Mike Gallagher is new Rancho Santa Fe Association board member

It took six secret ballots but the Rancho Santa Fe Association board appointed Mike Gallagher as its new director on Oct. 5.

The board was considering six candidates for the post vacated by Mike Licosati, who had to resign after moving out of the Covenant. The names of candidates remained confidential but there were four men and two women. Board members interviewed and vetted the candidates and then were tasked to select the new director by secret ballot — once the decision was whittled down to two candidates the board split 3-3 four times before adjorning to executive session to discuss the candidates further.

The board split 3-3 one final time before coming to consensus on Gallagher on the sixth try.

“The quality of the candidates was absolutely incredible,” said RSF Association Manager Bob Hall of the difficult decision the board had to make. “It was very exciting to have that many people interested in serving the board and the community.”

Gallagher has been a Rancho Santa Fe resident since 2005, retiring to the community with his wife Linda.

Gallagher has a 36-year background in the consumer packaged goods industry, including serving as the CEO of Playtex Products from 1995 to 2004.

Gallagher has experience serving on corporate and industry boards as well as community boards.

He was a lead director of Allergan Inc., Allergan PLC, Playtex Products, AMN Healthcare Services, Fleet Bank, NA and NatWest Bank. He was honored as the Director of the Year in 2016 by the Forum for Corporate Directors.

He served as a director of the board of numerous industry associations, including the Grocery Manufacturers of America, the Soap and Detergent Association, and the Association of Sales and Marketing Companies.

Gallagher has also been the director of several community organizations, including United Way of Bergen County, N. J.; Boy Scouts of Bergen County; Boy Scouts of Fairfield County, Conn.; and a trustee for St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, Conn.

He currently serves on the board of advisors for the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA.

Gallagher will fill the remainder of Licosati’s term, which expires in June 2018. Fred Wasserman’s seat will also be up for election in the spring.