Central Coast native joins the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast as new CEO

After being away for more than 10 years, Maria Fabula made her way back home to the Central Coast by joining the local Boys and Girls Club team as its new chief executive officer. 

click to enlarge Central Coast native joins the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast as new CEO
Photo courtesy of Boys and Girls Club of Mid Central Coast
SLOCAL: Maria Fabula recently became the CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast, where she hopes to continue meeting youth needs throughout the Central Coast and ensure its financial sustainability.

“There’s nowhere quite similar in the world to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. We’ve always been drawn to this area,” Fabula told the Sun. “As I was reflecting on my career path and my journey, I’ve been very proud of the work I’ve done in building up the nonprofit sector, but I really wanted to spend my career on a particular issue.” 

Founded in 1966, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast have been helping kids from kindergarten through high school prepare for their futures with after-school tutoring, mentorship programs, and sports leagues. The branch has sites scattered across the Central Coast, from Santa Maria all the way to Shandon. 

“I was the recipient of many resources when I was young that were very meaningful, and I think they changed the trajectory of my life—whether that was through teachers, coaches, or parents,” Fabula said. “And so I really wanted to focus this next phase of my career on building that, leveraging my experiences to ensure that other young people have the same support.” 

Fabula grew up in San Luis Obispo, attended local schools, and moved to San Diego to receive a degree in political science from UC San Diego. She returned to the Central Coast to work for the Nonprofit Support Center, an organization that provided resources to nonprofits in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. 

She and her husband raised their three children in Nipomo, where Fabula said she was heavily involved in their schooling and activities and volunteered as a Nipomo Recreation Association board member for several years to make sure young people had access to resources, sports, and other after-school programming. 

“My husband and I had a really great opportunity to relocate in 2010 to Colorado where we lived from 2010 to just this past year,” she said. “During that time, I was at an organization called the Community Resource Center where I started as the director of programs and moved to the president and CEO role in 2013, and that’s where I remained up until December this past year.” 

Similar to her previous role, the Community Resource Center helps build the capacity of the nonprofit sector by offering training, resources, and connections to philanthropic or other organizations, Fabula said. 

“I’ve had a long history of working and building up the nonprofit sector. I very much believe passionately that the nonprofit sector is what makes our communities thrive, whether it’s organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, health clinics, museums, schools, nonprofits are really the lifeblood of any community,” she said. 

In her third day on the job when she spoke to the Sun, Fabula said that she hopes to make her first two months in the role all about listening and learning from fellow employees and residents to understand what communities, sites, and students need. 

“These young people are our future, and we want to make sure they have what they need to be successful, thriving adults who will be the leaders in the future. Investing in them is really my goal,” she said. “I am really looking to, as a leader, leverage those opportunities and continue to build community partnerships … not only organizations that provide youth services and empower youth, but other organizations as well that really see the value that we have a strong youth community.” 

She’s also looking to secure the organization’s long-term financial sustainability—something that isn’t always easy for any nonprofit, Fabula added. 

“I’m really looking forward to reengaging after being gone for almost 15 years with other nonprofit leaders, community members, the business community, and government partners to hear what [the needs are] and how the Boys and Girls Club can meet those needs,” she said. 


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Reach Staff Writer Taylor O’Connor at [email protected].

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