Even though it’s not even Christmas yet, business-related events are being planned in January.

“Things You Need to Know to Get Things Done in Santa Barbara” is the topic of an 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. luncheon at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort on January 9. Panelists include Rep. Lois Capps, 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, State Assemblymember Das Williams, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, and Councilmember Bendy White.

The South Coast chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners is sponsoring the luncheon, which is for business owners. The panel discussion will be moderated by Tim Buynak of the law firm of Buynak & Fauver, and Steve Cushman, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce. To RSVP, see nawbo-sb.org.

A “Business 2 Business Breakfast” is being planned by the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. on January 3 at Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic and Innate Fitness. The breakfast will allow attendees to meet prospective customers and other business owners. Everyone gives a 20-second “elevator pitch.”

The Goleta chamber also plans to have its annual membership meeting at 5 p.m. on January 18 at the Bacara Resort and Spa. For more information, see www.goletavalleychamber.com.

A business mixer and 10-year anniversary party is planned for Santa Barbara-based Parentclick.com from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on January 23 at Business First Bank, 1035 State Street. Parentclick.com provides online listings of family-oriented businesses, nonprofits, and events. Wine and appetizers will be served for business and nonprofit operators with a ParentClick.com listing. A $5 per person reservation fee is required. See santabarbara@parentclick.com for more information.

Corporate Responsibility

Santa Barbara-based Harrington Investments, Inc. this week said it has filed shareholder resolutions calling on Citigroup, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase to stop indemnifying directors against civil and criminal liabilities. These actions are formal resolutions by company shareholders ratifying or requesting a specified action by a corporate board.

“The next time one of these banks commits a crime, their directors would not automatically have their defense paid for with shareholder funds,” said John Harrington, president and CEO of Harrington Investments, which describes itself as “a socially responsible investment advisory firm.”

“It is the fiduciary responsibility of corporate directors to ensure that publicly traded corporations have adequate oversight and legal compliance measures in place,” Harrington said in a media release. “Failure to do so is negligence and should be considered criminal neglect.”

Harrington said these are serious issues that need to be taken seriously. “Nothing short of our national security is on the line,” Harrington said.

More than $270 billion of taxpayer funds were used to bail out Bank of America, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase following the 2009 meltdown. Since then those companies have failed to make adequate policy reforms necessary to avert ongoing controversies and not one director has been charged with corporate malfeasance, Harrington said.

“From ‘mistakenly’ foreclosing on foreign-deployed service members (with pregnant wives), to systematically defrauding schools, nonprofits and hospitals, to misleading their own customers and investors, to submitting tens of thousands of improper foreclosure affidavits, to paying themselves outrageously after imploding the U.S. economy, the bankers seem immune to moral suasion or legal sanction,” said Jack Ucciferri, research and advocacy director and head of Harrington’s Santa Barbara office.

“This ongoing lack of accountability is why we have introduced shareholder resolutions seeking to enhance director oversight by reducing knee-jerk indemnification of those directors,” Ucciferri said.

Harrington Investments officials said they have been pioneering socially responsible investing and shareholder advocacy for the past three decades. The company manages assets for institutional and individual investors who are concerned with social, environmental and financial performance.

The South Coast Biz Blog is a roundup of business news in the Santa Barbara area and is written by Ray Estrada, restrada_2001@yahoo.com, who has covered business in the region for numerous publications over the past couple decades. See more at independent.com/biz and wordpress.com/southcoastbizblog.


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