United Way of Santa Barbara County hosted its 91st annual Awards Celebration at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara on Wednesday.

This annual dinner recognized local organizations and individuals for contributing to the community and United Way activities, such as Fun in the Sun, United for Literacy and the Financial Empowerment Partnership.

A total of 25 awards were given to those who have played an instrumental role in the success of UWSBC’s 2014 campaign. Awards were given to local volunteers, as well as businesses, schools, organizations and the individuals that lead them for their outstanding support of UWSBC and its numerous programs.

The event began with a reception in the Loggia Ballroom at the Four Seasons Biltmore beginning at 6 p.m., followed by the main celebration at 7 p.m. The night included dinner, music, dancing and the focal point of the evening — the awards ceremony.

“These award recipients represent what is best about our community,” said Paul Didier, CEO and president of United Way of Santa Barbara County. “It’s amazing what individuals and organizations can achieve when their energies or focused on a common good by creating opportunities and empowering others.”

This year’s award winners are:

» Outstanding Leadership Workplace — Cottage Health System
» Outstanding Division Award Education — Westmont College
» Outstanding Division Award Public — Goleta Sanitary District
» Outstanding Division Award High Tech — A TK Aerospace
» Outstanding Division Award Business — Nordstrom
» Outstanding Division Award Finance — Community West Bank
» Outstanding Division Award Nonprofit — Casa Dorinda
» Outstanding Division Award Health — Allergan
» Outstanding Division Award Professionals — MacFarlane, Faletti & Co.
» Most Outstanding Employee and Corporate Campaign — AGIA
» Outstanding Fun in the Sun Individual of the Year — John Daly
» Outstanding Fun in the Sun Organization of the Year — Music Academy of the West
» United for Health Partner of the Year — American Indian Health & Services
» Financial Empowerment Individual of the Year — Frank Quezada
» Financial Empowerment Organization of the Year — AARP
» United For Literacy Individual of the Year — Mike Nissenson
» United For Literacy Organization of the Year — Franklin Elementary
» Community Impact Individual of the Year — John Hanna
» Community Impact Organization of the Year — Cottage Health System
» Day of Caring Individual of the Year — Larry Urzua
» Young Leader of the Year — Alex Koper
» Largest Overall Campaign — County of Santa Barbara
» Outstanding Employee Campaign Manager 1-100 Employees — Roberta Issaris, GE
» Outstanding Employee Campaign Manager 100-250 Employees — Montecito Bank & Trust Committee
» Outstanding Employee Campaign Manager More than 250 Employees — Lisa Lopez, SBCC

The event was made possible partially by the Biltmore’s, Sanford Winery’s and Floral Ambiance’s generous sponsorships.

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— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing United Way of Santa Barbara County.