Robert's Bio

Robert Santana


 Robert is CEO of one of the most innovative Boys & Girls Clubs in the United States. Robert is known for being a bold and strategic thinker while applying his passion for creating positive change in communities. 

 Professional Experience

 As a social entrepreneur and mission-driven leader, Robert believes that being a nonprofit is a tax status, not a business strategy. Robert’s approach to transforming his organization through this mantra has led him to benchmark against best practices from all industries. Robert’s passion to impact the lives of youth led him to the Boys & Girls Club, where for the last 11 years he has spent transforming his organization, innovating in his industry, and challenging the status quo. In June of 2016, Robert led the successful merger with another Club to introduce the newly formed Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast serving the youth of Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, & Orange.

Robert started at the Boys & Girls Club as a volunteer mentor after a career in Law Enforcement and quickly saw the potential for what the Club could become.  Under Robert’s leadership, the Club has expanded from a single site with 12 staff and 130 kids to almost 120 staff serving over 7,000 children annually. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast now serve youth ages 6-12 at 50 sites and teens ages 13-18 at 14 sites.

In addition to the expansion of sites and staff, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast has also introduced innovative programming such as their Impact Model, Family Strengthening Initiative, Early Literacy Intervention, College Bound, and most recently a coding and robotics initiative. Robert’s message to the staff and Board is that he doesn’t just want Club Members to be college and career-ready, he wants all Club Members to be global-ready.


Key Awards & Recognition

Roberto Clemente Seat 21 Award - Angels Baseball

Nonprofit Person of the Year- Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce

Judith Swayne Leadership Award- Orange County Community Foundation

Neighborhood Builder Award-  Bank of America Foundation

Leadership Circle Award- PIMCO Foundation

Person of the Year- OC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

OC Hot 25 (Most Influential Leaders)- OC Metro

Community Pillar Award- Assemblyman Jose Solorio 69th District


Education & Certificates

MBA with emphasis on Organizational Leadership- National University

BS degree in Child & Adolescent Development- California State University of Fullerton

AA degree in Justice Administration- Hawaii Pacific University

BGCA Leadership Summit- Harvard Business School

MAP (Management Action Program) -MAP Management Consulting


Impact Beyond the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast

Robert serves as a formal advisor to the CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and is helping develop long-term strategy for the over 4,000 Clubs across the United States

 Robert serves through Vistage Worldwide as a formal advisor to 16 for profit companies based in Orange County

 Robert serves as an advisor, coach, & mentor to various leaders from nonprofit and for profit industries supporting key projects such as strategic planning, organizational development, management systems, executive hiring, & change management

Robert maintains an active network and sphere of influence that is diverse and includes leaders of small business, large corporations, nonprofit, education, elected officials, and philanthropic community

Robert is passionate about thought leadership, design thinking, strategic planning, developing business strategy, culture, public speaking, and mentoring


Success is never is rented...and rent is due every day!