2016 Finalists

2016 Winners

Agricultural & Wineries



Robin Bogue

William James Cellars

Robin, owner and winemaker of William James Cellars, began in 2003 with two varietals, Chardonnay and Syrah. Named for Robin's father, Bill, who was involved with vineyards as she was growing up, and her son, James, Robin has added a dozen more varietals to her wine-making portfolio. William James has won many awards for her wines. Robin's children have also personally made wines under their label called, St. James, in honor of Katherine, Laurel and James. You can visit William James Tasting room in Orcutt.


Morgan Clendenen

Cold Heaven Cellars

Morgan started Cole Heaven Cellars in 1996 with the goal of being the best producer from Viognier grape. She uses old world methods and as both winemaker and owner, she is passionate about the quality of her wines. In addition to raising her children and running her winery, Morgan was first chair of the Santa Barbara's Vintners action benefiting Direct Relief and served on the Direct Relief board for 6 years. Cold Heaven Cellars is located in Buellton at the same location as the winery.


Clarissa Nagy

Nagy Wines

Clarissa initially started making wines with her husband as a wedding present for her guests. Two years later, when grapes from a single vineyard that she loved became available, she launched Nagy Wines in 2004 on a small scale. She wanted to be flexible in order to start and raise her family. In 2015 the wine production had grown enough to open her tasting room in Orcutt. As both winemaker and owner, she was able to control all aspects of her wines. Clarissa is very involved in her community and professional business networks.

Emerging Business



Norah Eddy

Salty Girl Seafood

Salty Girl Seafood offers a line of sustainably sourced seafood. Each product in the Salty Girl line is traceable back to the fisherman or fishing community where it was caught. Developed to make choosing and preparing seafood simple, each product comes pre-marinated with simple cooking instructions right on the package. Norah has worked in and on water most of her life. Salty Girl Seafood came together after Norah and her business partner, Laura Johnson, obtained their Master Degrees from the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management in 2014.


Alelia Parenteau

iSurf School

Founded in 2013, iSurf is the Central Coast's only surf school dedicated to getting women in the water and surfing. Alelia's goal was to break down the barriers that prevent women from surfing, whether they be emotional, physical or financial. Since it started over 150 women surfed with iSurf, many becoming annual members. ISurf also started a Watergirl program in 2014 that raised funds to start a surf program at Girls Inc. Through this effort iSurf provides 100% free surf programming to 10 girls per quarter.


Lisa Riolo


Lisa co-founded workzones because of a real need she faced herself: that of working from home. "workzones" is a co-working club that provides a shared office facility for independent professionals. Offering flexible, affordable choices (from on-demand meeting rooms and private offices to café style seating) workzones is an ideal workspace for an energetic community of freelancers, telecommuters, entrepreneurs and small business owners. Lisa focuses on creating collaboration in the community and to provide mentorship and support.

Green & Social Entrepreneurship



Randee Disraeli

Kanaloa Seafood

Randee and her husband, both scientists, started Kanaloa Seafood 33 years ago and remained faithful to their mission of providing high-grade, environmentally responsible seafood. They supply restaurants and hotels across the country. while our fish market provides the same quality product to our customers in Santa Barbara and Oxnard. Our restaurant on Chapala St. also offers fresh, inventive seafood dishes, with house-made salsas and tortillas. In this vertical integration of our business, every part of the fish is used. Even the fish bones go back to crab fishers as feed!


Dr. Sharon Donohoe

Turbine Technology Partners

Turbine Techonology Partners provides engineering consulting services to the wind industry because it has unique expertise in wind turbine design and operation. We are focused on supporting our goal of generating cost effective and reliable carbon-free renewal energy for the world. The team leverages its many years of experience in new turbine design, manufacturing, project development and fleet operations to provide cost effective solutions for our customers.


Lisa Proctor

Firefly180 Marketing

Lisa Proctor's early marketing and branding career was very successful but in 1990 she left her job to specialize in green marketing, working for ad agencies and others. But eight years ago she started her own agency, firefly 180 marketing, to support only green and mission-based organizations that also empower consumers to make the world a better place. She has won many marketing awards but what she most enjoys helping businesses and organizations "do well and do good."

Health & Wellness



Amy Hazard

L.AC, Santa Barbara Health & Healing Center

Amy uses a holistic approach to offer healing to her clients. Employing bodywork, native plant essential oils that she distills herself, herbal and dietary therapy along with acupuncture and cupping, she is able help her clients and has grown her business substantially simply by word of mouth. This detailed attention to each client is a critical part of her practice.


