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

    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

    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.

  • LaDonte King
    Director of Residence Life

    LaDonte King is a southern CA native and 2001 alum of UC Santa Barbara, where he was an active student-leader in various student organizations and a 3-year letterman on the UCSB Men’s Basketball Team.  With over 15 years of experience as a collegiate students affairs professional, LaDonte has developed a keen and thoughtful passion for coaching college-aged students to academic success.  Outside of helping students to achieve their goals, LaDonte also enjoys music, being the best uncle to his nieces and nephews, and golfing.  

  • Laura Versola
    Director of Leasing and Administration

    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).

  • Autumn Felix
    Leasing Coordinator

    Autumn joined the Tropicana team in 2017 after moving to Santa Barbara with her husband Mario and their two children. Autumn studied Education at the University of Kansas and has previously worked in the fields of Special Education and Domestic Violence. She has over 10 years of experience working with young adults and children, including the rich experience gained from being a parent herself! Outside  of work, Autumn enjoys reading, writing, nature, and seeking new cultural experiences.

  • Josh Siley-Waters
    Director of Front Desk Operations

    Joshua Siley Waters joined the Tropicana Student Living team in Summer 2017 after graduating from Westmont College with a degree in Economics and Business. Starting at Tropicana as an Accounting Associate, Joshua grew to love the community and events at Tropicana while continuing to aid the under served community throughout Santa Barbara County. Prior to moving from the San Fernanado Valley, Josh gained a great appreciation for Motorsports, Economics, Cross Country, Healthcare, Mountain Biking, and more. Today he manages the Customer Service Operations team and is committed to the Tropicana residents, parents, guests, and the neighboring community of Isla Vista.

  • Joseph Hill
    Director of Technology

    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

    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

    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.

  • Dolores Rios
    Accounting Associate

    Dolores started at Tropicana in 2013. She’s locally
    raised in Santa Barbara. Dolores has more than 15
    years experience in accounting. In her free time she
    enjoys spending time with her two daughters.

  • Brendan Langley
    Director of Marketing and Resident Experience

    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.

  • Danitza Valenzuela
    Director of Judicial Affairs and Risk Management


    Danitza was born and raised in El Centro, CA. She is a 2018 UCSB alum where she double majored in Global Studies and Italian Studies. Danitza started at Tropicana in 2014 as a resident and has moved up from a Resident Assistant, Customer Service Representative, Leasing Specialist, Judicial Affairs Officer, and finally Director of Judicial Affairs and Risk Management. She is currently starting her final year at Santa Barbara Colleges of Law to earn her Juris Doctorate degree.