Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce announces winners of its regional awards
The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of its Regional Business Awards.
The winners will be honored during the chamber’s annual meeting and annual awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 25 in the rotunda at the Hilton Beachfront Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.
Tickets cost $125 and must be purchased in advance. To purchase, contact the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce at chelsea@SBSCChamber.com or call 805-967-2500, ext. 105.
The Santa Barbara event originally was scheduled for Feb. 4, but it was postponed due to the recent COVID-19 surge.
The meeting will include the formal installation of the 2022 executive officers and board members, and the outgoing board members will be honored for their contributions. This will be followed by the awards ceremony.
“We are excited for this annual event as it will be the first time we are hosting this since the merger of our organization over a year and a half ago. From Goleta to Carpinteria, we are looking forward to honoring the phenomenal businesses who create our thriving business economy and uplift our quality of life,” said Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce.
The Regional Business Award Winners are:
Large Business of the Year: Cox Communications. According to the chamber, the business has invested $15 billion in infrastructure across the country over the past 10 years and is currently investing another $10 billion over the next five years to enhance its network and enable future technologies, including many projects throughout the Santa Barbara South Coast community.
Small Business of the Year: Hilltop Flowers Inc. This family-owned and operated company in Carpinteria continued to expand over the years and through the generations. Hilltop Flowers Inc. ships flowers wholesale across the country. One common theme for Hilltop Flowers and the Welty family is the act of giving and service as demonstrated by their actions all these years, the chamber noted.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Chris Chiarappa, Santa Barbara Restaurant Collective- In 2021 Chris Chiarappa launched the Santa Barbara Restaurant Collective.
Within five years, he started three Mesa Burgers outlets, three Light House Coffee locations and M-Kitchen in the M. Special brewery in downtown Santa Barbara and Corner Tap, and he is preparing to open several additional enterprises within the next two years.
The chamber noted the driving force behind Mr. Chiarappa’s motivation is to give back to the community and the people who make this place so special.
Nonprofit of the Year: Better Together Fund-Santa Barbara Better Together has a mission to invite more local corporations to help local causes.
When Dave Powers, CEO & president of Deckers Brands, saw that the impact of COVID-19 would be devastating to the community, which has seen its fair share of tragedy in recent years, he began the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund. It was officially established in March 2020 and is in partnership with the Santa Barbara Foundation.
Milestone Business Award: E.J. Harrison & Sons. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, Harrison Industries provides residential, commercial and industrial trash and recycling collection service to 90,000 customers in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Hospitality Award: Visit Santa Barbara. The chamber noted Visit Santa Barbara played an invaluable leadership role in the regional tourism industry’s pandemic response and the community’s larger economic recovery.
Visit Santa Barbara helped with providing clear and consistent communication internally and externally around the rapid changes and mandates due to the pandemic, the chamber said.
Community Business of the Year: Mariposa at Ellwood Shores Assisted Living in Santa Barbara County.
The chamber described Mariposa as a “warm, inviting senior living community designed for the care and comfort of its residents.”
During the pandemic, Mariposa at Ellwood Shores was proactive in keeping their residents safe and did so while growing their business to experience a 45% revenue jump in the last two years. It also continued to employ residents as the business grew.
“This community goes above and beyond when serving its residents, taking care of staff, and staying connected within the community,” the chamber said. “They are committed to protecting our most vulnerable community members with constant testing, vaccination clinics, and the distribution of information.”
Special Recognition: Local banks (American Riviera Bank, Community West Bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, Pacific Premier Bank).
In 2020 and 2021, local banks assisted local businesses as they navigated through the pandemic and the closures that came during it.
The chamber praised the banks for helping to decipher the requirements for businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program and for assisting businesses with qualifying for forgiveness of the loans.
Ambassador of the Year: Angela Miller-Bevan. She has been an ambassador for the chamber for over 10 years and has helped in many ways, especially during the annual Goleta Lemon Festival, the chamber said.
A Santa Barbara native and a Goleta resident for 10 years, she learned the value of volunteering at an early age and the sense of community she receives from showing up and serving.
Chairman’s Award: Tom Patton, general manager and partner of the Ramada by Wyndham Santa Barbara.
The Chairman’s Award is given to the board member, chamber member,or entity that has been most integral to the success of the chairman’s year leading the chamber.
Mr. Patton has been a member of the chamber and has served on the Board for many years.
“In 2021, Tom stepped in and provided critical leadership and insights to our chamber during the challenging times that we faced amidst the pandemic,” the chamber said. “His connection and role with the California Hotel and Lodging Association provided our organization and region with invaluable information on industry best practices according to state mandates and the fluid changes due to the pandemic.”
Mr. Patton was elected the state hotel association’s 2022 board chair, and the chamber described him as “a strong advocate for our region on a state level.”