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Board Biographies

Dan Yates, Board Chair


Over his four decades in the banking industry, Dan Yates has founded two banks – Regents Bank, which grew to over $620 million in assets in twelve years, and Endeavor Bank. In addition to creating banks from the ground up, Dan has sold, acquired, and merged banks, raised capital for banks, and, as a consultant and CEO, he has turned around banks. Prior to co-founding Endeavor Bank, Dan served as President and CEO of Neighborhood National Bank in San Diego, a community development bank focused on low- to moderate-income communities.


Dan is Chairman of the Conrad Prebys Foundation board and serves on the California Community Banking Network and American Bankers Association Community Bankers Council boards.  He previously served on the board of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and National Technical Solutions (formerly NASDAQ: NTS), as well as numerous nonprofit boards, including the Boys & Girls Club of San Diego, the San Diego Opera, New Village Arts, the San Diego Police Officers Foundation, Western Bankers Association, and many others.  He earned a Finance degree from San Diego State University, is a native San Diegan, and an enthusiastic promoter of America’s Finest City.

Alan Sorkin, Executive Vice Chair

Alan Sorkin has a rich, varied career as founder and CEO of several real estate, construction, development, and food service companies in Chicago, Atlanta, and San Diego as well as deep experience leading or serving nonprofit organizations.  


Alan is a mentor-coach with Vistage Worldwide, where he has provided strategic advice to over fifty small businesses. Alan also manages diversified real estate portfolios in Chicago and San Diego and is an active investor in real estate limited partnerships.


In addition to serving on the Prebys Foundation board of directors, Alan has extensive nonprofit leadership experience. He volunteers his time to mentor and coach non-profit executive directors who wish to become better leaders, make better decisions, and get better results. He is a former Advisory Board Member of CRC Health division, the nation's largest Behavioral Health Treatment Company and has served as president of a global network of thousands of civic and philanthropic leaders and social entrepreneurs in 40 cities and 8 countries. He was a founding partner and the Volunteer CEO of San Diego Social Venture Partners, which works to  change the way nonprofits and our philanthropic community do business. He also led the San Diego-Tijuana Bi-National Coalition, which is committed to reducing substance abuse in the San Diego-Tijuana region.  He was a founding board member of ReMend, an organization that provides no cost mentoring, encouragement, and guidance to those with kidney disease and their families and which encourages living transplant donors.  He is a former board member and advisory board member of San Diego Grantmakers, an organization that connects, educates, and inspires funders to be more effective individually and collectively; as well as an advisory board member of Just in Time for Foster Youth, which helps to transition foster youth to become confident, capable, and connected.


Alan is the winner of the Social Venture Partners International Leadership Award; Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America National Leadership Award; Volunteer of the Year for San Diego North County Philanthropy Council and San Diego Channel 10; and the Center for Wealth & Legacy™ Inspiration Award.  The organizations he has led have received National Philanthropy Day Philanthropic Organization of the Year Award, Women’s International Center’s Living Legacy Award, The San Diego Crime Commission and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Community Service Awards.


Irma Cota, Secretary


Irma Cota is a former Chief Executive Officer at North County Health Services, a large Federally Qualified Health Center system of comprehensive integrated clinical and social services; currently operating as TrueCare Health Services, serving North and Northeast San Diego County as well as Riverside County. Irma has lived in San Diego since 1974 when she transferred from Imperial Valley College to San Diego State University. Irma has over four decades of experience in healthcare administration in the public and private settings. She has experience in fiscal management, executive leadership, practice acquisitions and real estate development in the primary care field.

In addition to holding a master’s in public health from San Diego State University, she holds executive administrative certificates from Johns Hopkin, UCLA Anderson, UCSD and Harvard Business School in nonprofit management.

Irma retired from leading NCHS – an organization with eight hundred staff members and fourteen sites. She oversaw an expanding network of clinics and an $80 million annual budget in 2018. However, Irma did not retire from community service. Of special interest to her are education, access to quality primary care, and mental health.

Irma has held leadership positions as the Chair and/or Executive Committee member of various Boards, including Alliance Healthcare Foundation, California Primary Care Association, National Cooperative Bank, and Health Center Partners of Southern California and its Clinical Integration Network.

In the academic field, Irma serves on the advisory boards of San Diego State University School of Public Health and the Keck Graduate Institute Claremont Colleges Board of Governors for Health Programs. She served for over eight years with the California State University San Marcos’s Presidents Council.

She also serves as an advisor for the Behavioral Health Program at the Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and as a Board member for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. In the philanthropic field Irma serves on the Boards of the California Wellness Foundation and the Conrad Prebys Foundation.

Irma has received many recognition awards for her services and impact, including the Women Who Mean Business and the Healthcare Heroes Lifetime Achievement awards from the San Diego Business Journal, as well as the KPBS Union Bank Local Hero of the Year, San Diego State University’s Cesar E. Chavez Lifetime Service Award, and National Association of Community Health Center’s Outstanding Achievement Award.

Peter Ellsworth, Treasurer


Peter Ellsworth is a noted San Diego attorney, business executive, and civic leader.


