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Business

Chamber Lauds Winners of 2017 Goleta’s Finest Awards

The Goleta Chamber of Commerce has named the 2017 Goleta’s Finest Award Winners. Goleta’s Finest is a 68-year old tradition honoring individuals whose contributions have enhanced the Goleta community.

The 2017 award recipients will be recognized with a formal celebration 6-9;30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara.  The evening will include food stations, wine and beer, followed by the awards ceremony.

The 2017 Goleta’s Finest winners are:

» Man of the Year: Roger Aceves. Aceves is serving his 11th year on the Goleta City Council, serving two terms as mayor (he has never missed a meeting). Aceves is a lifetime Goleta resident and community activist.

After finishing his 30-year law-enforcement career at the Santa Barbara Police Department, Aceves has continued to give back to the community.

He served as el presidente for Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara in 2001, and was appointed by former Gov. Gray Davis to the 19th Agricultural District, which runs Earl Warren Showgrounds.

He served on the board of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, Goleta Valley Historical Society, Goleta Old Town Community Association and is currently chairman of the Board for the Goleta Elks Lodge #613.

Aceves is a champion for the business community and rarely misses a B2B Breakfast to connect with business and local constituents.

Last year, with his wife, Debby, Aceves championed a community campaign and raised $22,000 for Rancho La Patera and Stow House.

» Woman of the Year: Karen Ramsdell. Ramsdell is a longtime Goleta resident and champion for education and historical preservation.

After 29 years at Santa Barbara Airport, and 37 years of public service with the city of Santa Barbara, Ramsdell retired from her post as director of the Santa Barbara Airport in 2013.

In her airport job, she led the Airline Terminal Project, a $63 million airport renovation. Her passion for historical preservation helped her spearhead the relocation and refurbishment of the Earle Ovington Historical Terminal.

Post retirement, her love for history and willingness to give back continues. She was president of Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society and has been on the Goleta Valley Historical Society Board since 2010, serving as president the last four years.

» Educator of the Year: John Dent. Dent leads the Dos Pueblos Media Department with passion and talent.

As chairman of Dos Pueblos’ Career Technical Education Department, Dent is the advisor for the DP News program, the award-winning Dos Pueblos Yearbook, and The Charger Account student-run newspaper.

While DP News runs a live show three days a week focusing on the latest information for students, the Charger Account focused on stories relevant to the student body including those happening on campus and in the community.

The award-winning DP Yearbook continues to transform the way students’ years are captured. These projects could not happen without Dent motivating his students to continue to innovate and develop professional journalism skills.

» Non-Profit of the Year: United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County. United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County (UBGC) is making an impact in the lives of local children.

The nonprofit youth development agency serves children ages 5-18 at nine sites across Santa Barbara County.

As of July 2015, club members have collectively made 15,889 visits to club locations. Those same members have participated in 2,785 cumulative hours of educational programming. During that same time period UBGC has served 35,010 meals.

No child is ever turned away due to his/her economic situation. The program's participants are continuing to come more often, which allows the program to have a deeper impact.

The Goleta club location has been an integral part of the community for years and is well-loved for its numerous programs including the boys basketball league.
 
»  Volunteer of the Year: Lisa Rivas. Rivas has been a long-time champion for Goleta and education. In business and personal life, she continues to engage with a variety of local nonprofits.

Rivas has been on several nonprofit boards including the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, Teachers Fund, Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region and the Goleta Lemon Festival.

Most notably, in 2014, Rivas stepped up to rebuild the Goleta Education Foundation.

Her goal was to transform the all-volunteer organization into a foundation that secures funding for programs to ensure every student in the district has access to the necessary resources.

To do this, she worked to put together a variety of fundraisers, connect with local businesses and create a sustainable program that serves all schools in the Goleta school district.

» Student of the Year: Lupe Simon. Simon stands out in a way that is subtle. After facing challenges through her youth, she sought out the assistance of the Academy for Success program and has thrived personally and academically.

Simon has vastly improved her academics and has continued to challenge herself and push herself outside of her personal comfort zone. She applied for the yearbook and was accepted and has excelled in advanced photography.

Simon is a community builder with her grace and kindness. She is a scholastic contributor with her insight and determination. She plans to go to college next, which was something she was unsure she could ever achieve.

» Small Business of the Year: Buynak Fauver Archbald Spray. Buynak, Fauver, Archbald & Spray, LLP is one of California’s leading law firms, but what sets it apart is its dedication to the local community.

