The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership meeting at UCSB’s Mosher Alumni House on Tuesday night, bidding outgoing board chairman Steve Greig farewell and welcoming incoming chairman Steve Fedde.
Fedde, vice president of Sares-Regis Group, the developer of Cabrillo Business Park, said his main priority will be to nurture a sustainable environment that allows startup companies to thrive in Goleta and surrounding communities.
“Locally born companies need to stay and grow local, and that’s really our goal,” he said of the chamber’s 2011 initiatives.
Although the Goleta business community “weathered the (economic) storm quite well,” Fedde said the city of Goleta has an opportunity to compete and minimize California’s statewide financial challenges.
Greig recapped his time as chairman, highlighting the rekindled relationship among the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, the Workforce Investment Board and UCSB.
“The community is fortunate to have all of you who serve on a board that helps the business community,” said Greig, government relations manager of Venoco Inc.
Kristen Amyx, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, noted that Goleta’s business community has been a popular topic of conversation among politicians, pundits and economists because of Goleta’s thriving job market, wealth and culture of innovation.
“We did it — we ended the year in the black,” Amyx said of the chamber’s own finances.
The event, sponsored by Pepperdine University’s Graziado School of Business and Management, attracted business owners, entrepreneurs and a handful of political officials from all over the area. In a groundbreaking partnership, the Graziado School is working with the UCSB Alumni Association to offer master’s degrees in business to South Coast residents.
Among those in attendance were incoming board members Peter Brown of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Gene Lucas of UCSB, Steve Nicholson of Citrix Online, Eric Onnen of Santa Barbara Airbus, Bill Terre of FLIR Commercial Vision Systems, Emma Torres of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Jim Youngson of Terrain Consulting and Craig Zimmerman of The Towbes Group.
Amyx and Greig thanked outgoing board members Chick Baltuskonis of Community West Bank, Kathy Boomer of the Goleta Union School District and Joanne Funari of Business First Bank. Greig also bestowed the annual Chairman’s Award on fellow board member Michael Rattray, the organization’s treasurer and the CEO of the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.
The membership meeting also gave the chamber an opportunity to honor its ambassador corps, the volunteers who coordinate, put together and staff such functions.
“People always ask me what do ambassadors do?” said Drew Wakefield, director of sales and marketing at Ramada Limited and the outgoing chairman of the Goleta ambassadors. “I reply, ‘One word: Everything.’”
Wakefield turned over the reins of the group to Hallie Avolio, sales and marketing director of Latitude 34˚ Technologies.
Title sponsors of the membership meeting were longtime Goleta Valley chamber supporters MarBorg Industries, Santa Barbara Airport, The Towbes Group and Venoco Inc.
Corporate sponsors were Noozhawk, Allied Waste Services of Santa Barbara, Ameravant, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Cabrillo Business Park, Citrix Online, Cox Communications, Latitude 34˚ Technologies, Marmalade Café, Media 27, Montecito Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust and the UCSB Mosher Alumni House.
— Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at email@example.com . Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @Noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.