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Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce Names Winners of Business Star Awards

Business luminaries, individuals and young innovators to be celebrated at Sunday's annual luncheon

The Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has announced the winners of the Annual Business Star Awards.

The businesses and individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the quality of life for Santa Barbara. Janet Garufis, president of Montecito Bank & Trust, who will present the awards, will be inducted as chair of the chamber’s 126th Board of Directors.

For the second time, in the Chamber’s 136-year history, annual awards will also be presented to local youth and youth serving organizations.

The awards will be presented at the Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Lunch at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. This event is sold out.

Awards will be presented in eight categories:

The Businesswoman Award will honor Dr. Lois Jovanovic, CEO and chief scientic officer of Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (Betty Hatch Award)

Dr. Jovanovič is also a clinical professor of medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine and an adjunct professor of biomolecular science and engineering and chemical engineering at UCSB. Jovanovič’s numerous honors, awards, appointments and publications of more than 500 articles in the fields of diabetes, metabolism, nutrition, obstetrics and gynecology, perinatology and engineering make her a true Santa Barbara treasure.

The Innovator Award will be presented to Dr. Francis Doyle, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering at UCSB

This award is traditionally presented to an individual who has made a significant innovative contribution to positively impacting our world. Doyle holds the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Chair in Process Control at UCSB and is a professor of chemical engineering as well as electrical and computer engineering. He is director of the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies and the associate dean of research for the College of Engineering.

Doyle has been responsible for a number of initiatives at UCSB, including a new Center for BioEngineering and the design of a proposed Bioengineering Building. He is working on artificial pancreas research with a team of international diabetes research experts to develop an artificial pancreas device.

The Community Collaboration Award will go to Kathleen Baushke, executive director of Transition House

Baushke has built Transition House into one of the finest nonprofits in Santa Barbara. Her latest project (“The Mom’s Project”) “will change the future for homeless and impoverished kids in our community,” Baushke says.

The agency has worked for years to secure funding for the project, the bulk of which comes from federal low-income housing tax credits, and competition is fierce, according to board president Craig Allen. In addition to getting families off the streets and giving them a chance to restart their lives, Allen said the project has big financial benefits, too. The project’s construction budget is $3 million and will take a year to build, supporting local workers.

The Businessman Award will honor Mario Borgatello, president of MarBorg Industries

Borgatello is honored for his service to the community and his service to his employees. The community is important to him and the Borgatello family because that was one of his father’s main teachings. His father always told him, “Never forget what has brought you to where you are. We exist because of the community and we have to serve the community.”

For Borgatello, to see that one can offer a service, be fair to his customers and employees, and still make a profit is very inspirational. MarBorg and the company’s family of employees have supported hundreds of local nonprofit organizations. His son, Anthony, served as el presidente of last year’s Fiesta.

Tony Jaconette will be presented with the Youth Businessman Award

Jaconette, an entrepreneur. has been captivated with technology since he was 3 years old. He has turned his passion into a successful computer technology venture. As a high school student, he created a business that builds custom computers and services any and all computer systems and electronic devices. He has a wide range of satisfied customers all over the greater Santa Barbara area

The Youth Businesswoman Award will go to Jackie Rotman, founder of Everybody Dance Now

Inspired in equal parts by her own dancing experience and the threats of gang activity, obesity and low self-esteem in her area, Rotman founded Everybody Dance Now! to provide free dance programs to youth who could not otherwise afford them. Since 2005, EDN! has provided free hip-hop classes to more than 1,000 young people in her county, as well as equipped youth in 11 other cities throughout the country to create and sustain their own EDN! programs. Her organization seeks to transform the lives of youth through dance, leadership and community.

The Youth Collaborator Award will honor Jose Lozano, community volunteer

Lozano is a senior at San Marcos High School. He has volunteered his time as a fundraiser and speechmaker for Computers for Families, the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the Police Activities League and The Fund for Santa Barbara. For years he has been mentored by attorney Joe Howell. In fact, Lozano has spent so much time in Howell’s office that he is often considered “of counsel.” Lozano is living proof that if you work hard and believe in yourself, there is no limit to what you can achieve.

Blake Colvin will receive the Youth Innovator Award

Colvin is the founder of Cupcakes for Cancer. Her vision began with the desire to help a fellow eighth-grader, who had just been diagnosed with leukemia and was inspired by her love of cupcakes. Colvin is a chemo survivor and knows firsthand about the road to recovery.

Colvin’s plan was simple — bake and sell homemade cupcakes for $1 after school and at other local events to raise funds. Now a nationally recognized nonprofit, Cupcakes for Cancer continues to raise funds for the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. Her goal is to donate $100,000 to help people with cancer before she graduates high school this year, and she is honored for her innovative approach to fundraising.

— Marcia Reed is vice president of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce

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