Partners at BFAS are involved in their communities, serving on a variety of nonprofit boards including the Goleta Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Santa Barbara, NAWBO and the Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region.

Their commitment to community ensures essential nonprofits have access to legal acumen, a wide network of supporters and volunteers with a passion for Goleta.

» Large Business of the Year: FLIR Systems. FLIR Systems is one of the area’s largest employers and a leader in the infrared market. FLIR acquired Indigo Systems, a start-up out of UCSB, in the early 2000s and became the world leader for uncooled infrared devices.

Indigo’s small, entrepreneurial staff and FLIR’s sales channel, brand name and financial standing combined to create a perfect storm of productivity and profitability.

The company has put down roots in Goleta by buying its facility at Cabrillo Business Park and moving its 450 employees into one facility there. FLIR is a champion for manufacturing in the USA and a pioneer for lean manufacturing in Goleta.
 
» Innovative Business of the Year: Brighten Solar. Brighten Solar is changing the way solar technology is delivered by creating customized solar solutions, delivering quality products and continuing to focus on spreading the renewable energy footprint.

Its team has developed systems for commercial, residential, and nonprofits across the Central Coast and remains focused on solar education and providing clients with a range of options and pricing to develop the best systems.

Co-founders Jeremy Favier and Marine Schumann have built a great company, based on their passion for renewables and the environment.
 
» Entrepreneur of the Year: Apeel Sciences. Apeel Sciences is changing the world through use of plant-based technology, helping eliminate food spoilage and reduce reliance on chemicals.

With a mission to waste less food, Apeel has developed products hat fortify the surface of fresh fruits and vegetable, forming a thin, organic, barrier that shields produce from biotic and abiotic stressors.

Apeel Sciences is committed to being a technological and environmental leader in the agricultural industry.

The company's team, made up of nearly 75 percent Gauchos, recently moved to a 105,000-square-foot facility in Goleta where they are further developing their products.
 
» Community Impact Award: Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. The Scholarship Foundation has been supporting students in their higher education goals since 1962.

The Scholarship Foundation provides scholarships to eligible students from Santa Barbara County for college, graduate, and vocational school education.

In May, the Scholarship Foundation awarded $8.4 million in scholarship funding to 2,688 students, with the average award for undergraduate students being $3,207 and for graduate students, $9,065 on average.

This year, the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara celebrated an important milestone when it reached the $100 million mark in total scholarships awarded during its 55-year history.

Leaders say the Scholarship Foundation is the first community-based organization in the country to reach that mark in financial support for students.

» Special Recognition: Santa Barbara County Fire. As our community continues to face volatile fire seasons, followed by risk of flood, it is grateful for the outstanding team at Santa Barbara County Fire.

When the alarm sounds, firefighters may encounter any number of life-threatening calls, including vehicle, hazardous materials, urban search and rescue, water rescue, and vegetation fires.

Santa Barbara County Fire is often the first on scene in most any disaster and is a model public safety agency. The chamber is honored to recognize its effectiveness, regional strength and community attentiveness.
 
“This list of vibrant businesses and individuals really highlights how special the Goleta community is,” said Kristen Miller, president/CEO of the Goleta Chamber. “These individuals are making a huge impact on the Goleta community every day.”

The cost to attend Goleta’s Finest is $150 per person. A sponsored table for a group of eight is $1,500. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Contact the Goleta Chamber of Commerce at www.GoletaChamber.com or 967-2500 ext. 5 to secure reservations.

The chamber thanks its sponsors:

Platinum Presenting Sponsors: American Riviera Bank, Buynak Fauver Archbald Spray, Community West Bank, Cox, Impulse Advanced Communications, Montecito Bank and Trust, Pacific Premier Bank, Rabobank, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara Airbus, Spherion, and The Towbes Group.

Gold Sponsors: Cabrillo Business Park, Courtyard Marriott Goleta, Mariposa at Ellwood Shores, Marriott Residence Inn, Noozhawk, and Signature Flight Support.

Silver Sponsors: Brown and Brown Insurance, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Deckers Brands, FLIR Systems, KARL STORZ Imaging, Latitude 34 Technologies, LogMeIn, Marborg Industries, Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara Independent, and Union Bank.

For more information, contact the chamber, 967-2500 ext. 5, or email [email protected]

— Cortney Hebert for Goleta Chamber of Commerce.

 

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