Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Small business in the tri-counties are honored

The Sixth Annual Spirit of Small Business Awards Luncheon, put on by Pacific Coast Business Times and the U.S. Small Business Administration, took place last Thursday at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort and you couldn’t have two more incongruent gatherings in the same building. A sign read: “Quiet Please, Meditation Taking Place” next to the hallway full of very chatty, professionally dressed men and women in business attire – apparently some sort of meditation conference was taking place in the next ballroom! (Yours truly, who threw out all her business suits after a couple of years toiling in Manhattan in the 1980s, fit in better with the former group of monks and mediators in a Indian kurta and linen pants.)

I was a guest at the Awards Luncheon of The Boehm Group and was seated at table #1 with three charming generations of the Boehm Family. Patriarch Eric Boehm who, while continuing to celebrate his recent 90th birthday, was as handsome and flirtatious as ever with the ladies in the crowd; his son Steven Boehm, who runs the audio and book biography company, and grandson, charming Jeff Boehm, a graduate of UC San Diego, who is learning the family trade. Also at the table, Kenneth F. Crawford, Lender Relations Specialist from the Los Angeles district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as Douglas Crawford, Jean Olson and Lynn Alonso, all with The Boehm Group.
We were treated to inspiring speeches from Senator Lois Capps, who discussed energy issues and stressed her opposition to offshore oil drilling (I’m with you, Senator), and Monica Lozano, the third generation publisher of La Opinion newspaper in Los Angeles. Ms. Lozano’s sage recommendations to small businesses owners included “put your people first, stay close to your customer and their changing needs, and stay close to your core values and core assets.”
Out of 50 nominations, the well-deserved, hard working eight winners were: Pete Turkell, owner of Phone On Hold Marketing Systems; former Vietnam war vets Rick Throckmorton and Charlie McLaughlin of Aspen Helicopters, soft-spoken Eric Sanabia of Signature Woodworks; Brian Joseph of Joseph Engineering; the engaging Christophe Mkpdo of Textile Waste Solutions (who recycles 2 million pounds of textile waste instead of it going in to landfill); Denise Beam-White of Consortium Media Services; Ron and Lisa Greenwood of Global Energy and Technology; and Pete Lassen of Lassen’s Natural Foods, which is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary in business.
All of the winners will receive audio-snapshots (biographical interviews) courtesy of The Boehm Group. Congratulations to one and all, and thanks to Henry Dubroff, Editor and Chairman of Pacific Coast Business Times, for throwing the ultimate power and networking lunch for the tri-counties.

Polo & Resort Residences Team Up
A lovely buffet brunch, that included good-enough-for-seconds chilaquillas catered by Cindy La Fond of The Pampered Palette Catering, accompanied by Alma Rosa wines, was held under a tent along the main field at the Santa Barbara Polo Club on Sunday. The invitation-only event was hosted by Capella Hotels & Resorts, a sponsor of the America Cup Finals, to promote Capella Residences Bahia Maroma, a new hotel and private $2-$10 million residence project scheduled to open in March of next year. The development will be situated along one of the prettiest, one-mile long stretches of beach in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Never heard of Capella Hotels and Resorts? Think Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Peninsula Group: none other than former Ritz-Carlton uber hotel expert Horst Schulze heads the new hotel management company based in Atlanta. The casually chic crowd included Alma Rosa winemakers Thekla and Richard Sanford, Elizabeth Skene, Ambassador Glen Holden with his wife Gloria, and Cynthia James who, with her husband Jorge Rosales, owns a small bed and breakfast on the Riviera Maya. From the Capella Resorts side of things, CEO of Ideaworks Charles Ward, who specializes in “wealth marketing” and a most charming Carlos Tommasi, of Mexico City, whose family owns Grupo Carrousel, the developers of the project, hosted the casually chic dressed crowd.
Polo manager Andy Smith gave an informative talk about polo horse breeding before taking over his announcing duties for the games and let the attendees know that a string of polo ponies can cost anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million. Obviously, this high stakes sport is not for the faint of heart or thin of pocketbook. If you want to know whom the patron of a team is, check for the rider with the lowest rating (players are rated from 1-10).

Dig This!
Nancy Salvucci, who publishes “SB Digs”, a hip, “Insiders” online guide to Santa Barbara that focuses on home and garden, shopping, travel, artists, decorative arts, classes and tours and design services, has just opened the guide up to the general public FOR FREE and is waving the $20 subscription fee. Check it out at

Wedding Bells
Congratulations to Ted Lister and his lovely fiancé Sarah Randolph on their upcoming, October wedding in Northern California. Ted is the son of Karin and Ed Lister and his proud parents hosted a lovely engagement summer soiree on the terrace of their George Washington Smith house over the weekend. A stunning mix of friends from Los Angeles, England and Santa Barbara gathered to toast the couple, while a full moon rose over the panoramic views across the Andre Clark Bird Refuge to the sea.
Also tying the knot, this coming weekend, Ethan Russell Brostedt and photographer Nancy-Neil Schultz. Hip, Hip, Hooray for this hip young couple!
Congratulations are also in order for the new Mr. and Mrs. Brendan Dwan.
Brendan is the manager of the new Boathouse restaurant (formerly The Brown Pelican) on Hendry’s Beach and is so busy that he and spouse Nadine’s honeymoon is postponed until a later date. Hopefully, they can enjoy a romantic dinner at the new hot spot very soon.

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