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SF Heritage Welcomes Woody LaBounty as President & CEO

The Board of Directors of San Francisco Heritage (“Heritage”) is pleased to welcome Stephen “Woody” LaBounty as the organization’s new President and CEO. As a longtime leader within the San Francisco history community, Woody is well-known to Heritage and its members having previously served as Vice President of Advocacy and Programs and Interim President and CEO. Over the course of his career in San Francisco, Woody has distinguished himself as an engaging speaker, writer, historian, and nonprofit leader.

In 2019 Woody was hired to serve as Heritage’s first Vice President of Advocacy and Programs, a newly created position. He created the community-focused program, Heritage in the Neighborhoods, to better represent and engage all of San Francisco in the organization’s mission-driven work. Woody later served as Interim President and CEO upon the departure of Mike Buhler in December 2020 and prior to the arrival of Karalyn Monteil in January 2022. Through Covid challenges and a leadership transition, Woody kept the organization on course, while enthusiastically heading up the organization’s 50th anniversary year celebrations.

Working with colleagues, Woody led initiatives to re-center and prioritize Heritage’s work on racial and social equity by developing a meaningful DEI policy, initiating Heritage’s “Equity Report Card” for accountability, and re-vamping the website content and design to convey these values.

“Woody’s intimate knowledge of and commitment to San Francisco’s architectural and cultural heritage uniquely position him to take the helm and lead Heritage into this next chapter. His enthusiasm for our mission and deft hand at team building during his role as Interim CEO and President are proven. We are thrilled Woody has agreed to re-join Heritage.” Elisa Skaggs, Vice-Chair Board of Directors

Apart from Woody’s involvement with Heritage, his most influential contributions to the City of San Francisco, his hometown, include: co-founding and running the Western Neighborhoods Project (WNP) from 2000–2017; establishing OpenSFHistory (opensfhistory.org), an innovative project to make more than 50,000 historical images of San Francisco publicly accessible online; conceiving and co-producing the popular, annual San Francisco History Days at the Old Mint from 2010–2019; and, extensively researching and promoting the history and present-day relevance of San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake cottages. In 2007 Woody received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for serving as the project director for the 1906 Earthquake Refugee Cottages initiative.

Woody has authored several books and produces a weekly local history newsletter San Francisco Story.

“I am delighted and honored to be back at San Francisco Heritage,” said LaBounty. “I look forward to working again with the dedicated board, staff, volunteers, and San Franciscans from Sea Cliff to Visitacion Valley, North Point to Parkmerced. For more than 50 years, this important organization has preserved and celebrated what makes San Francisco the greatest city in the world. The Heritage mission is my heart.”

You can reach Woody at wlabounty@sfheritage.org.

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