2015 Goleta’s Finest Awards Winners Named

Goleta's Finest 2014

The 2015 Goleta’s Finest Award Recipients will be honored at a formal celebration on Friday, November 20th, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Bacara Resort & Spa. Goleta’s Finest is a 66-year old tradition honoring remarkable individuals whose contributions have enhanced the Goleta community.

The 2015 Goleta’s Finest winners are:

Man of the Year: Angel Martinez
Angel Martinez is a local business leader, visionary entrepreneur, and generous community supporter.  Angel’s dedication to the Goleta community was solidified in 2014 when Deckers Brands opened their flagship campus and retail store in the heart of Goleta at Cabrillo Business Park. Angel is passionate about growing his business in Goleta and making Deckers Brands the best place to work. . He has led Deckers Brands to make a substantial impact on our local non-profits, ensuring that our community maintains and increases opportunities for youth, education and the under-served.

Woman of the Year: Kathleen Cochran
Kathleen Cochran came to Goleta in 2012 and since then has made a big impact on our community and the visitor services industry. As the General Manager of Bacara Resort and Spa, Cochran oversaw one of the greatest turnarounds in hotel history, building the Bacara brand as a luxurious destination for visitors from all over the world, as well as a place for the local community to gather. Cochran’s work on local non-profit boards solidified Bacara’s generosity and impact for local non-profits.

Educator of the Year: Frank Koroshec
Frank Koroshec is an extraordinary educator who is dedicated to engaging with his students and enhancing their learning experience in preparation for life. Frank teaches 12th grade English at San Marcos High School and has used that platform to develop a pilot program to get high school students ready to enter college. Frank has created a college level English prep course and has worked with SBCC to give local high school students college credit. He is motivating the best and the brightest students in our community to be prepared for leadership positions in the future.

Large Non-Profit of the Year: Devereux
Devereux is celebrating their 70th anniversary as one of the oldest and largest nonprofit providers of behavioral healthcare in the country. Devereux Goleta offers residential services, adult day and life enrichment programs for people with disabilities. Devereux also provides supported and independent living programs so individuals can live at home, within Santa Barbara County.

Volunteer of the Year: Ed de la Torre
Ed de la Torre has worked tirelessly for nearly 10 years in his support and leadership for Friends of Goleta Beach Park. Ed led a grass-roots effort to address the community’s concern over erosion that was tearing away our most beloved beach park. Ed did countless hours of research with scientists, geologists, fisherman and experts on cutting edge techniques for addressing erosion.  . His pleasant persistence kept a committee of volunteers organized in presenting ideas to elected officials that were finally this year adopted in a plan to protect the park.

Student of the Year: Maggie Miller
Maggie Miller is being recognized her extraordinary combination of academic achievement, extracurricular dedication to the Mock Trial Team and artistic talent as a singer. A senior at Dos Pueblos High School, Maggie is captain of the mock trial team, and three-year starter. She recently led her team to the Empire World Invitational in New York City where she was honored with the coveted position of singing the national anthem at the opening ceremonies.

Small Business of the Year: Noozhawk
William Macfadyen, founder of Noozhawk, was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 for his innovative media platform. Seven years later, Noozhawk is being awarded small business of the year due to their exponential growth in an otherwise challenging industry. Noozhawk’s thorough reporting of local news has earned them the community’s trust and loyalty as the go-to news site. They have continued to see exponential growth year-over-year in all reader-traffic measures. Noozhawk is the premier media outlet to providing in-depth coverage of education and government countywide.

Large Business of the Year: Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is celebrating 40 years in business in our community and is a true reflection of the Goleta business story. Starting in 1975 as Able Engineering on Kellogg Avenue, the company has moved around and expanded, but has always remained an innovative force in the heart of the Goleta. They have seen many changes in 40 years, but their core values of innovation, scientific research, space exploration and excellence in engineering has remained constant.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Jason Weaver – DELux LED

With a goal to reduce the amount of natural resources we consume, Jason Weaver has been on a quest to develop energy efficient Light Emitting Diodes.  After years of work and 12-patents later, Jason has partnered with local utility companies to offer $1 LED bulbs and continues to help local businesses and residents find energy efficient solutions for every day life.

Small Non-Profit of the Year: Hugs for Cubs – Santa Barbara Foresters
Hugs for Cubs was founded in 1995 through the inspiration of Santa Barbara Foresters Baseball Team pitcher, Eric Pintard, who was diagnosed with a rare cancer.  Hugs for Cubs is the Foresters’ buddy program partnering baseball players with local children battling cancer. Hugs for Cubs has worked with local families and kids facing life-threatening illnesses to offer support, joy, fun, and the excitement of championship baseball.

Innovative Business of the Year: Kyle’s Kitchen
Kyle’s Kitchen opened their doors in the Calle Real center in December 2014. The founders, Jay and Deena Ferro, who already had a local following from their popular Silvergreens restaurants, began a new venture featuring their son, Kyle. Kyle is a special needs student at Mountain View School and his favorite foods are cheeseburgers and salads – so that is what is on the menu! Each month, Kyle’s Kitchen teams up with a local special needs non-profit organization to donate a portion of their proceeds to the cause.

Public Servant of the Year: Brent Daniels
Brent Daniels is truly an unsung hero in the Goleta community. Working quietly behind the scenes on the Goleta Planning Commission, Daniels has earned a reputation for fairness and balance in a historic time of Goleta’s growth as a city – a time of sometimes heated debate and intense community scrutiny. Daniels has over 25 years of professional planning experience in both the public and private sector and has volunteered his expertise on the planning commission since 2007.

The 2015 Goleta’s Finest awards ceremony is presented by the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.  For more information, please contact the Chamber at (805) 967-2500 ext. 4, or cortney@goletavalley.com