United Way celebrates 100 Years of Service in Santa Barbara County

By Giving List Staff   |   June 12, 2023
George Leis & Janet Garufis (Montecito Bank & Trust)

The nonprofit recognized its community partners at the milestone event

Over 200 community partners, volunteers and supporters celebrated a century of service at United Way of Santa Barbara County’s 100th Anniversary Celebration on June 1 at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. 

The event commemorated 100 years of United Way’s efforts to build brighter futures for local families through strong community partnerships. A cocktail hour was followed by dinner and a program, including the debut of United Way’s 100 Years of Service video. After United Way board chair Cliff Lundberg toasted the organization’s milestone, attendees celebrated the storied nonprofit with an evening of music and dancing.

Thanks to generous sponsors, United Way and invited guests spent the evening in celebration and thanks, honoring eight local organizations, individuals and service agencies who have played a role in the organization’s first century of service. 

This year’s award winners include:

Outstanding Workplace Award: AGIA Affinity 

Live United Award: John and Susan Hanna 

Innovation Award: The Errett Fisher Foundation 

Community Impact Award: Family Service Agency & Assistance League of Santa Barbara

Next Century of Service Award: County of Santa Barbara 

Community Partnership Award: Montecito Bank & Trust 

Century of Service Award: Cottage Health

Since 1923, United Way has empowered children, families and communities through its own unique collaborative programs and initiatives, partnership convening efforts, volunteer development and funding. United Way serves Santa Barbara County through three core initiatives: academic achievement, crisis response and recovery, and financial empowerment.

“As community needs change, evolve and grow, our work continues. 2023 marks United Way’s first steps into the next century of service and we couldn’t be more grateful to have you by our side,” Steve Ortiz, president & CEO, stated in his introductory remarks. “We are inspired by your commitment and look forward to continuing our partnership to generate innovative, sustainable and meaningful impact for those we serve.” 

Sponsors that made the evening possible included Centennial SponsorMontecito Bank & Trust; Honorary Program Sponsor Volentine Family Foundation; Platinum Sponsors City National Bank and Carrie Towbes & John Lewis;  Gold Sponsors Village Properties and Mr. G. Paul Didier; Silver Sponsors Santa Barbara Foundation, MarBorg Industries, Cottage Health, AGIA Affinity, Cliff & Diane Lundberg, Nancy Schlosser, and John & Susan Hanna; Bronze Sponsors Santa Barbara Zoo, Home Improvement Center, Anne Towbes, McCune Foundation, Mona Miyasato, The Oshay Family Foundation; and Event Underwriters & Gift in Kind Sponsors Renegade Wines, Buena Tile & Stone, Pro Garden Supply, Ventura Rentals, and Westerlay Orchids.


United Way of Santa Barbara County

Donate now!

(805) 965-8591
President & CEO: Steve Ortiz


Our mission is to enrich the lives of children and families and build resilient communities by leading local programs and partnerships that improve school readiness and academic achievement, financial empowerment, and crisis response and recovery.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.

Decades of Support

What I appreciate most about United Way’s approach to programming and outreach is that there is an organizational insistence on engaging the whole community. What that means for me personally is that United Way makes it fun and easy to support Fun in the Sun as it encourages more direct donor involvement with the program. This gives me a hands-on and close-up view of the work being done to support both our public schools and students. United Way makes it easy for donors to access all the programs and it involves members of our community at all levels in contributing, volunteering, and active learning about how we can collectively make our wonderful city and county an even better place for all.
David Jackson
Zegar Family Foundation

The Next 100 Years

In addition to its celebration of the 100-year anniversary alongside the volunteers, staff, partners, and supporters who have made the milestone possible, United Way of Santa Barbara County is also undertaking its first endowment campaign since 1982. 

“Our success in launching new programming and establishing new projects and partnerships are a benefit of that campaign 40 years ago,” President & CEO Steve Ortiz says. “With an evolving community, we need to prioritize maintaining UWSBC’s responsive and innovative programmatic infrastructure to adapt to changing needs. Endowment gifts or special anniversary donations will help UWSBC to stay strong for the next 100 years and sustain our impact on behalf of individuals, children, and families countywide.”

UWSBC Board of Directors

Cliff Lundberg, Chair
Vice President Emeritus, Westmont College
Diane B Doiron, CLU, Vice Chair
Owner, Doiron Financial Associates
Susan Hersberger, Vice Chair
Retired Public Relations Executive
Leo Hamill, Treasurer
Senior Vice President/Regional Manager, City National Bank
Steve Ortiz, Secretary
President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County
Rick Scott, Immediate Past Board Chair
Nonprofit Executive
Tim Armour
Retired Executive
Sue Birch
Retired Educator
Lance Connor
Reliable Engineering Services
David Flattery
Vice President of Business Development, DuPont Displays
Robert Hollman
Commercial Real Estate Developer & Owner
Alex Koper
President & CEO, MoXi, Global Mortgage Group
Shari Liu Fellows
Co-Founder/Principal, The Grayson Agency
Terri Maus-Nisich
Assistant CEO, County of Santa Barbara
Art Merovick
Retired Executive
Kevin Nelson
Director of Corporate Compliance, Cottage Health
Patrice Ryan
Retired Executive