Dr. Jason Prytowsky is one of five nominees for Young Professional of the Year
Paul Wellman (file)

Finding a career foothold in Santa Barbara can be tricky. Job opportunities are often few and far in between, especially for new graduates or those without well-padded LinkedIn profiles. That’s where the Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club (SBYPC) comes in. The group, now 20 years old, connects fresh faces in the workforce to employers and mentors, and supports the tireless efforts of our city’s myriad nonprofits.

“It’s important to give young professionals a platform to network with like-minded individuals,” said club president Jon Standring, who remembered feeling a little overwhelmed and isolated upon graduating UCSB in 2008, until he hooked up with the organization and went on to create real estate brokerage firm Beachside Partners.

This Friday, the SBYPC, whose core demographic is in the 25-45 age range, will host its annual holiday gala at the University Club where Mayor Helene Schneider will present the award for the 2016 Young Professional of the Year. In the running are financial planner Hannah Buschbom, senior prosecutor Brian Cota, fitness club operator Marianne Madsen, emergency room doctor Jason Prytowsky, and barber shop owner Richie Ramirez.

All of them, said Standring, practice the young gun creed of working their tails off to better their respective companies and agencies, as well as the Santa Barbara community as a whole. They volunteer and serve on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club, DAWG, Doctors Without Walls, CALM, and so on. “They do some amazing things,” said Standring. The winner will “best represent our community and organization.”

Also on Friday, SBYPC will present its Nonprofit of the Year award to the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. Last year’s recipient was the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, which also received $5,000 from the club’s members and sponsors.

Tickets for the gala, featuring casino games, dancing, food, and drinks, can be purchased online here. General admission is $80. The theme is Purple Rain. “It’ll make Prince proud,” said Standring.

For more information on the Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club, visit their website here.


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