Thursday, September 3 , 2015, 5:44 pm | Fair 75.0º




Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Honors Raul Gil, BEGA-US with Community Service Awards

Rotary Club of Santa Barbara member Paul Didier, left, president Chris Clemens, center, and member Colette Hadley, right, present Community Service Awards to Spencer Strom of BEGA-US, second from left, and Raul Gil of El Zarape.

Rotary Club of Santa Barbara member Paul Didier, left, president Chris Clemens, center, and member Colette Hadley, right, present Community Service Awards to Spencer Strom of BEGA-US, second from left, and Raul Gil of El Zarape.  (Rotary Club of Santa Barbara photo)

By Laurie Small for the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara |

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara is pleased to honor local leaders with Community Service Awards for their commitment to Santa Barbara, the Westside and Bohnett Park. Raul Gil accepted an individual award, and Spencer Strom accepted the award on behalf of BEGA-US.

Gil is an entrepreneur and longtime active resident of Santa Barbara. He worked as a staff accountant for the Santa Barbara News-Press and was in the media industry for 30 years. He currently is a team leader for Yardi Systems in Goleta.

In addition to his professional career, Gil is active on the Westside Community Center Workgroup, the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Goleta Valley Toastmasters, the Mariachi Festival Committee, founder of the 805 Basketball Club, statistician for the Santa Barbara High School basketball team and a dedicated supporter of the Bohnett Park revitalization effort. He has been a restaurant entrepreneur for more than 18 years and is the owner of El Zarape Restaurant on the Westside of Santa Barbara.

Spencer Strom, Western territory sales manager, accepted the award on behalf of BEGA-US, a $45 million lighting design and manufacturing corporation with more than 50 percent of its product content sourced in the United States and designed and built in Santa Barbara County. BEGA-US has made product donations in many locations around Santa Barbara, including Westside’s Bohnett Park.

BEGA-US was instrumental in providing the best lighting solutions possible to ensure safe after dark activities at Bohnett Park. The lights have enabled evening activities, including organized youth sports and social meetings with families and friends. BEGA-US has made a lasting positive impact on the Westside community with the new lighting system, making Bohnett Park more accessible and safe for local residents to use and enjoy.

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara would like to say thank you to Gil and BEGA-US for their commitment to making Santa Barbara a better place to live.

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara meets for lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. each Friday at Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort. Members of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara are among our town’s community and business leaders, working to make a positive difference in the world. Click here for more information.

— Laurie Small is the public relations chairwoman for the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara.




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