Seven years ago, Celeste Hilling was approached by Laurie Mitchell, a friend and former chair of The New Children’s Museum, to join the museum’s board and help raise money to support its move to a state-of-the-art 50,000-square-foot facility in downtown San Diego. Hilling was unsure how to respond. She was already serving on the board of Scripps Memorial Hospital, parenting her four-year-old daughter and, of course, doing her day job leading Skin Authority as its chief executive officer.


“I thought, ‘Wow! This is going to be a big commitment,’” Hilling recalls. But then she thought of her youth in Austin, Texas, and the opportunities she had to experience music and the arts. And she considered her daughter, lucky enough to have a family with the resources to encourage her interests in everything from piano to sports. Then she learned that there are 43,000 children in San Diego who were living below the poverty line. “I started thinking about how many kids don’t have that family, and aren’t we a family as a community that should be a support structure?” says Hilling. “That really motivated me. If I don’t take the time, who is?”

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