Our Purpose


Our Mission

Our Work

The Blue Sky Center is a rural impact center with the mission to regenerate the economy, land, and communities of the Cuyama Valley through equitable partnerships and to share scalable models with other communities. 

Our Vision

We envision a world with financial, social, and environmental equity. If you share our vision, learn how you can support us with your time, talents or treasure.

Visit our projects page for detailed information on the initiatives, projects, and partnerships we are working on in 2017-2018. Follow us to the desert below.




 In 2012 Gene and Gail Zannon and the Zannon family determined that instead of continuing on their foundation’s work in perpetuity they would spend the foundation down into a legacy impact investment. 

Gene understood private foundations traditionally do not fund capital improvements but saw a large need for non-profits, social businesses, and academic institutions to share space, align, and collaborate towards solutions on one of the most vexing and interconnected issues - climate change.

Gene also understood that across the United States, rural communities were being left behind and hollowed out and recognized that rural community development must exist in concert with action on climate change.

Today the Center has narrowed it's focus but remains under development and is continually adapting and evolving.

Read the full impact report from 2013-16


Core Team

Philip Jankoski, Executive Director

Em Johnson, Development Director

Matthew Simeone, AmeriCorps VISTA, Rural Community Designer

Julia Warner, AmeriCorps VISTA, Rural Community Designer

Elise Dixon, AmeriCorps VISTA, Food Action Coordinator

Ryan Flanagan, AmeriCorps VISTA, Development Coordinator

Chris Budny, Facilities Manager

Board of Directors / Top Circle

Chris Cohen, Attorney - Sustainable Law Group

Dr. Paul Chounet, Superintendent - Cuyama Joint Unified School District

Eric Junker, Artist/Designer/Entrepreneur 

Cecelia Sullivan, CFO, Bpost International

Advisory Circle

Gene Zannon, Founder- Blue Sky Center & Owner, Santa Barbara Pistachio Co.

Gail Zannon, Owner- Santa Barbara Pistachio Co.

Marsha Bailey, Founder & Executive Director - Women's Economic Ventures

Arnott Duncan, Owner- Duncan Family Farms

Kathleen Duncan, Owner- Duncan Family Farms

Kyle Ashby, Entreprenuer, Start Up SB / Founder of SandBox Santa Barbara

Lee Moldaver, Board VP, Audoubon Society-Santa Barbara



Our Governance Model

Our governance structure is critical to achieving our mission, vision and aims. We employ a holistic governance model called sociocracy or dynamic governance. This system relies on three main principles: consent based decision making, double linking, and circle processes.

A dynamically governed organization is governed not just from the top down but bottom-up and includes semi-autonomous, self-organizing circles. Each circle has specific aims that work to achieve the organization's mission and each circles make decisions based on consent, allowing the organization to be nimble and dynamically steer itself over time.

Learn more about dynamic governance


Disclosures & Resources

Read our By-Laws

Read our Articles of Incorporation

Access our 990 filings

Access our Impact Report: 2013-2016

Read our IRS determination letter for 501c3 status