Friday, September 4 , 2015, 8:50 pm | Fair 69.0º




Partnership with Montecito Bank & Trust Fuels Mission of Easy Lift Transportation

Easy Lift Transportation Executive Director Ernesto Paredes, right, celebrates with Montecito Bank & Trust Goleta Branch Manager Javier Quezada, left, Chief Operating Officer Rob Skinner and CEO Janet Garufis in cutting the ribbon on the bank’s newest adopted Easy Lift vehicle.

Easy Lift Transportation Executive Director Ernesto Paredes, right, celebrates with Montecito Bank & Trust Goleta Branch Manager Javier Quezada, left, Chief Operating Officer Rob Skinner and CEO Janet Garufis in cutting the ribbon on the bank’s newest adopted Easy Lift vehicle.  (Easy Lift Transportation photo)

By Melinda Johansson for Easy Lift Transportation |

To celebrate their longtime partnership with Easy Lift Transportation, senior executives with Montecito Bank & Trust participated in a ribbon-cutting event for their newest adopted Easy Lift vehicle.

“Montecito Bank & Trust has been a supporter of Easy Lift for well over two decades, and I couldn’t be prouder to stand with Janet, Rob and Javier as we cut the ribbon on another year of continued partnership,” said Ernesto Paredes, Easy Lift’s executive director. “Not only has Montecito Bank & Trust provided us with tremendous customer service since we started banking with them in the late 1970s, but they’ve also been very generous to us through sponsorships and their community dividends grant program.”

Currently, Montecito Bank & Trust sponsors 15 of Easy Lift’s 24 vehicles. The program has been so successful that only one vehicle remains for adoption.

“Because consumers have become deadened to a certain degree with traditional advertising methods, providing a fresh vehicle (pardon the pun) for companies to reach consumers has proven very attractive,” said Melinda Johansson, Easy Lift’s development director.

All of the proceeds from the Adopt-a-Van program are used to support Easy Lift’s mission of fulfilling the community’s need for specialized transportation to allow individuals and organizations access to essential programs and services. 

Established 32 years ago with just one vehicle, Easy Lift has become a vital community presence as the sole paratransit provider and Consolidated Transportation Service Agency for south Santa Barbara County. With 24 wheelchair-accessible vans in its fleet, Easy Lift has developed a fully certified team to keep up with our expanding community of elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged passengers.

This past fiscal year Easy Lift scheduled more than 74,492 Dial-A-Rides for 1,873 passengers. The Children’s Accessible Transportation (CAT) program, now active for three years, has collaborated with more than 20 youth charities and provided more than 8,000 rides to less advantaged children of the community. The Greatest Generation Accessible Transportation (GGAT) program, which commenced in March 2011, collaborates with senior-serving agencies beyond their Dial-A-Ride service, and has provided 1,800 rides in just six months. 

For more information on the Adopt-a-Van program and other co-marketing opportunities for your business, contact Johansson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.845.8963.

— Melinda Johansson is the development director for Easy Lift Transportation.




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