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South Coast Business & Technology Awards Presented

Proceeds Benefit Scholarship Foundation

Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara President and CEO Victoria Juarez (center) with Event Co-chairs Arnold Brier and Renee Grubb | Credit: Gail Arnold

On June 4, about 650 people gathered for the South Coast Business & Technology Awards, which celebrate South Coast innovators and raise funds for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. 

With leaders from every segment of the business community present, along with many government and nonprofit leaders, this is the premier networking event of the year. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the event began with an extended reception in the Plaza del Sol at the Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. Guests were then welcomed in the Grand Ballroom by Event Co-chairs Arnold Brier, Yardi Systems VP and general counsel,  and Renee Grubb, Village Properties founder.  

Scholarship Foundation Board Chair Don Logan remarked on how the awards program has partnered with the Scholarship Foundation since 2001 and generated more than $2 million in scholarships for Santa Barbara County students. In emphasizing the deserving nature of these students, he noted that this year the recipients have an average GPA of 3.91 and 52 percent of them are first generation college students. A recent recipient, Juliet Ho, shared her gratitude.

The Excellence in Service Award went to CALM, whose programs prevent and treat childhood trauma in our county. CALM serves families and caregivers directly and through partnerships with myriad entities. Montecito Bank & Trust Chair and CEO Janet Garufis presented the award, expressing her sincere gratitude for CALM’s invaluable work serving thousands of families each year. CALM CEO Alana Walczak shared how the award’s name, Excellence in Service, embodies what CALM aims to do every day in support of the most vulnerable children and families in the community through cutting edge trauma prevention and treatment services.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to Kevin O’Connor who was the founder, while still in college, of Intercomputer Communications Corp (acquired by DCA), co-founder and CEO of DoubleClick (acquired by Google), and founder and CEO of Graphiq (acquired by Amazon). Among the companies he has provided venture capital to are Procore, Surfline, HG Data, and MeetUp. With his son Cormac, he recently started ScOp Venture Capital, which focuses on technology companies with scalable opportunities.

The Company of the Year Award went to Procore Technologies, a leading provider of cloud-based applications for the construction industry. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Carpinteria, the company now has 1,400 employees and 12 offices. Last year, more than 140,000 construction projects were completed using its software.

The Executive of the Year Award went to American Riviera Bank President and CEO Jeff DeVine. Since he took the helm in 2008, the bank has grown from one branch and less than $100 million in assets to five branches and more than $600 million. DeVine was responsible for the 2016 merger with The Bank of Santa Barbara.

The Pioneer Award went to Reicker, Pfau, Pyle & McRoy founding partner Mike Pfau, who provides legal services for the general business, real estate, securities, tax, and financing needs of his clients. He served on the board and as president of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, on the board of three banks, and as a founding boardmember and president of the S.B. Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on the boards and/or as president of myriad other nonprofits.

A new category was introduced this year, the Rising Stars Awards, which honor young companies on the cusp of success. Recipients were Apeel Sciences, Next Energy Technologies, and ParentSquare.

This year’s event grossed about $300,000. The net proceeds will go to students pursuing degrees in business and technology-related fields. An all-volunteer Steering Committee selected the honorees.

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is the largest community-based scholarship organization in the nation, having awarded $115 million over the past 57 years. This year, it awarded nearly $8 million in college and vocational scholarships to about 2,600 students throughout the county. It also provides free financial aid advising services, which generate significant additional funds for students. For more info about the Scholarship Foundation, go to sbscholarship.org.

Send event invites to gail@independent.com.

Photo: Gail Arnold CEO Alana Walczak from Excellence in Service Award recipient CALM with award presenter, Montecito Bank & Trust Chair and CEO Janet Garufis
Photo: Gail Arnold Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient Kevin O’Connor, ScOp Venture Capital managing partner, and President/COO Steve Zahm of Company of the Year Award recipient Procore Technologies
Photo: Gail Arnold Executive of the Year Award recipient Jeff DeVine, president and CEO of American Riviera Bank, with Pioneer Award recipient Mike Pfau, founding partner of Reicker, Pfau, Pyle & McRoy
Photo: Gail Arnold Managing Director of lead sponsor Union Bank Vince Caballero with Regional Director of Development of sponsor Cal State Channel Islands Helene Schneider


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