Rick Sapp appointed to Rancho Santa Fe Association board

On Aug. 18, the Rancho Santa Fe Association board appointed Rick Sapp as its newest board member, filling the seat left vacant after Ann Boon’s resignation. Sapp will complete Boon’s term, which expires in June 2017.

The board voted by ballot after considering four candidates names. The vote was 4-2 in favor of Sapp with two votes going to Rachel Leheny.

“I believe he’ll be the smartest person in this room,” said Allen Finkelson in his endorsement of Sapp.

Sapp was a partner at Goldman Sachs for over 20 years, heading the mergers and acquisitions and corporate advisory business for the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. Sapp is a Stanford University graduate and received an MBA in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He has spent nine years with the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and ran its investment fund for three years. Sapp was a trustee at Stanford University for five years and the chair of its land, building and development fund.

Sapp was recently appointed to the RSF Association’s finance committee and also served on the governance committee.

“In my view we have an opportunity to get someone who can work with us on multiple levels,” Finkelson said, noting he will be able to help out with Association financials and with the fiber-optic project. “He will be a great asset to this board in moving us forward.”

RSF Association President Fred Wasserman said a total of five members submitted their names for the open seat — all were interviewed by the board and one withdrew. Finkelson said they did not wish to name the other candidates who were not discussed.

Director Mike Licosati spoke in favor of Leheny, whose family was one of the first he met when he moved to Rancho Santa Fe 14 years ago. He said Leheny was the only one who ran in the last election and was a highly qualified candidate.

Licosati said while Sapp has had a distinguished career, he didn’t represent the diversity that they need on the board.

“Thirty-two percent of the community are families with children in the home, they are the most under-represented segment in this community,” Licosati said. “Rachel Leheny is the only one who represents that vastly under-represented class.”

Licosati said that he fears that the board will become insular if it selected someone who represented the same interests as the rest of the board. Licosati also noted that in 15 years he thinks there has been only one year where only one woman is on the board. “I think it would be a mistake if we did not have another woman on the board,” Licosati said.

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