For the 67th year, the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce brings together the community for its annual awards celebration
More than 400 guests were greeted by Goleta Chamber Ambassadors who later joined the crowd assembled for the social hour in the ballroom foyer. Wines, beer and cocktails were enjoyed before the buffet-style dinner that featured a variety of pastas, a fall squash soup and hand-carved roast beef. Accompanied by a pianist, singer Amanda Martinez provided pleasant background music from the stage.
Dave Clark, president of Impulse Advanced Communications, served as the evening’s emcee and kept the packed program rolling.
Honored were the remarkable individuals whose contributions have enhanced the Goleta community. The 2016 Goleta’s Finest winners were:
Woman of the Year: Marsha Bailey
Marsha Bailey is the founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures and the Small Business Loan Fund of Santa Barbara. WEV is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Bailey has been developing educational programs and services for women since 1983 and is the primary author of WEV’s self-employment training curriculum, From Vision to Venture. Many of the local businesses and entrepreneurs in Goleta and Santa Barbara have gone through the WEV program, helping them start up and run sustainable businesses.
“For 25 years, I’ve been blessed to be able to go to work every day, loving what I do, and working to achieve a mission that is very personal to me: to create an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women,” Bailey told Noozhawk. “Being recognized for that work by the Goleta Chamber is both a validation and a privilege for which I am deeply honored. I’m proud of every woman and man who has walked out of WEV with the courage, the confidence and the knowledge to start or expand their own business. I’m proud that Goleta businesses like Goodland Kitchen, Crystal Chiropractic, Better Days Yoga and Swim With Phyn were able to get the loan or the business training and support they needed from WEV to realize their dreams of business ownership.”
Man of the Year: Jim Farr
Jim Farr is the mayor of Goleta and will be ending his term in December. He has been an advocate in the Goleta community since 1989 and was active in the group Goleta Now that helped Goleta become its own city.
Farr directed Goleta’s weekly newspaper, the Goleta Valley Voice, from 2000 to 2006 and was a radio broadcast professional. As a volunteer with the Goleta Valley Historical Society, he co-chaired the successful Restoration Campaign for Rancho La Patera & Stow House. Like Bailey, Farr attended UC Santa Barbara.
“I am honored to receive this award,” Farr told Noozhawk. “I only regret that I won’t have the prestige of this award to help me fight the battles to make Goleta a better community. This is a great community with the potential to be even greater.”
Educator of the Year: Ina Ettenberg
Ina Ettenberg has worked for the past 30 years serving the youth in the Goleta Union School District as a classroom and intervention teacher. She is the embodiment of the passion of teaching as a calling and that teachers transform lives. Ettenberg retired from El Camino School on Nov. 18.
“I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl,” she said. “The greatest challenge is to be a teacher. To reach that one little person, it takes a team effort.”
Large Nonprofit of the Year: Ice in Paradise
In 2015, Ice in Paradise opened its doors on Storke Road in Goleta, which was a dream come true that was celebrated by the whole community. The Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association raised $15 million to build the facility, which includes an NHL-size hockey rink, a second-story terrace overlooking the skating and hockey rinks, a second, smaller rink for skating, six team locker rooms, a figure skating room and a specially equipped adaptive sports locker room.
Award presenter Michelle Apodaca from Deckers encouraged everyone to celebrate the holidays on ice!
Small Nonprofit of the Year: Food from the Heart
Food from the Heart is a grassroots volunteer organization that feeds people in medical crisis. Founded during the AIDS epidemic, it has adapted to serve those in need who are not supported by governmental services. Each week, 150 to 160 clients receive at their door healthy, appetizing food that aids in the client’s healing and recovery.
Volunteer of the Year: Teri McDuffie
“I love to empower women,” Teri McDuffie told Noozhawk.
McDuffie, who garnered the Volunteer of the Year Award, is the owner of Santa Barbara Women’s Self Defense and a six-degree black belt. She has been a longtime board member for the National Association of Women Business Owners Santa Barbara Chapter and an ambassador for the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. She frequently donates her service to schools and women in need.
Student of the Year: Ruby Gans
Ruby Gans is a senior at Dos Pueblos High School. She is a student athlete in track and field, a member of the Dos Pueblos Jazz Band, a Writing Center tutor, a National Honor Society member and is involved in other extracurricular activities. Luis Vega proudly presented the Youth of the Year Award to Gans.
Small Business of the Year: M.Special Brewing Co.
M.Special Brewing Co. opened its doors in Goleta in September 2015 and quickly became a local favorite. The brewery is located near many of Goleta’s large employers and has become the hot spot for local tech employees. Its portfolio of beers ranges from IPAs to a Crisp American Lager.
Large Business of the Year: The Towbes Group
The Towbes Group, which is celebrating 60 years in business, has had a significant impact on the development of Goleta. From the Calle Real Center to the Willow Springs Apartments, The Towbes Group has provided much-needed office space for businesses and much-needed housing for the local workforce.
The Towbes Group’s mission is to “make their corner of the world a better place, one project, one idea and one person at a time.” Not a stranger to awards, the outstanding businessman and philanthropist Michael Towbes accepted the Goleta’s Finest Award for The Towbes Group.
Hospitality Business of the Year: Glen Annie Golf Club
Founded nearly 20 years ago, the Glen Annie Golf Club has been an important part of the Goleta community. The championship golf course hosts many regional golfers, and it hosts many nonprofit and community events. Junior high and high school golfers regularly practice at the facility.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Michael McDonald, Zizzo’s Coffee
Michael McDonald has worked tirelessly building the Zizzo’s brand, supporting the Goleta community. He recently expanded its operations to three locations. Zizzo’s Coffee and Brew Pub recently opened its doors in Hollister Village, while opening its satellite location inside Ice in Paradise.
Old Town Business of the Year: Prestigious Auto Body
The Goleta-based team at Prestigious Auto Body have provided superior auto body service for decades and have been instrumental in the beautification of Old Town Goleta. They support many nonprofit events with sponsorships. Prestigious Auto Body has worked with the San Marcos High School Automotive Technology Program to help restore cars the students are working on and to provide valuable training experience.
Special Recognition: UCSB College of Engineering
With a culture of innovation committed to developing new technology in ways that benefit the world, the UCSB College of Engineering has proven to be one of the most successful public research institutions in the country for the past 50 years. The college was represented by Dean of the College of Engineering Rodney Alferness, UCSB Foundation trustee and professor emeritus in chemical engineering Duncan Mellichamp, professor of English and Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall, and UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang.
“The variety of businesses and volunteers represented shows how unique is the Goleta community,” said Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. “These individuals, companies and organizations have made a huge impact on the Goleta community.”
Platinum Presenting Sponsors included American Riviera Bank, Bacara Resort & Spa, Buyna, Fauver, Archbald & Spray, Community West Bank, Cox, Deckers Brands, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, Heritage Oaks Bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, Spherion, The Novim Group, The Towbes Group and Venoco. Gold Sponsors were Aera Energy, Cabrillo Business Park, Citrix Online, FLIR Systems, Hollister Village, Impulse Advanced Communications, KARL STORZ Imaging and the Santa Barbara Independent. Silver sponsors included Brown & Brown Insurance, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Courtyard Marriott Santa Barbara Goleta, Latitude 34 Technologies, MarBorg Industries, Noozhawk, Santa Barbara Airbus, Santa Barbara Airport, State Farm Paul Cashman, UC Santa Barbara, Union Bank and Wells Fargo-Amie Parrish.
Click here for more information about the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, or call 805.967.2500 x5.