New Board Members Join The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA –  The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is proud to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors, Thomas J. Sherman and Shelly Higginbotham. Both Sherman, a seasoned community banking executive and commercial lender, and Higginbotham, a multifaceted leader with experience across diverse community sectors, have joined the Board as the foundation unveils its ambitious five-year strategic plan.

“We are honored these deeply knowledgeable and respected individuals have committed to joining the Foundation’s board,” says Heidi McPherson, CEO of The Community Foundation. “Their wealth of experience and insight will support our mission to inspire philanthropy and serves as a catalyst and connector for community impact.”

About CFSLOCO’s New Board Members:
Thomas J. Sherman

Thomas Sherman rejoins the Board of Directors, bringing his valuable expertise back to The Community Foundation after previously serving from 2014 to 2019. Now retired after nearly three years as Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund, Sherman previously served as a community banking executive and commercial lender in San Luis Obispo County for a combined 43 years.

During his banking career, Sherman was associated with some notable local community banks including Mid-State Bank, First Bank of San Luis Obispo, Coast National Bank, Founders Community Bank, and Premier Valley Bank.

Over the years, Sherman has devoted his personal time to enriching the lives of those in our community by serving in both Board and Committee leadership positions with several non-profit organizations throughout San Luis Obispo County. Those non-profit organizations have included the Women’s Shelter program, the Women’s Shelter Endowment Trust, the Friendship School Handicapped Adult program, the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, Wilshire Health and Community Services, and The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County.

Sherman is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, the California Bankers Association Intermediate Banking School at the University of San Diego, and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware.

Shelly Higginbotham

Shelly Higginbotham brings an extensive and diverse background in community service and leadership roles. Her deep-seated dedication to the foundation is evident through years of volunteer service encompassing grants and donor engagement committees as well as the Women’s Legacy Fund, a fund held at The Community Foundation.

Shelly has been an integral part of the San Luis Obispo Child Development Center, is the Former Board President and member of the 5 Cities Homeless Coalition, and is actively engaged with the League of Women Voters of SLO. She has briefly served as a board member for French Hospital Foundation Board and for People’s Self Help Housing, where she is currently board chair. With six years spent serving on the Pismo Beach City Council, including a successful term as Mayor, Shelly brings invaluable experience in governance and community advocacy.

Leadership transitions for 2024 involve the appointment of Kath Tompkins as the incoming Board Chair and Rick Williams assuming the role of Vice Chair. To view the full Board of Directors visit