Noozhawk founder and publisher Bill Macfadyen was installed as the new chairman of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday night during the organization’s annual membership meeting.

“Goleta is increasingly a magnet for people traveling for business and for pleasure,” he told a crowd of about 125 people at Direct Relief’s gleaming new headquarters near the Santa Barbara Airport.

“The range of hotels, restaurants, activities and other amenities has tremendous appeal.”

Macfadyen said Goleta is a special place to live, work and play, and has “the best weather in all of California.”

“What’s special is the sense of community among businesses and residents, in Old Town and beyond,” he said. “Thanks to the work we do, thanks to the work you do, the Goleta Chamber of Commerce continues to be the linchpin of this community.

“I’m looking forward to 2019 and the next chapter in Goleta’s story.”

Macfadyen, who previously served as chamber chairman in 2007, made a pitch for the Property Business Improvement District that the City of Goleta and the chamber are exploring for Old Town. Among the potential services the PBID would fund are parking improvements, business development and leasing strategies, infrastructure, public safety, lighting, and signage and marketing.

“The goal is to enhance the experience and strengthen the functionality of a destination that draws nearby residents, locals from throughout the city, and visitors from afar — including downtown Santa Barbara,” he said.

The City Council is to hear a presentation on the PBID proposal at its Tuesday meeting.

The Goleta Chamber of Commerce’s newly installed board of directors.Click to view larger

The Goleta Chamber of Commerce’s newly installed board of directors. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Chamber president and CEO Kristen Miller led off the formal portion of the event, thanking the sponsors and recognizing the elected officials in attendance, including Councilmen Roger Aceves and James Kyriaco.

The chamber also recognized its retiring board members and welcomed the new board of 2019.

“Tonight is the one night of the year when we focus on ourselves,” Miller said.

Hallie Avolio, who completed back-to-back terms as the 2017 and 2018 chairwoman, joked during her opening comments, “If you don’t know me, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”

She said 2018 had been a great year for the organization, noting the success of the chamber’s annual Goleta Lemon Festival and the efforts to revitalize Old Town.

“Let’s make Goleta’s Old Town Goleta’s downtown,” said Avolio, sales and marketing director at Latitude 34˚ Technologies, an Old Town business she owns with her husband, Paul, and the founder of the newly launched Sassy Healthy Fit, a website for “In Demand Women” to provide motivation and inspiration to stay healthy and well.

At the chamber, “we strive to be relevant to your business,” she said.

Jennifer Newell, owner of SB Creative Content, and Michael Biancone, of CIO Solutions, were named ambassadors of the year, and Avolio bestowed the Chairwoman’s Award on board member Leslie Brickell, general manager at the Residence Inn By Marriott Santa Barbara Goleta.

The chamber’s new board members are Ryan Aeh of City Ventures, Francois DeJohn of Hayes Commercial Group, Barry Dorsey of The Kimpton Goodland Hotel, Steve Greig of Plains All American Pipeline, Brian Larinan of Granite Construction, John Longbrake of UC Santa Barbara, Craig Minus of The Towbes Group and Roberto van Geenen of The Ritz-Carlton Bacara.

Joining Macfadyen and Avolio on the chamber’s executive committee are Rich Antles of FLIR Systems, Trevor Large of Buynak Fauver Archbald Spray, Kirsten McLaughlin of Cox, Anne Pazier of Santa Barbara Gift Baskets and Susan Rodriguez of Brown & Brown Insurance.

In addition to Brickell, returning board members are Alex Bauer of Sansum Clinic, Ron Caird of Por La Mar Nursery, Beth Collins of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Arie Dejong of Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, Dan Gabie of LogMeIn, Janet Garufis of Montecito Bank & Trust, Renee Grubb of Village Properties, Donna Lewis of the Goleta Union School District, Matt Long of Signature Flight Support, Trish Miller of Spherion, Rich Nahas of Glen Annie Golf Club and CPA Tony Vallejo.

Rod Alferness of UCSB was the only departing board member this year.

The Goleta Chamber of Commerce boasts 440 members representing about 35,000 jobs in the area. Click here for more information.

— Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.