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New Board Leadership Guides Prebys Foundation as Strategic Initiatives Unfold

New board leadership guides the foundation

The Prebys Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of Dan Yates as its new board chair. Yates succeeds Tony Cortes, who was one of the foundation’s original board members and served as its chair for most of his tenure before rotating off the board this month.

Yates, who is the chief executive officer and founder of Endeavor Bank, has served on the Prebys board for almost four years. He assumes the role as chair after two years as the board’s executive vice chair. Named one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Board Leaders of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal in 2023 and recognized as one of the 500 most influential individuals in the region in 2022, Yates was also the founder and CEO of Regents Bank, which grew to over $620 million in assets in just twelve years.

Grant Oliphant, CEO and board member of the Prebys Foundation said, "Dan brings to this role a wealth of experience, a deep commitment to our mission, and extraordinary leadership skills. As we continue our evolution into an institution that will be here to serve San Diego for the long haul, Dan is the ideal chair to guide us and help advance our focus on work that aligns with the enduring values and needs of our many communities.”

Alan Sorkin, board member and chair of the Prebys Foundation’s Governance & Nominating Committee, said, “Dan’s understanding of finance and governance, his extensive regional connections, and his dedication to the success of businesses and nonprofits in our region make him an invaluable asset to this foundation. Our entire board looks forward to his tenure as chair and his skilled leadership on behalf of San Diego.”

In response to his appointment, Dan Yates expressed enthusiasm, saying, "I'm thrilled to continue my service on the Prebys board in this new role, alongside a set of board members who share my passion for the mission. With a strong CEO and professional staff in place, we are positioned to make a sustained impact in our community, launch innovative investments, and further solidify our role as a thoughtful and strategic community partner."

Joining Yates in board leadership roles, Alan Sorkin will now serve as the foundation’s executive vice chair, Peter Ellsworth will continue in his role as treasurer, and Irma Cota will assume the role of board secretary. The board is further enriched by the dedicated service of Paula A. Cordeiro, Constance Carroll, Mary Walshok, Victoria Hamilton, and CEO Oliphant.

In succeeding Tony Cortes as chair, Yates paid tribute to his predecessor. "Tony helped steer this foundation through its critical early stages. We are immensely grateful for his unwavering dedication and service. He led with great heart, and he was a powerful advocate for preparing youth to succeed across a wide range of opportunities in today’s workforce."

Earlier this year, the Prebys foundation introduced a new strategic plan which focuses on purpose, opportunity, and belonging within four program areas consistent with the founder’s giving: Visual and Performing Arts, Healthcare, Medical Research, and Youth Success. So far this year, the foundation has announced:


For further information, please contact:

Crystal Page

Director of Communications

The Conrad Prebys Foundation is the largest independent private foundation in San Diego County and works to create an inclusive, equitable, and dynamic future for all San Diegans. The Foundation advances excellence and shared opportunity through investments in groundbreaking institutions, ideas, and people to ensure more San Diegans are financially secure, healthy, empowered, and connected. The foundation invests in four program areas: visual and performing arts, medical research, healthcare, and youth success, and pays attention to the impact of its work on climate, the region’s character as a border region, and a robust democracy. For more information, visit

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