Leadership shift at Rancho Santa Fe Foundation as CEO departs


Rancho Santa Fe Foundation CEO Chris Sichel will leave the organization this month, taking on a position as vice president of programs at the Conrad Prebys Foundation. His last day will be Sept. 20.

With the departure of its CEO, the Foundation is committed to continuing its mission of bringing together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support local nonprofits.

Chris Sichel, outgoing RSF Foundation CEO
(Rancho Santa Fe Foundation)

“It has been a pleasure working with Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, one of San Diego’s largest community foundations which has provided tremendous impact in our community for over 40 years,” said Sichel in a news release. “I want to thank the board, our staff, and our stakeholders for their trust as we find new opportunities to amplify our impact and do the most good in our community. It will be exciting to see what’s next for Rancho Santa Fe Foundation in the coming years.”

Sichel joined the Foundation in 2021, taking over for Christy Wilson who led the organization for 24 years. Sichel had previously served as president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego and was a former executive director of STAR/PAL, San Diego’s Police Athletic League.

In a news release, the Foundation’s executive board thanked Sichel for his contributions over the past two years.

“Through Chris’ guidance during the past two years, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation has implemented significant enhancements to our administrative and grantmaking operations,” said Ed Blodgett, the foundation’s board chairman in the release. “As North County’s home for impactful giving, we have accomplished a great deal, and our future path is an exciting one marked by increasing our impact in the region to address critical issues facing our community. We look forward to remaining connected to Chris as he embarks on a new leadership position in San Diego’s philanthropic community.”

Karen Sprigle, the interim CEO of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation
(Rancho Santa Fe Foundation)

A search committee has been formed to find the Foundation’s next leader. To help guide the Foundation through the transitional phase, the current chief operating officer Karen Sprigle has been named interim CEO. Sprigle has been with the Foundation for five years and has an understanding of the Foundation’s mission, operational structure and grantmaking processes.

Additionally, Sichel will provide support to the Foundation as an advisor during the executive search.

“Rancho Santa Fe Foundation looks ahead with excitement to a new chapter and remains steadfast in its resolve to keep its valued partners informed and engaged,” said Blodgett in the release. “As we enter our new chapter, we will remain focused on the pursuit of our vision for inspiring the joy of purposeful giving.”

For more information on the RSF Foundation, visit


3:44 p.m. Sept. 7, 2023: This story has been updated with information on outgoing RSF Foundation CEO Chris Sichel’s new position.