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Our Team

Team Trop is here to make sure you have the ultimate first year experience. Please contact us at (805) 968-4319 with any special requests, questions or concerns.

Our Executive Directors, Area Coordinators for Residence Life, and the Resident Directors oversee the general operations of our student communities, as well as offer assistance to residents. You’ll work with the Director of Leasing & Administration and her staff to finalize your contract and room assignments. Our Customer Service Representatives operate the front desks and answer questions for residents and parents. The Director of Facilities oversees building maintenance and the housekeeping staff, who are responsible for light housekeeping of the suites and building. Any questions that may arise regarding your payments are handled by our Director of Accounting. Each staff member is here to better your Tropicana experience.

 

Dave Wilcox, MEd

Executive Director
Tropicana Student Living
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Dave has been Executive Director of Tropicana Student Living since 2002. Previously, Dave spent nine years at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), starting as a Resident Assistant, moving up to Assistant Hall Director, Hall Director and Area Coordinator. He has a BS in Recreation Administration and a Master’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on College Student Personnel.

Ben Sample, MBA

Executive Director
Tropicana Del Norte & Tropicana Villas
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Ben came to Tropicana in 2010 as the Director of Residence Life, bringing with him 8 years of prior Resident Assistant and Resident Director experience from the University of Northern Colorado, Signet Hall, and Notre Dame De Namur University. Ben has a BS in Kinesiology and a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

 

Laura Versola

Director of Leasing and Administration
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Laura has worked at Tropicana since 2005.  She has extensive expertise in café office management, summer coordination, leasing and accounting. Prior to working at Tropicana, Laura spent 10 years at Francisco Torres Residence Hall (now known as Santa Catalina Residence Hall at UCSB).

 

Yoli Gavaldon

Judicial Affairs Coordinator
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Yoli is thrilled to serve on staff as the Judicial Affairs Coordinator. She has been with Tropicana since 2012 and has since worked in Student Affairs and mentoring college students. Her experiences as a Resident Assistant and later as a Resident Director inspired her to take a year off to explore Europe and continue meeting inspirational people from all walks of life. After graduating from UCSB, she worked at a non-profit where she specialized in mentoring at-risk youth. Combining her love for working with young adults and giving back to her community, she has returned to Tropicana to help students discover their passions as they navigate through college life. During her spare time, Yoli can be found enjoying a cup of coffee with a good book, looking for treats at Trader Joe’s, and cuddling with her potato of a dog, Nina.

 

Erika Bellitt

Director of Residence Life
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Erika has been with Tropicana Student Living for five years and has fallen in love with Res Life ever since she started as an RA back in 2011. She graduated from UCSB with a degree in Communication and received her certification in Sports Management. Being active and living a healthy style is something she has always been passionate about. Her other passions include building community, event coordinating, and just enjoying the beauty Santa Barbara has to offer. She lives on site with her cute pup, Rey. She values the relationships she creates throughout the year and encourages all to dream big and accomplish their goals in life.

 

Joseph Hill

Director of Technology
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Joe started at Tropicana in 2006 as a resident and has moved up from Summer Crew Employee, to Desk Attendant, Resident Assistant, Residence Director, Associate Director of Technology, and finally Director of Technology. Joe has a BA in Psychology from UCSB.

Bob Harriman

Director of Housing
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Bob joined Tropicana in 2017 after working for 25 years in higher education, including positions in residence life, admissions, academic advising and MBA program management. He received his Master’s Degree with anemphasis in College Student Affairs from Azusa Pacific University.

 

Matt Garcia

Director of Accounting
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Matt has been with Tropicana since 2007, working his way up from a resident, to Tour Guide, Desk Attendant, Accounts Receivable Clerk, and now Associate Director of Accounting. Matt graduated from UCSB with a BS in Business Economics.

 

 Brendan Langley

Director of Marketing and Communications
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Brendan came to Tropicana originally as a transfer student in 2009 and has since lived and worked for Tropicana as a part of the Residence Life and Marketing teams. He graduated from UCSB in 2011 with a BA in Film Studies.

 

 

 

 

Come for a Tour

Come by anytime between 10:00am and 5:30pm to tour the property and see if Tropicana Gardens is the right place for you!

PARKING: Visitor parking can be found in the back of Tropicana Gardens in spaces 56 and 57. Please park in the spaces marked Visitor and note the number of your parking space. We'll be happy to issue a parking pass while you visit our communities!