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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 1:34 am | Fair 51º


Mike Mayfield, Fred Kavli, Dan O’Dowd, Bruce Willard Earn South Coast Business & Technology Awards

Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care honored as top organization at annual benefit for Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara

More than 700 business people and entrepreneurs gathered Thursday night for the 17th annual South Coast Business & Technology Awards at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.

The awards ceremony, with more than 70 corporate sponsors, including Noozhawk, honored local students and five honorees and contributed $125,000 to the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

“What’s unique about this event is the business and technology community are investing in the local community,” Scholarship Foundation board president Patty MacFarlane said. “I’m a strong believer that there is no better investment than supporting education and our future work force.”

SBCC student Noe Gonzales was awarded a scholarship. After enduring the loss of his father to cancer when he was 12, his mother suffered through a brain tumor as he was studying electrical engineering. Despite his mom’s failing health, she told him to finish the program. She died three weeks before the program ended.

“I was working full time to pay for food and rent until I received scholarships (from the foundation), and I was able to cut down on work and focus on my grades,” Gonzales said. “It means I could work less and do more of what I love, which is study and pursue my career in electrical engineering. It’s thanks to people like you that people like me have an opportunity for a better life.”

Attorney and steering committee member Joe Cole said the scholarships are being recycled back into the community, and the Scholarship Foundation is thankful to be the beneficiary of the event.

“It’s Santa Barbara taking care of its own,” he said.

Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care CEO Lynda Tanner accepted the Excellence in Service Award, Blue Highways founder and chairman Bruce Willard received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Green Hills Software founder Dan O’Dowd won the Company of the Year Award, Santa Barbara Asset Management CEO Michael Mayfield was honored with the Executive of the Year Award, and Kavlico founder and former CEO Fred Kavli won the Pioneer Award.

“I encourage all of you who are running a company who might want to give up to please keep at it because you are the backbone of the community,” said Mayfield, whose firm’s assets grew to $3.2 billion from $300 million in four years. “The people you employ are the families that make this town so wonderful to work in.”

Since 1995, the South Coast Business & Technology Awards has honored five prestigious individuals and businesses committed to helping the South Coast’s economic vitality by growing and expanding their business or technical professions. The event has raised more than $1.2 million for scholarships for more than 530 students.

Click here for more information on the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, or call 805.687.6065. Click here to make a donation online.

Click here for more information on the South Coast Business & Technology Awards.

Click here for a related Noozhawk article.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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