Woman, Man of the Year lead 2011 class of honorees at 62nd annual community awards presentation.
— Goleta’s Finest’s Woman of the Year Patricia Fabing, center, gets a photo opportunity with Annie Montalvo, left, of Bacara Resort & Spa, and Kristen Amyx, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. Fabing, marketing director of Friendship Manor, was recognized for her service and volunteerism in the community. (Sonia Fernandez / Noozhawk photo)
The best of the best in the Good Land were given their due Wednesday evening at the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Goleta’s Finest annual awards ceremony. Several hundred people packed the ballroom at Bacara Resort & Spa to honor businesses, volunteers and others for their accomplishments, achievements and contributions to the community.
“The chamber is pleased to present this event; it truly celebrates our great community,” said Steve Fedde, board chairman of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. The event was the 62nd annual of its kind.
For some, being honored as one of Goleta’s Finest was something of a lifetime achievement award, as it was for Man of the Year Dick Temple and Woman of the Year Patricia Fabing, who between them have lifetimes of service and volunteerism in the community.
“When my wife found out about this award she said, ‘Oh my. We’re not going to be able to live with you for quite a while,’” quipped Temple, a retired engineering services manager at Delco Defense Systems Operations.
“I said, ‘No problem. I’ll get over it in about a year or two.’”
When Fabing, marketing director at Friendship Manor, learned of her award, her reaction was a little more of a surprise.
“I texted, OMG,” she said to the amused audience of dignitaries, chamber members and other movers and shakers in the Goleta community.
For other recipients, the award was a show of support, like it was for Education Professional of the Year Michelle Magnusson, development and membership director at Santa Barbara Partners in Education, and Student of the Year Susie Murillo, a Dos Pueblos High School senior.
“Hopefully this award will help me get more scholarships so I can pursue my career in culinary arts and business management” said Murillo, who went from a D average in her freshman year to a 4.0 GPA in her senior year.
For yet others, it was all in a day’s work, as it was for the Volunteers of the Year, the Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue team. The team was paged for a call of duty just before Wednesday’s dinner but managed to find the missing person in time to receive the award later in the evening.
“That’s what I call efficiency,” Fedde joked.
Local businesses and business people got their due as well, including Community Business of the Year Santa Barbara Axxess, Small Business of the Year Palius + O’Kelley, and Entrpreneurs of the Year Umesh Mishra and Primit Parikh of Transphorm. The Nonprofit of the Year Award went to PathPoint, an organization committed to placing intellectually challenged individuals into employment where they can be self-sufficient and make a difference.
And while for many veterans of the Goleta’s Finest awards — whether they be recipients, past honorees, organizers or sponsors — have an idea of what an honor it is to be recognized for doing the things they would be doing if no one were paying attention, few could express the emotion like Dos Pueblos High English and theater teacher Clark Sayre, an accomplished professional actor and playwright, who was given this year’s Educator of the Year Award.
“My greatest reward is just showing up every morning to a job that I love, with students I love ... and serving the community I’ve loved since the day that I was born here, in Cottage Hospital,” he said.
Presenting sponsors of the 62nd annual Goleta’s Finest awards were Bacara Resort & Spa, Business First Bank, Cox Communications, Deckers Outdoor Corp., FLIR Commercial Vision Systems, MarBorg Industries, Montecito Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, UCSB and Venoco.
Event sponsors were Noozhawk, ATK Space Systems, Citrix Online, Latitude 34˚ Technologies, Linda Blue Photography, Marmalade Café, Media 27, ParentClick.com, RCI Builders, Santa Barbara Airbus, Santa Barbara Airport, Santa Barbara Independent, Sares-Regis Group, The Towbes Group and Wilson Printing.
Click here for more information on the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. Connect with the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce on Facebook. Follow the Goleta Valley chamber on Twitter: @goletachamber.
— Noozhawk contributing writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.