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Kara joined Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) in 2017 and has been instrumental in revitalizing fundraising opportunities for the organization. As the Director of Development, Kara oversees revenue streams for SDRI. Prior to this role, Kara managed signature events for SDRI including the 75th Anniversary Gala and the Dinner with the Winemakers series.

Kara is truly passionate about improving the lives of those living with diabetes as she has lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) since the age of 6. Her son Lucas was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 2 and in December of 2022, her daughter Kamyrn was also diagnosed with T1D. After Lucas’s diagnosis, Kara was inspired to switch gears, ending her 12-year career in school counseling to prioritize making a positive difference for those who also live with diabetes.

She has participated in several leadership programs, including a seminar through Harvard University and Leading from Within’s 10-month “Emerging Leaders” program, which develops the next generation of nonprofit and social sector leaders in Santa Barbara County.

Kara earned her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and her master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Cal Lutheran University.

Kara enjoys living in Santa Barbara and spending time with her husband Jeff and their two children, Lucas and Kamryn.