Rich Talmo is a founding partner of Ascend Partners Group, providing organizational assessments, staffing plans, and executive recruiting of non-profit management and fundraising professionals for the firm.
A practicing non-profit professional, Talmo joined Palomar College and the Palomar College Foundation as the Director of Development and the Foundation’s Executive Director in July 2007. He was brought to the College both to increase the number of large and restricted gifts to the many campus programs requiring support and to manage the Palomar College Foundation Board, ensuring continued growth of its assets and endowment. He is a skilled development professional with experience in the non-profit and higher education verticals and has worked in a variety of development settings.
His more than 30 years of experience in development began in the barrios of San Diego County in the late 1970s. There he served as the Executive Director for a Federally-funded youth program and established a grassroots fundraising and outreach effort for at-risk children.
He was then recruited to the San Diego Unit of the American Cancer Society, where he established several highly visible events in the North County prior to being promoted to Associate Executive Director with the unit office in San Diego. After six successful years with ACS, he moved on to San Diego State University, assuming the role of Director of Alumni and University Development. There Mr. Talmo set records for alumni giving and again produced several highly visible events and was chosen by San Diego Magazine to its list of watchable community members in 1989.
After an accomplished 18-year career in San Diego he moved north to Menlo College in Atherton, where as Vice President of College Relations he was able to resurrect international and domestic alumni giving, and his worldwide travels reconnected relationships and restored institutional communication. His efforts led to several six- and seven-figure gifts to the College.
After a six-year hiatus from advancement and a successful transition into the executive recruiting vertical, Talmo returned to development as the CEO of the Chabot College Foundation in Hayward. The College serves a community that endures a 63% poverty level, bordering the City of Oakland. Local businesses and donors had lost contact with the College and its mission. Over a five-year period, Talmo built the Foundation Board, positioned the College with the business community, developed several highly visible events and restored the campuses relationship with regional leaders. Taking the Chabot College Foundation from start up to a respected philanthropic entity, Talmo was able to close the largest private gift in the institution’s history ($800,000), enabling the College to open an educational center in its northernmost boundary. In moving south to Palomar College, he left Chabot College with an established Foundation, cash reserves and a respected position in the territory. He was recognized by the Network of California Community College Foundations with the Golden Eagle Award in 2007 for his outstanding work and leadership at Chabot.
Talmo earned his Associate of Arts degree from El Camino College and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration fromSan Diego State University.
He is currently “of counsel” to the firm, focusing full-time on his role as Executive Director of the Palomar College Foundation. He continues to advise the firm on non-profit staffing and recruitment matters.