Santa Barbara County Schools Superintendent Bill Cirone and former KEYT Channel 3 owner Anne Smith Towbes shared the Santa Barbara Foundation’s 71st Man and Woman of the Year honors.
Smith Towbes is the widow of the late Bob Smith, longtime owner of KEYT. Now married to Montecito Bank & Trust owner Mike Towbes, she was cited for her longtime commitment to the arts and philanthropy.
Cirone is one of the longest-serving county school superintendents in California; he was honored in part for his efforts to distribute thousands of refurbished computers to students who cannot afford to have one in the home.
Cirone choked up when he recognized his wife, who had told him she was at home taking a stroll, seated in the back of the audience at the Coral Casino. “You said you were walking,” he said.
Santa Barbara Foundation Executive Director Ron Gallo said his organization is increasingly engaged in educational outreach to the Latino community as well as other initiatives on housing, health care and the elderly.
About 300 South Coast leaders attended the event, including Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, District Attorney Joyce Dudley and County Sheriff Bill Brown.