More than 40 years ago Gregory Pensa was a student at Allan Hancock College; on December 14 he was sworn in as the newest member of the college’s board of trustees.

“It’s certainly an honor and a privilege to have come full-circle from a student to the board of trustees,” Pensa said.  “Moving forward, my goal is to keep Allan Hancock College front and center in the Santa Ynez Valley.”

Pensa was elected to the board in November 2010 for a four-year term representing Area 5, which includes the Santa Ynez Valley and northern Lompoc Valley.  He replaces Carol Anders, who stepped down after serving 12 years.  A long-time resident of the Santa Ynez Valley, Pensa first attended Allan Hancock College in 1969 and was a member of the Bulldog baseball team.

Since graduating from Hancock with a degree in business management and receiving his bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University, Pensa has become a successful businessman.  He owned and operated three gas stations in the Santa Ynez Valley from 1976-2008 and is a past president of the Buellton Business Association.

An advocate for education, Pensa was a trustee for the Solvang School District from 1988-1998 and served as a member of the Allan Hancock College Foundation Board of Directors from 2001-2010.  He is the current president of The Valley Foundation and a board member for the Solvang Friendship House and has been the radio voice of the Santa Ynez Valley High School football team since 1983 and a Rotarian for more than 30 years. Pensa is currently the Economic Development/Asset Development Manager for Chumash Casino.

Pensa said his time with the foundation prepared him to serve on the board of trustees and he considers himself lucky to be involved with Allan Hancock College during a period of growth and change, including the new construction on campus and the implementation of Measure I.

“These are exciting times at Allan Hancock College and I look forward to serving the college and its students to the best of my abilities,” Pensa said.

Also at the meeting, the board elected Bernard “BJ” Jones as president and Larry Lahr as vice president.  Upon welcoming Pensa to the board, Jones quipped, “you have some big heels to fill (referring to Anders).  We will do everything we can to help make you successful.”

The board meets