Awards honor local business, technology leaders

Awards honor local business, technology leaders

Photo by Isaac Hernandez
Recipients of the South Coast Business & Technology Awards are exceptional local business people and innovators.

Staff Report


Four individuals and two local businesses were honored at the 2017 South Coast Business & Technology Awards, the region’s largest networking event for the business and technology industries.

Almost 700 guests gathered at the Fess Parker Hotel and Resort to celebrate local leaders who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the economic vitality of the South Coast of Santa Barbara County.

The honorees are exceptional business people and leading innovators on the South Coast. The 2017 honorees are:

– Excellence in Service: Santa Barbara International Film Festival

– Entrepreneurs of the Year: Adam Firestone & David Walker, Firestone Walker Brewing Company

– Company of the Year: AppFolio Inc.

– Executive of the Year: James Takayesu, Tecolote Research Inc.

– Pioneer Award: John Petote

The longevity of the awards – now in their 23rd year – is attributed to the commitment and dedication of its volunteer steering committee, this year led by Co-Chairs Arnie Brier of Yardi Systems and Renee Grubb of Village Properties.

The committee members choose the honorees and raise all the funds necessary to put on the annual event, one of the most popular in Santa Barbara’s business community. Past honorees include notable innovators and influencers across a spectrum of industries and trades.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, the nation’s largest community-based scholarship provider. The Scholarship Foundation manages the South Coast Business & Technology Awards Fund, which grants scholarships to local students studying business and technology-related subjects. To date the fund has distributed 811 awards totaling more than $1.8 million. This year’s event was the most successful to date and will result in more than 60 scholarships next year.

“It is predicted that California will face a workforce shortfall of 1.1 million college graduates by 2030, just 13 years away,” said Candace Winkler, president and CEO of the Scholarship Foundation. “Many of our local business are feeling that shortage today, making our collaboration with the South Coast Business & Technology Awards imperative.”