Congratulations to SBCS President and CEO Kathie Lembo for being recognized by the San Diego Business Journal as one of the region’s most influential leaders who have made a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SD 50 honors executives who have made a positive impact during the public health crisis by leading their organizations to adapt quickly to the changing environment and rising to the occasion to help the community.
Kathie led the SBCS team in taking immediate action to support San Diegans hardest hit by COVID-19. Together with community partners, SBCS has distributed healthy food to more than 60,000 in need and provided housing assistance, distance learning support, mental health and violence prevention services to thousands more since the start of the pandemic.
Leadership is creating the conditions for others to accomplish great things in the face of uncertainty. – Kathie Lembo.
Kathie has served as President and CEO of SBCS since 1982. She is known and respected for her willingness to forge innovative alliances among multi-sector partners to serve the most vulnerable in our communities. She has spearheaded many lasting initiatives and received numerous awards for her work in the non-profit sector.
Day job: Kathie implements the policies of SBCS’ Board of Directors and is responsible for overall administration of the agency, which includes managing a $40M budget, networking and fundraising with the community, advocating for youth and family issues at the City, County, State, and Federal levels, and building County-wide collaborations. She has direct oversight of SBCS’ Management Team which oversees over 50 different programs that provide supportive services to children, youth and families throughout San Diego.
Making a Difference: Ms. Lembo has led SBCS in providing emergency COVID response in the South Bay: securing hotel rooms to temporarily house families and transition-age youth affected by the virus; collaborating with the City of Chula Vista on the innovative use of RVs to house the homeless; providing emergency food for over 10,000 families per month; and working closely with the Alpha Project on outreach in the South Region.
Notable: SBCS began in 1971 as a tiny drop-center for drug-abusing teens, and under Ms. Lembo’s leadership has grown into one of the largest social service and community development agencies in the County, and touches the lives of 50,000 people every year.