Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County announced Tuesday that its board of directors has chosen Lorie Zapf as the organization’s next President and CEO.
Zapf brings more than 30 years of leadership experience from the private, non-profit and public sectors. Her diverse career began as a broadcast journalist in radio and television and includes management and executive level positions in public relations and media, non-profit work, founding and operating a successful natural food company that she helped grow to national distribution, and most recently as a two-term city councilmember.
Bill Brennan, chair of the BBBS Board of Directors, said, “After an extensive search process, we are delighted that Lorie Zapf has agreed to become the next CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Lorie has a compelling personal story that aligns with our organization, and her years of civic engagement and record of leadership in San Diego will help Big Brothers Big Sisters serve even more youth in need of a one-to-one mentor.”
As a former foster youth whose mother suffered from mental illness and alcoholism, Zapf has spent her adult life volunteering for organizations that help vulnerable youth. As a councilmember, she increased awareness and resources for mental health, foster youth, juvenile sex trafficking, and early childhood literacy. She has been recognized by a number of local non-profit organizations for her outreach and advocacy.
“My siblings and I were raised primarily by a single dad before being separated and placed in foster homes,” Zapf said. “Because of my personal experience, I’ve been a strong supporter and volunteer for more resources for prevention services. Big Brothers Big Sisters is the non-profit in San Diego that does just that! Its youth development programs help keep kids in school, away from drugs and alcohol and on the right path toward a successful future. I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead this wonderful team of caring, committed individuals and to help bring additional resources to serve even more ‘Littles.’”
Lorie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Cal State Northridge and her Master’s Degree in Applied Communications from the University of Denver. Zapf and her husband Eric live in Clairemont, where they raised their two daughters, now 18 and 20 years old.
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