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Local resident Matt Mason aims to offer peace of mind to homeowners, property managers and others through FreePropertyAlert.com, an alert system that notifies subscribers of emergency calls that are made to certain addresses.

Mason, who has been a software engineer for 25 years, said his business taps into the computer dispatch center for databases across the country, grabs that alert information, processes it and then sends information to customers.

The service, which is free for the first six months, was launched in large part through Santa Barbara’s Noospheric technology accelerator led by Jacques Habra.

The post-free period cost is $4.95 per month, and FreePropertyAlert also offers the option of purchasing property histories for $9.99.

“About the price of a cup of coffee for some peace of mind,” Mason said. “You can’t know what’s happening at your property 24 hours a day. It’s really a good thing for the community.”

The service went live in February and includes Santa Barbara County Fire Department alerts for fires, medical emergencies and others. Noozhawk provides a FreePropertyAlert feed on its homepage.

Space NK Expands to Montecito

Luxury beauty retailer Space NK expanded its West Coast presence this week, opening a free-standing location at the Montecito Country Mart.

The new boutique is the company’s ninth in California and its second new opening this month.

Space NK sells more than 50 brands in skin care, color cosmetics, hair care and fine fragrance.

Bill Foley Buys Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media

Bill Foley, founder of Foley Family Wines, has acquired a controlling interest in Santa Barbara-based Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media, the industry leader in wine tourism.

Originally founded in 1995 by managing partner Dan Fox and president Paul Arganbright, Touring & Tasting Marketing & Media is recognized as “The Premier Guide to Wine Country.” Its assets include the national magazine Touring & Tasting, touringandtasting.com, the Wine Country Video Channel, a wine country concierge service and a luxury Wine Festival at Sea cruise program.

“Foley Family Wines is fully committed to the growth and success of wine tourism globally,” Foley said in a statement. “It is exciting to see the positive economic impact wine tourism is having on regions and communities all over, and partnering with Touring & Tasting will help us continue to help fuel that growth.”

No staffing changes are planned, according to a news release.


DMHA Architecture + Interior Design principals, from left, Michael Holliday FAIA, Ryan Mills and Ed De Vicente have created the new firm to better meet the needs of a growing project workload for clients throughout California. (SYNERGY Media photo)

JM Holliday Associates and De Vicente Mills Architecture Team Up

JM Holliday Associates and De Vicente Mills Architecture have combined forces to form DMHA Architecture + Interior Design in downtown Santa Barbara.

The firm’s expanded design team dramatically increases the company’s capacities and expertise to handle a growing project workload for clients located throughout California.

“This team association brings together the best of both our organizations and expands our firm’s capabilities and bandwidth to better meet the needs of our commercial, institutional and residential clients,” said DMHA principal architect Michael Holliday FAIA.

The firm’s architectural offices will be located at 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez, Suite 102, within the SYNERGY Business & Technology Center.

Locals Launch KCHEN Project

Locals Kevin Clark Harris and Emily Nordee are launching a new speakeasy-style supper club in Santa Barbara next month, and will also provide packaged gourmet picnics for locals and visitors on the weekends.

The name, KCHEN Project, is an acronym of their initials and is pronounced “Kitchen” project.

They’ve also launched a Kickstarter campaign, which can be viewed by clicking here.

VG Life Sciences Moves to Santa Barbara

VG Life Sciences, a publicly traded biotechnology company, has moved its corporate headquarters to Santa Barbara, where it is now located with MedBridge LLC and TynanGroup Inc. at 121 Gray Ave.

VG Life Sciences, which focuses on discovering and developing drug therapies for cancer, infectious disease, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, controls more than 50 U.S. and international patents and pending patents that protect its exclusive biotech platform technologies.

MedBridge has taken over full administrative support and corporate infrastructure of VG Life Sciences. John Tynan, owner of TynanGroup, has moved into the position of Interim CEO and president of VG Life Sciences.

Montecito Bank & Trust Posts Positive Growth

Montecito Bank & Trust president and CEO Janet Garufis has announced the bank’s second-quarter financial performance as of June 30.

Total deposits grew 7 percent from last year to $950.7 million, and total gross loans grew 6.5 percent to $538.2 million. The bank grew total assets to $1.07 billion from $1.03 billion year over year, a 4.5 percent increase.

“We are seeing improving consumer and business confidence, which is resulting in increasing loan demand,” Garufis said in a news release. “Funding loans to local businesses and consumers, accepting local deposits and reinvesting in the community is the value of community banking and an important driver of the vitality of our local economy.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at gpotthoff@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.