Rancho Santa Fe Foundation Logo

RSF Foundation CEO Christy Wilson announces retirement, Chris Sichel to step into the role

RSF Foundation CEO and President, Christy Wilson will be retiring, effective December 31, 2021. Christy has been leading the Foundation since 1997 and was the first paid staff member at the organization. The RSF Foundation Board of Directors is excited to announce that they have appointed Chris Sichel as the incoming CEO and Sichel will join the team on September 1, 2021. Christy plans to assist with the transition until her retirement at the end of the year.

Christy Wilson, RSF Foundation

“On behalf of RSF Foundation and the Board, I would like to thank Christy for her outstanding leadership and devotion to the Foundation. During her tenure, RSF Foundation has transformed from a small foundation established to serve Rancho Santa Fe into one of San Diego’s largest community foundations, with over $105 million in grantmaking since 2001. Christy led the Foundation for 24 years and we wouldn’t be where we are today without her leadership,” said Kevin Crawford, RSF Foundation Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“It has been the honor of my career to lead RSF Foundation for the last two decades and a true joy to have been inspired by our dedicated fundholders and community partners. I am grateful to our entire RSF Foundation team for their commitment and hard work in helping us reach significant growth,” said Christy. “For the last several years, I have worked closely with our board on strategic succession plans, and I believe now is the right time to begin a CEO transition. Chris is a well-known community leader with a proven track record. I could not be more thrilled to congratulate and support Chris as he takes this new role.”

Kevin adds, “We’re excited to welcome Chris to the RSF Foundation team. He is a top nonprofit leader in San Diego and brings years of experience effectively growing organizations and achieving their strategic goals. He is held in high regard by anyone who has had the pleasure of working with him. On behalf of the board, we are very happy to have him join the staff and lead the Foundation as we embark on our next chapter.”

Chris Sichel, RSF Foundation CEO

For the last 16 years, Sichel has served as the President and CEO of Make-A-Wish San Diego. Prior to that, he worked with the City of San Diego and San Diego Police at STAR/PAL.

“I am delighted to join the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation team and am honored to continue the work of such an inspired leader as Christy Wilson. I am eager to immerse myself in the community and to help shine a spotlight on its four decades of generosity to important causes both near and far” said Chris, incoming RSF Foundation CEO.