Friday, February 23 , 2018, 11:10 am | Fair 53º


South Coast Business & Technology Awards Dinner Celebrates Excellence

Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara honors the achievements of local leaders, innovators and students

Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort was again the proud host of this year’s 18th Annual South Coast Business & Technology Awards, bringing together leaders and innovators from the local business and technology community for a highly anticipated and well-attended event.

More than 700 people gathered to recognize South Coast businesses and technical professionals, as well as honor outstanding local students for achievements and awards provided by the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, celebrating its 50th anniversary of strong community support.

The beautiful Plaza Del Sol rotunda set the stage for the evening as guests dressed in business attire mingled and networked during an opening reception, soaking in sun and views of the glistening Pacific Ocean.

About an hour later, as many of the guests finished arriving from local businesses and schools, the dinner began inside the Grand Ballroom with a welcome and thank you from steering committee co-chairwoman Danna McGrew, CPA, partner at Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf LLP.

“As a local business owner, my partners and I are proud to be part of such a dynamic event that celebrates remarkable successes and creates resources to educate and inspire future leaders,” McGrew said.

George Leis, president and chief operating officer of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust acknowledged the impact of the event before introducing Alan Griffin, board president of the Scholarship Foundation.

“It’s the night when we bring business and education together to salute local leaders and innovators who give new meaning to the word standout in the fields of business and technology,” Leis said. “It’s also the night when our combined support drops right to the bottom line, providing our community’s best and brightest young people with a jump-start for their college dreams.”

The event attracted 80 corporate sponsors, including Noozhawk, which ensured that the Scholarship Foundation received more than $125,000 in net proceeds this year to support local students majoring in business and technology fields at UCSB, Westmont College and SBCC. More than 550 scholarship awards totaling more than $1.3 million have already been provided for local youths and a growing pool of local, college-educated future employees.

Before dinner, past scholarship recipient Max Ramirez shared his gratitude for the assistance and support that he received to achieve his goals and provided an update on his role as an engineer at TrueVision.

“I attended San Marcos High School when I was young, but instead of pursuing my education when I graduated I enlisted in the Marines, where I was deployed three times,” Ramirez said. “Three weeks after being honorably discharged, I started attending SBCC. As a student I was awarded scholarships and loans from the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, which helped me pay for my education at SBCC and UCSB. I have now earned my bachelor’s in computer engineering, and I’m now working at a small company here in town called TrueVision.”

After dinner, co-chairman Jeff Devine, president and CEO American Riviera Bank, addressed the buzzing crowd, which was excited to view the five prestigious awards presented for 2012.

“This awards dinner has it all — an evening to celebrate excellence in the South Coast business community, a networking opportunity with hundreds of top business leaders, and an avenue to support out future business leaders through the funds raised for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara,” DeVine said.

Lynda Tanner, from last year’s winner Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, presented the Excellence in Service award to the MIT Enterprise Forum, which has served the Central Coast since 1984 with programs open to the public that discuss current innovations and entrepreneurial topics from the perspective of local business leaders and entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented by 2011 recipient Bruce Willard of to Klaus Schauser, co-founder and chief strategist of AppFolio and the visionary behind Citrix Online’s GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting.

Other awards presented from 2011 recipients to 2012 winners include, Dan O’Dowd of Green Hills Software, who presented the Company of the Year honor to Mission Linen, a leading provider of rental products and linen and uniform services.

Santa Barbara Asset Management CEO Michael Mayfield presented the Executive of the Year award to Ron Werft, CEO of Cottage Health System, who serves on many local boards, including United Way of Santa Barbara County and Santa Barbara Partners in Education.

Fred Kavli, founder and CEO of Kavlico, presented the Pioneer Award to Fred Gluck, an entrepreneur in biotech and medical equipment who worked at Bell Labs and AMGEN.

The Excellence in Service award goes to a company providing strong customer and community service, while the Entrepreneur of the Year honor is presented to an individual with a successful career of entrepreneurial endeavors. The Company of the Year is a market leader that demonstrates profitability and strong growth. Additionally, the Executive of the Year is for a senior executive who has increased company profitability with strengthened market presence and a vigorous passion for the local community. Finally, an individual with a long history of outstanding leadership or innovations in business or technology here in the South Coast receives the Pioneer Award.

Since 1962, the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara has helped motivated and deserving students with scholarships and counseling to positively affect the lives of local youth.

“For the business community in this town, we need talented labor and to be able to support our young people in getting their education so they can come back and help continue to build this community is a virtuous circle,” Kathy J. Odell, 1998 Executive of the Year award winner. “I don’t know how you cannot support it.”

Each year the SCB&T Awards are made possible through community support from businesses and individuals, and the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara graciously expresses gratitude to the 2012 sponsors:

» Founding Sponsor — Santa Barbara Bank & Trust

» Executive Level Sponsors — Cox Business and Union Bank of California

» Director Level Sponsors — Bartlett Pringle & Wolf LLP, Montecito Bank & Trust and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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