Jenny Schatzle

Jenny Schatzle Program

In January 2013, after 2 years of running boot camps, Jenny developed and created the Jenny Schatzle Program and opened her own fitness facility. Since then she has grown her business from a staff of 3 to 11 offering over 50 classes, 7 days a week. She created the hugely successful "Real People Real Stories Real Results" campaign and her tag line is, "Don't just change your body, change your life." She also supports numerous charities and organizations, raising both awareness and donations.


Robin Walker

Core Fitness Training

Robin started Core Fitness Training 21 years ago after being involved in weight training and body building. She saw a need for an exercise studio in Santa Barbara that emphasized whole health, corrective exercise, balance training, total body workouts and recovery movements to promote overall health and wellness. Clients range in age from 23 to 96 and Robin and her staff create programs to help them meet their health and fitness goals.

Hospitality & Tourism



Nirasha Rodriguez

The Food Liason

After nearly 20 years as a sous chef, private chef, celebrity chef and executvie chef, Nirasha decided to open The Food Liaison lunch counter two years ago and also to offer a recreational cooking school dedicated to preparing and enjoyment of local seasonal food from Santa Barbara. She works with local farmers who often deliver their fresh bounty directly to her. Nirasha is passionate about nourishing people with food that feeds their soul as well as their bodies, which is why the lunch counter and cooking classes came to be.


Leanne Schlinger

Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals

Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals specialized in luxury ranch, farm stay and other rentals that often allow the guests to experience nature, agriculture, fishing, hiking and more. Leanne started her business not long after college while she was working another job. She always wanted her own business and SYVR is fulfilling her dream. She and her team focus on delivering an great guest experience with the goal of inspiring memorable goals for her clients.


Sherry Villanueva

Acme Hospitality

Sherry Villanueva is Managing Partner of Acme Hospitality that owns three hospitality-based businesses in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone – The Lark, a 135 seat full-service family style restaurant/bar, Lucky Penny, a takeaway wood-fire pizzeria, Les Marchands, a wine bar and retail shop, as well as the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. All Acme properties are dedicated to delivering the highest quality experience to their guests through outstanding service, delicious food/wine/spirits and an atmosphere that is casually sophisticated, warm and inviting.

Media & Communications



Kristi Cooper

Pilates Anytime

Pilates Anytime is an online subscription video-on-demand (SOVD) service that streams over 2000 Pilates videos to subscribers in over 130 countries so they have access anytime. Kristi and her team film all the videos in their studio in Carpinteria and the company is the largest SVOD company in the world. Prior to starting Pilates Anytime, Kristi was a self-employed Pilates teacher and was frustrated by not being able to share the value and benefits of Pilates with more people. She decided the best way to do that was to film classes and distribute them over the Internet, so she launched the business in 2010. The initial startup was very hard but once it was up and running, it became profitable within the first four months.


Holley Malia

Grey Matter Marketing

Holley founded Grey Matter Marketing, a performance marketing agency specializing in helping medical technology companies become leaders in their field. She started the company in 2006 after realizing that these companies were ignoring the primary healthcare decision-makers: women. Holley and her staff strive to become change agents to encourage trust-building behaviors between healthcare providers, device/pharmaceutical companies and the consumer, whom they know is probably a woman.


Christina Songer

Pacific Press

Pacific Press SB is a full service printing, copying and graphic design firm in Santa Barbara. Christina starting working with Pacific Press 20 years ago and became the owner two years later. Her efforts to differentiate Pacific Press have always focused on providing excellent customer service and offering support to her clients' businesses as well as to the community at large. And she has been very successful growing her business in Santa Barbara based on client satisfaction.




Dee Duncan

New Directions Travel

NEW DIRECTIONS TRAVEL is an exciting not for profit travel service providing holiday, educational and leisure group travel vacations for people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Dee started New Directions Travel 30 years ago and there were no other travel organizations doing what she created, and the few that exist today are primarily for profit. The tours are escorted by special education instructors, therapists, nurses and others trained to meet the needs of this special population.


Nathalie Gensac

Youth Interactive

Nathalie started Youth Interactive in 2012. It is a creative entrepreneurship academy serving students ages 14-24 from low-income families. From biscotti that the students make and sell to local business to student-made arts and craft that are sold in their Funk Zone storefront, Youth Interactive has been very successful in re-engaging "drop out youth" back to learning and on to a responsible, positive pathway to adulthood. It is now is operating at full capacity and has a waiting list. YI also does outreach throughout the county.


