The Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has announced the winners of its quarterly Business Star Awards. The businesses and individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the quality of life for Santa Barbara.
» Businesswoman: Susan Rodriguez, executive vice president of Brown and Brown Insurance Services, Betty Hatch Award. This award is made to a chamber businesswoman who through her actions is a role model for the community. Past winners have been Renee Grubb, Karen Chakel and Phyllis DePicciotto. Rodriguez’s drive and determination have enabled her to build one of the largest and most respected independent insurance intermediaries in the region. She is a role model for her staff and for women in business. She and her company play an active role in supporting the chamber and the nonprofit community.
» Innovator: Jim Dehlson, chairman of Clipper Windpower. Representing Clipper is vice president Ian Chuderay. This award is traditionally presented to an individual who has made a significant innovative contribution to positively affect our world. Past winners include university chancellors, Nobel laureates, architects, researchers and inventors. Dehlsen and his associates at Clipper Windpower have spent years developing technologies and services that provide practical solutions to the expansion of clean wind energy. Their work is a model for lessening the impact of energy production on global warming.
» Community Collaboration: Citrix Online, Brett Caine, president. Representing Citrix is vice president Laura McCormick. This award is made to a chamber business making a significant contribution to the quality of life and economic vitality of the region. Past winners have been Montecito Bank and Trust, Venoco, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Yardi Systems and 50 others. Every month, more than 15,000 customers start using Citrix Online’s services to work from anywhere with anyone — using their remote-connectivity tools to save time, get more done and connect to others around the world. Citrix Online is committed to meeting the needs of our community through programs that reflect the passions their employees have for making their communities a better place.
Citrix employees have identified four broad areas as key targets for support: community social programs, educational initiatives, environmental efforts and the arts. Through their employees’ generous efforts, they have provided support in the form of corporate sponsorships, individual financial donations and many hours of personal time volunteered throughout the year.
» Businessman. Jeff Bermant, president of Bermant Development Company. This award is made to a chamber businessman who through his actions is a role model for the community. Past winners have been Ed Heron, John Indrieri, Michael Towbes and 50 others. For many years, Bermant and his company have played a leadership role in the development of “work force” housing. He has been a champion for the nonprofit community, taking on projects that no one else would attempt. He is a generous philanthropist both with his time and his money. His latest mental health association housing project exemplifies his strategic thinking and ability to overcome almost any obstacle.
Marcia Reed represents the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce.