and volunteers working together to improve the health of Lompoc Valley residents.

Some of the nonprofit’s greatest accomplishments include collaborating on a volunteer committee and partnering to raise $1.6 million toward the capital overhaul of a community track and field in Lompoc. Costa’s organization has also served as advisor and participant to the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan and for the past six years has worked in partnership with the Santa Barbara Foundation to better assist seniors and caregivers in the Lompoc Valley.

Costa participated in the Emerging Leaders Program early in her career and credits the Leading From Within program with giving her the confidence to accept her first executive director position. “It’s refreshing that Leading From Within genuinely wants to learn from my experiences and I know I’m not just checking a box and filling a Board seat but will be respected and engaged for my ideas and opinions,” she said.

Hernández has some 20 years experience working in rural, largely immigrant, communities, developing leadership through cooperative efforts and by placing community members at the front of decision-making processes. She is a district representative for County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, where she has worked for the past three years building leadership opportunities for underserved populations.

“Local government doesn’t necessarily reflect our population, especially in the North County,” Hernández said. “We need to create pathways that enable our Latinx community to make connections, access resources and gain confidence in their skills. I am excited to join the board of Leading From Within, where I hope to expand the network of North County and Latinx leadership.”

As a graduate of Leading From Within’s Leading for Community Impact program, Hernández knows firsthand the transformational power of the nonprofit’s programs. She participated in the cohort while working as director of Guadalupe’s Little House by the Park, where her focus included the promotion of open, communal, multicultural, and artistic spaces.

Jordan is the founder of Impact Family Office, a family office dedicated to aligning clients’ financial resources with their values to generate the greatest impact. Before starting Impact Family Office, he worked for Santa Barbara Capital, a real estate investment firm.

An advocate for socially conscious ventures and entrepreneurship, Jordan dedicates much of his time to start-ups and organizations that benefit the Central Coast, including Leading From Within. He graduated from the Katherine Harvey Fellows program at Leading From Within and remains involved with the organization through peer learning circles and alumni networks.

“Leading From Within was extremely beneficial in helping me think through my contributions in the community,” he said. “Leading From Within promotes leadership growth in the for-profit, nonprofit and social sectors, and I hope that my experience thinking strategically across these industries will help the organization blend these distinct worlds in effective and innovative ways.”

Founded in 2008, Leading From Within invests in people who drive and create change in Santa Barbara County. For more, visit

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