He served as president of the law firm Ellsworth, Corbett, Seitman and Mc Leod before joining Sharp Health Care as its president and CEO, where he dramatically expanded the organization into a $1 billion medical group of seven hospitals and two medical groups that cared for one third of San Diegans and became the largest private employer in the city.


In 1996 he joined the Legler Benbough Foundation as President and CEO until it was dissolved in 2020 when granting of all of the Foundation assets was completed. In 2021, he joined the Board of the Conrad Prebys Foundation where he serves as Treasurer.    


Over the years, Peter served as President and as a board member of numerous local and national organization, including the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Opera, San Diego Blood Bank, Childrens Dental Health Association, Combined Organization for the Arts (COMBO),The Neurosciences Institute, and the National Committee on primary care of the National Institute of Health in Washington DC.


In addition to the Prebys board of directors, Peter serves on the board of the Burnham Center for Community Advancement, and on the advisory board of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur at UCSD. In 2011, Peter was named Mr. San Diego by San Diego Rotary Club 33.   


Peter and his wife of 68 years Doris have two children and six grandchildren.    

Paula A. Cordeiro, Director


Paula A. Cordeiro is the Dammeyer Distinguished Professor of Global Leadership and Education in the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego (USD) where she teaches social entrepreneurship and impact evaluation. From 1998-2015 she served as dean of the School of Leadership & Education Sciences (SOLES) at USD and subsequently worked with international NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa, and Central/South America. From 2015-2019 Professor Cordeiro was the VP of Education for Edify, a micro-lending social enterprise that provides training and financial services to low-fee private schools in thirteen countries.

Prior to becoming a professor Dr. Cordeiro was a teacher, principal, and school director in international schools in Venezuela and Spain. In addition to the Conrad Prebys Foundation, Paula currently serves on the boards of the Burnham Center for Community Advancement and Building Engineering and Science Talent (Washington DC). Her past board service includes: the James Irvine Foundation, the New Bedford (MA) Whaling Museum, San Diego’s Midway Museum, the San Diego Council on Literacy, the Davis College Foundation Board (Rwanda), the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, the University Council for Education Administration, and the Community Technical Assistance Center (Boston). Paula is the author of three books and her most recent publication (2021) is in the Journal of Leadership in Education - Responses to COVID-19 From Non-State School Leaders in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and India: A Call for Educational Equity.

Paula curates and occasionally writes blogs on social innovation, ‘business for good’ models, philanthropy and school leadership at

Dr. Constance Carroll, Director


Dr. Constance Carroll serves as President and CEO of the California Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCCBA), a nonprofit organization which she founded in 2021 with the mission of providing assistance and expanding opportunities for the state’s 116 community colleges to offer four-year degrees in selected workforce fields that now require a bachelor’s degree.


Prior to this role, Constance Carroll served as Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District from 2004 to 2021, making her the longest serving chancellor in the district’s history.  In addition, Constance Carroll served in presidential roles at San

Diego Mesa College, Saddleback College (South Orange County Community College District), and Indian Valley Colleges (Marin Community College District). Dr. Carroll was also Director of Freshman Academic Advising at the University of Pittsburgh and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern Maine.

Constance Carroll received a B.A. in humanities from Duquesne University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Classics (Ancient Greek and Latin). She earned a Certificate of Proficiency in Hellenic Studies at Knubly University in Athens, Greece, and also attended the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management. 


Currently, Dr. Carroll serves on the National Council on the Humanities, which is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, having been nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2011. In 2023, Dr.

Carroll was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve on the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.  She is also currently a member of the boards of the national Community College Baccalaureate Association, the College Promise National Advisory Board, the Community College Humanities Association, and the San Diego Regional Policy and Innovation Center, and the Conrad Prebys Foundation. Her past board service includes the University of San Diego, the San Diego Foundation, the San Diego Opera, the WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the San Diego Museum of Us, the League for Innovation, and others.  She is a member of San Diego Rotary, Club 33, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  Dr. Carroll has received numerous honors and is a popular speaker and author.

Victoria Hamilton, Director


Victoria Hamilton’s expertise in government, grantmaking, strategic planning and non-profit management spans over 45 years in the field of the visual and performing arts. She is the founding Director of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, President of California Arts Advocates, past President of Californians for the Arts, and Chair-Elect of Forever Balboa Park. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Americans for the Arts and United States Urban Arts Federation.

Dr. Mary Walkshok, Director


Dr. Mary Walshok has authored more than 100 articles, reports, and book chapters on regional innovation, workforce development, and the role of research institutions in regional economies. She led continuing education and public programs arm of UC San Diego from 1981 to 2021. As Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs, Dr. Walshok continued to play an active role in helping the university expand its local impact, national reputation, and global reach.

Grant Oliphant, Director


Grant Oliphant is CEO of The Conrad Prebys Foundation, a major independent foundation working to strengthen San Diego’s future through a focus on impact in the arts, medical research and healthcare, youth development, and higher education.


Previously, Grant was president of The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, one of the nation’s largest regional philanthropies, where he focused the foundation’s giving on sustainability, creativity, and learning. He also launched major initiatives to support democracy, public media, and racial and social equity, and worked with his board to bring the foundation’s investments into alignment with its social and climate change priorities. Read Grant's full bio here.

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