Karen DiCarlo, Executive Director
Helping children in poverty has always been Karen’s passion. She began volunteering at Santa Claus, Inc. in 1986 and was hired as the organization’s first Executive Director in 2012. Managing the operations of the organization and the organization’s dedicated volunteers is truly a “labor of love” for her.
Under Karen’s leadership Santa Claus, Inc. has grown more than 800% to provide essential needs for over 150,000 children year-round through its Yes! program. She has built strong collaborative partnerships between Santa Claus, Inc. and several national and international corporations including FedEx, Bank of America, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Amazon, Toyota, BNSF Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, Stater Bros. Charities, The Jack H. Brown Family Foundation, Good 360, In & Out Burger, SCE, Delivering Good, United Way of Inland Valleys, The Community Foundation of SB and Riverside Counties and others. As a result of these relationships essential funding and millions of dollars of in kind donations are received at the Santa Claus, Inc. warehouse each year allowing the distribution of essential needs to enhance the lives of children in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
Karen was awarded with the 2018 “Hero of the Heartland Award” by Stater Bros. Charities. the Sun Newspaper’s “Outstanding Citizen Award” presented to four SB County leaders at the Sun Newspaper’s 100th anniversary celebration, and the very competitive 2016 “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” at the CSUSB “Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards.” She was most recently named the 2018 “Woman of the Year” for the 21st Congressional District by California Senator, Connie Leyva.
Married to Don, she is the proud mom of three children and 10 grandchildren.