Virtual ceremony held June 17, benefiting Scholarship Foundation

Staff Report

Eight standout organizations and individuals received 2020-21 South Coast Business & Technology Awards during a virtual ceremony June 17. Now in their 27th year, the awards celebrate innovation, leadership and success in the area’s business and technology sectors.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

“We were forced to cancel the 2020 ceremony, so thought it only right that we recognize those honorees this year,” said Barbara Robertson, president/CEO of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. “As a direct result of sponsorships this year and last, we were able to award $325,000 in scholarships to area students. We are very grateful for such generous support from our local business and technology community.” 

To date, the event has generated almost $2.5 million in scholarships for students countywide.

Serving as event co-chairs this year were Janet Garufis, chairman/CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust, and Kirsten McLaughlin, market vice president at Cox Communications.

The 2020-21 honorees were Direct Relief (Excellence in Service); James Rogers of Apeel Sciences (Entrepreneur of the Year); Patricia Bragg Holdings (Company of the Year); Sherry Villanueva of Acme Hospitality (Executive of the Year); William Parrish of Seek Thermal (Pioneer Award); and Final Company, Nomad, and Well Health (Rising Stars).

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is the nation’s largest community-based provider of college scholarships, having cumulatively awarded in excess of $135 million to more than 55,000 county students since its founding in 1962.

A nonprofit organization, the Scholarship Foundation also provides free financial aid advising services. For more, visit