Hillary Hauser

Heal the Ocean

In 1998 Hillary wrote an long article in the SB NewsPress about the outrageousness of Santa Barbara beaches being closed because of pollution. She had been writing about the ocean nationally for many years. That led to her founding Heal the Ocean because no one was really addressing the problem; they were just complaining about it. HTO focuses on wastewater infrastructure and ocean dumping practices to help cities and counties prevent and stop ocean pollution. And they have made a huge difference.

Professional Services



Cate Buccellato

The Good Coaches

Cate started The Good Coaches six years ago to help professionals and entrepreneurs bring their ideas and products to fruition. The values of the company that they seek to share with their clients are: Courage, Integrity, Juiciness, Growth and Gratitude. Having been a serial entrepreneur before starting her coaching business, the advice that Cate gives other entrepreneurs about starting their businesses is, "Be Fierce!"


Judy Hawkins

Ruby Road Leadership

Judy started Ruby Road Leadership three years ago with this philosophy: How might we cultivate mindfulness and heart-centered workplaces, for leaders and teams, to unlock human and business potential? Ruby Road Leadership optimizes entrepreneurial cultures and facilitates collaboration across the business and nonprofit sectors by leading, training and inspiring strong teams as well as designing and managing projects, community initiatives and strategic solutions.


Petra Thom

Baratto, Sullivan & Co. Insurance

Petra grew up in Eastern Germany before the Berlin Wall came down, and after it did, she started dreaming that one day she could own her own business. As she says, "I am the American Dream!" Baratto, Sullivan is small boutique insurance agency that works with other small business owners and understands their challenges. They have been in business 15 years and offer customized and cost effective plans to private individuals and commercial businesses.




Gina Andrews

Bon Fortune

Gina left her career behind when her first child was born and after she had her second, she was unable to find affordable classic favors for her children's 1st & 4th birthday parties. So she made her own. Friends were impressed and asked her to put on parties (with her handcrafted favors) for them. She started selling leftover favors on Etsy, that grew into its own shop in 2012. In 2014 she opened Bon Fortune boutique in Carpinteria, and her second online shop and website a year later. She expects to open a wholesale operation in 2017.

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Fay Doe

Underground Culture

Growing up as the youngest of seven children in a low-income household in England, Fay learned to do the best with whatever she had. That led her to work hard as a hair stylist and build her clientele, first in England, then here in Santa Barbara. Her award-winning salon, Underground Hair Artists, has been in business in downtown Santa Barbara for 16 years. Fay has also developed a complete line of all-natural Underground Culture Hair products, and $1 from the sale of each product goes to support events and nonprofits for youth.


Mahri Kerley

Chaucer's Books

Mahri started Chaucer's 41 years ago because she loves books. She feels the mission of Chaucer's is to present an interesting, challenging and entertaining mix of books and sidelines so that every person who comes in the store will find something they didn't know they would be interested in. Chaucer's gives back to the community through school book fairs. And the inventory of the store is curated by Mahri and her knowledgeable staff specifically for the Santa Barbara/Southern California community.

Science & Technology



Kristin Denault

Fluency Lighting Technologies, Inc.

Fluency Lighting Technologies, Inc. is an early stage startup working to create next-generation bright, compact, and narrow beam light sources for highly efficient and flexible design illumination. Our focus is in designing efficient and inexpensive optical platforms to convert laser light into high quality white light. Kristin started with a small innovation in a lab and began building it up into a working product that serves a real purpose. That inspired her to start her business in 2014.


Heather Gray

Gray Electrical Consulting + Engineering

GECE is a team of electrical engineers, consultants, and drafting professionals collectively working together to serve California with quality electrical engineering services. Their services include Consulting Engineering, Commissioning of Electrical Systems, Sustainability Consulting, Lighting System Design, Power System Design, and Utility Coordination. They offer full service electrical engineering, supporting schematic design through construction documentation, master planning, in-field observation, construction administration, as well as system preventative and predictive maintenance planning.


Andrea Neal, Ph.D.

Blue Ocean Sciences

Blue Ocean Sciences creates solutions to some of our toughest environmental problems through a highly accelerated process of working with scientists, physicists, engineers and others. Andrea co-founded the company in 2012. The company is different because they approach and solve environmental problems from concept to sale. Their latest technology will hit the market later this year because they have partnered with a company that be introducing it nationwide. What makes this special is that all involved become a team working together to create a healthier planet for future generations.

2016 Award Recap



Award Categories

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