The Turner Foundation has announced that Dean Wilson has been named president and CEO of the local nonprofit.
Mr. Wilson’s appointment comes on the heels of a 10-month search process conducted by the foundation’s board of directors. The Turner Foundation provides housing and programs for youth, families, seniors, those with special needs, and low-income residents, according to officials.
“We are very excited about the future of The Turner Foundation with Dean at the helm,” board member Bryan Westerfeld said in a statement. “He is a gifted leader and communicator, and his passion for service, commitment to the foundation’s core mission, and knowledge and appreciation for the foundation’s legacy make him uniquely suited to lead the foundation going forward.”
Mr. Wilson will be taking over for the nonprofit’s former executive director, the Reverend Dr. Jonathan Wilson, who served the Santa Barbara and Riverside areas since 1987. Under Dr. Wilson’s direction, the foundation expanded to two communities and broadened its scope to programs beyond housing. The foundation launched a scholarship fund in 2019 for low-income youth, which was named in honor of Patty and Jon Wilson.
“We are immensely grateful for Dr. Jon Wilson’s decades of service to The Turner Foundation,” board member Curtis Yates said in a statement. “He and his wife, Patty, have given their lives to improving the lives of others. The Turner Foundation has grown in every way under Dr. Wilson’s leadership — and has impacted the lives of thousands of people.”
Dean Wilson served at the Turner Foundation in various roles from 2001 to 2009. He helped launch the low-income housing community programs known as The Village. He also founded the Good Life Television network as a foundation program.
“This is the single-greatest moment in my career,” he said in a statement. “I am so grateful. When I got the news that I was selected to be the new leader of The Turner Foundation, I experienced a mix of profound joy and tremendous energy to dream. There is so much we can do, together, to improve the lives of other people. The scripture says ‘those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.’ I am humbled by the trust I have been given and will make it my mission to prove faithful.”
Dean Wilson brings a strong background in finance to the foundation, having worked at Wall Street firms Morgan Stanley and Wachovia. He and his family relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth area from 2009 to 2018 where he launched “Behind Every Door,” which helped transform some of the most difficult areas of Dallas, Texas.
He also served in a developmental role at Mission India, as well as executive director of Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s in communication studies from Westmont College. He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Susan, and their five children.