Downtown Santa Barbara Honors Unity Shoppe

Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Paseo Nuevo Shops & Restaurants (L to R): Ryan Grau and Kristen Weidemann of Paseo Nuevo, DSB Executive Director Carrie Kelly, Glen Broomberg of Santa Barbara Night Market, Bob Stout, DSB Board President, Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, and Danielle Methmann of Paseo Nuevo. Photo contributed

Staff Report

After a challenging year, Downtown Santa Barbara still found reasons to celebrate as “I Love Downtown Santa Barbara” was the theme for the organization’s Annual Awards Breakfast Presented by Southern California Edison on a rainy Valentine’s Day at Historic El Paseo restaurant.

Emcees Carrie Kelly, new DSB Executive Director, and Bob Stout (Wildcat Lounge and Little Kitchen), 2019 DBS Board President, first acknowledged board directors and newly appointed board officers, including David de L’Arbre (Santa Barbara Travel Bureau), Vice President; Anne Petersen (Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation), Treasurer; and Scott Burruss (The Shade Store), Secretary.

Then, it was down to business – first up, the Harriet Miller Youth Leadership Award sponsored by Pacific Premier Bank. Named for the former mayor, this award recognizes a local high school senior for their leadership and community service. Susan Young, Neighborhood & Outreach Services Supervisor introduced not one but two extremely worthy students – a tie for the first time in years. But both Anjali Thakrar (Dos Pueblos High School) and Mason Lender (Santa Barbara High School), each boasting a 4.95 GPA, were worthy recipients. “I feel honored to be to have been chosen as one of the recipients of this very important award,” said Mason. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship.

Board Director David de L’Arbre (Santa Barbara Travel Bureau) received the George Gerth Volunteer of the Year Award, for his tireless work leading the executive director search committee. Awarding the Business Champion of the Year sponsored by American Riviera Bank, DSB Marketing & Communications Director Kate Schwab congratulated Impact Hub for raising the bar downtown. After accepting the award, Co-Founder Dan Ferrick said, “We need you as much as you need us!”

Marketing Director of award sponsor Paseo Nuevo Shops & Restaurants, Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, presented the Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Glen Broomberg of Santa Barbara Night Market.

“This idea was born out of the fires,” Glen stated. “I walked out of my downtown office to see State Street empty during the important holiday season and thought, how will these shops survive?”

Finally, Citizen of the Year sponsor Irene Rhodes of Consumer Fire Products Inc. handed the coveted award to Unity Shoppe, in recognition of 101 years of community service. “While CFPI focuses on safety, security and peace-of-mind, Unity Shoppe’s mission fills other basic human needs such as food, clothing, and self-confidence.” Accepting the award, Executive Director Tom Reed said, “It is such an honor for the Unity Shoppe to receive this from Downtown Santa Barbara. Being recognized in providing a valuable service for the less fortunate in our community is humbling and encouraging. Having the support and involvement of our community makes it all work, and we are proud to be an integral part of the Santa Barbara business district.”