The County of Santa Barbara Industrial Association honored a number of business movers and shakers Thursday night, including Noozhawk founder and publisher William M. Macfadyen, who was named Entrepreneur of the Year.
Members of the nonprofit association, who represent many of Santa Barbara County’s leading high-tech and goods manufacturers, braved rain, wind and power outage to gather at the University Club of Santa Barbara for CSBIA’s annual meeting and awards dinner.
After a brief membership meeting and a keynote speech by Michael J. Murray, director of corporate environmental policy at Sempra Energy, the pro-business organization handed out awards and recognition to the business community’s supporters, leaders and innovators.
The honorees, according to CSBIA chairman Tim Mahoney, are chosen by a committee of officers, past awardees and others who have supported the business community in the region. (The awards) go to the companies and individuals who are improving the quality of life in the county,” Mahoney said. Past honorees include John Davies of Davies Communications, Southern California Gas Co., and Mark Schniepp, then of the UCSB Economic Forecast.
This year, the organization’s Company of the Year award went to Cabrillo Business Park, a project of Sares-Regis Group. Sares-Regis is in the process of creating what will be the South Coast’s largest business park, on the old Delco property on Hollister Avenue and Los Carneros Road in Goleta. When complete, it is estimated the facility will generate $2 billion in new economic activity in the area during its first 10 years of operation.
Sares-Regis president Russ Goodman and vice president Steve Fedde accepted the award, and both thanked the business community for its stalwart support through the project’s arduous 10-year approval process.
Macfadyen was honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Noozhawk.com, the online-only community newspaper he founded last year.
“We don’t manufacture anything at Noozhawk, but in many respects I’m one of you. I know firsthand the challenges and difficulties of doing business in Santa Barbara County,” said Macfadyen, who described the need and opportunity he saw for an accessible source for mainstream local news and information.
Vincent Armenta, chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, was given the organization’s Spirit of Free Enterprise Award, an honor that was given last year to Kristen Amyx, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.
CSBIA’s Public Servant of the Year was 1st District county Supervisor Salud Carbajal.
“Sometimes its difficult for (the Board of Supervisors) to go out of our comfort zone,” Carbajal told the room, “and I certainly appreciate you going out of your comfort zones.”
The award for Lifetime Public Service went to Bob Hatch, president and CEO of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, for his efforts on behalf of economic development in the Santa Maria Valley area.
The honorees received engraved clocks from Neal Feay Co., a third generation-owned Goleta manufacturing company run by Neal and Alex Rasmussen, as well as blankets from Southern California Gas Co. and proclamation certificates from the Board of Supervisors and state Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks.