10 Questions for Christy Wilson, Executive Director of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation


Christy Wilson grew up in Rancho Santa Fe, attending the local school and The Bishop’s School for six years. Upon graduation, she attended the University of California, Davis, graduating with a degree in child development.

After spending three years working and traveling in France, she returned to the Ranch and worked at a small retail shop, The Two Goats. Wilson eventually bought the shop and ran the business until 1994.

Wilson has been the executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation since 1997, leading the board of directors in furtherance of the mission to promote effective philanthropy in the San Diego region and around the world.

She has been married to her husband, Jeff, for nearly 23 years. The couple has two children, Emily and Jeff.

What brought you to Rancho Santa Fe?

I came to Rancho Santa Fe in 1949. My father had been medically discharged from the Marine Corps in 1944 and sent to Balboa Hospital and ultimately to the Burnham home in Rancho Santa Fe to recuperate before being sent back to his home in West Virginia. He loved the Ranch so much that he vowed to return, which he did after marrying my mother.

What makes the Ranch special to you?

Rancho Santa Fe has been my home for nearly 60 years. I love the rural atmosphere, the village center and above all the people who live and work here.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in Rancho Santa Fe?

For many years, traffic has been one of the greatest issues of concern to our community. I would snap my fingers and have the commuter traffic and large trucks bypass the Ranch.

Who or what inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by the people I know and work with; people who are intelligent, passionate and deliberate in their lives and actions.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa, my own mother, Ronald Reagan, John and Abigail Adams, Margaret Thatcher and Ruth Jenkins (former Headmistress of The Bishop’s School).

What are you currently reading?

“The Other Boleyn Girl” and “Who Really Cares.”

What is your most prized possession?

Family photos - past and current generations.

What do you do for fun?

I love my garden, traveling and any time with family and friends.


hat is your greatest accomplishment?

My children, Emily and Jeff.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

This is on my desk:

Take time to think - it is the source of power

Take time to pray – it is the greatest power on earth

Take time to laugh – it is the music of the soul

Take time to play – it is the secret of perpetual youth

Take time to love and be loved – it is God’s given privilege

Take time to give – it is too short a day to be selfish

Take time to read – it is the fountain of wisdom

Take time to be friendly – it is the road to happiness

Take time to work – it is the price of success

Take time to do charity – it is the key to heaven