The 67th annual Goleta’s Finest awards were handed out in front of a crowd of 400 at Bacara Resort and Spa Saturday night. 13 awards were presented, punctuated by standing ovations. The evening culminated with the Man of the Year award presented to outgoing Mayor Jim Farr, and the Woman of the Year award was presented to Marsha Bailey of Women’s Economic Ventures.
Kristen Miller, President & CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce said, “These individuals are making a huge impact on the Goleta community every day.”
A news release from the Chamber has details on the 2016 Goleta’s Finest winners:
Man of the Year: Jim Farr
Jim Farr is the current Mayor of the City of Goleta, ending his term this December. He has been an advocate in the Goleta community since 1989. He was active in the group GoletaNow!, helping Goleta become its own city. He was a small business owner, running Goleta’s daily newspaper, The Goleta Valley Voice. As a member of the Goleta Valley Historical Society, he co-Chaired the successful Restoration Campaign for Rancho La Patera & Stow House. Jim is retiring at the end of this year after XX years in public service.
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 their 25th anniversary, a testament to Marsha’s hard work and focus. 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 Goleta’s local businesses and entrepreneurs have gone through the WEV program, helping them start up and run sustainable businesses.
Educator of the Year: Ina Ettenberg
Ina Ettenberg is an all around VIP when it comes to teaching, learning and leading. She has worked enthusiastically for 25 years serving the children of Goleta, as a classroom teacher and as an intervention teacher. If we agree with the notion that teaching is a calling, and that teachers transform lives, then Ina is the embodiment of that definition.
Large Non-Profit of the Year: Ice in Paradise
A year ago Ice in Paradise opened their doors in Goleta, and we celebrate the non-profit that made this dream a reality. The Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association worked tirelessly to raise the funds to build the facility. The $15 million project includes an NHL-sized hockey rink, a second-story terrace overlooking the skating and hockey, a second, smaller rink for skating, and facilities including 6 team locker rooms, a figure skating room, specially equipped adaptive sports locker room and more.
Small Non-Profit of the Year: Food from the Heart
Food from the Heart is a grass roots volunteer organization that feeds people in medical crisis. Founded during the AIDs epidemic, they have now adapted to serving those in need that are not supported by governmental services. Each week 150 to 160 clients receive a bag of healthy, fresh appetizing food that will aid in the clients healing and recovery.
Volunteer of the Year: Teri McDuffie
Teri Coffee McDuffie is owner of Santa Barbara Women’s Self Defense. A 6 degree black belt, Teri is a natural leader and giver. Teri has been a long time board member for the National Association of Women Business Owners Santa Barbara Chapter and Ambassador for the Goleta Chamber of Commerce. She’s always the first to arrive and the one cleaning up at the end. She constantly 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 the Track and Field Program, a member of the Dos Pueblos Jazz Band, a Writing Center tutor, a National Honor Society member, and this is just a few of her extracurricular activities. Ruby has an impressive resume that we will be celebrating at Student of the Year.
Small Business of the Year: M.Special Brewing Company
M.Special Brewing Company opened their doors in Goleta in September 2015, and quickly became a local favorite. The brewery is located adjacent to many of Goleta’s large employers and has become the hot spot for local tech employees and beer connoisseurs alike. Their portfolio of beers is diverse, ranging from IPA’s to a Crisp American Lager.
Large Business of the Year: The Towbes Group
The Towbes Group is celebrating 60 years in business this year. The Towbes Group has arguably had the biggest impact on the progress in Goleta. From Calle Real Center, to Willow Springs Apartments, the Towbes Group has provided much needed offices for our businesses and housing for our 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.
Hospitality Business of the Year: Glen Annie Golf Club
Glen Annie Golf Club has been a part of the Goleta Community for nearly 20 years. The championship golf course in Goleta is not just home to local golfers, but to the entire community. Nearly every corporate and charitable tournament in the area is held at Glen Annie. In addition, junior high and high school golfers are invited to practice at the facility. Glen Annie has become a gathering place for business meetings, holidays and celebrations.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Michael McDonald – Zizzo’s Coffee
Zizzo’s Coffee is a household name in the Goleta community, but many don’t know the face behind the brand. Michael McDonald has worked tirelessly building the Zizzo’s brand, supporting the Goleta community and eventually expanding their operations to 3 locations. Zizzo’s Coffee and Brew Pub recently opened their doors in Hollister Village, while at the same time opening their satellite location inside Ice in Paradise.
Old Town Business of the Year: Prestigious Auto Body
The team at Prestigious Auto Body have been providing superior auto body service for years. They have been instrumental in the beautification process of Old Town Goleta and supportive of community events. Prestigious Auto Body has worked with the San Marcos High School Automotive Technology Program to help restore cars the students are working on.
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 itself as one of the most successful public research institutions in the country for the past 50 years. We are celebrating their 50 year anniversary!