January 28, 2023
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Dubroff: The Business Times celebrates 15 years with a Hall of Fame gala


ChampagneLogoWhen you look at the masthead of this issue of Pacific Coast Business Times, you will notice something new.

This is Volume 16 No. 1 and it is the beginning of our 15th anniversary year.

The special banner at the top of Page One signifies that for 780-plus consecutive weeks, we’ve been offering our subscribers an in-depth look at business and economic issues on the Central Coast.

During the past decade-and-a-half, we’ve helped the region develop an economic identity, providing a way to ride the economic waves through recession and recovery.

We’ve created by far the largest news operation for business and financial news between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. We’ve helped train a new generation of business journalists, and we’ve honored hundreds of companies and individuals through our highly successful awards programs.

This has not always been an easy task. I got a chuckle this week when the Nasdaq stock index briefly broke through the 5,000 barrier for the first time in 15 years — it has been a fascinating ride.

We’re going to celebrate our 15th Anniversary with a Gala Celebration at the Bacara Resort & Spa on May 14, and inaugurate five business luminaries into our Hall of Fame. To make it official, this year’s honorees are:

• Brooks Firestone, the pioneering entrepreneur who put Santa Barbara County’s wine industry on the map, sparking a revolution up and down the Central Coast. Along the way, he found time to serve as an assembly member and county supervisor.

• Angel Martinez, CEO of Deckers Outdoor Corp. and the person most responsible for transforming the South Coast into the Milan of America’s footwear business.

• Clint Pearce, the son-in-law of the late Alex Madonna and CEO of Madonna Enterprises. He has brought the Madonna family’s crown jewel, the Madonna Inn, into the 21st Century and restructured the family holdings to focus on real estate in San Luis Obispo County.

• Lynda Weinman, co-founder and executive chair at Lynda.com, the world’s biggest online training academy. Her company made news recently with a $186 million capital raise, furthering the distance between Lynda.com and its competitors.

• And finally, the late Alan Teague, longtime chairman of Limoneira Co., one of the world’s largest producers of lemons and avocados. Teague passed up a chance to succeed his late father in the U.S. House of Representatives in order to focus on the things he loved most: his family, the city of Santa Paula, Ventura County and his beloved Limoneira.

We launched the Business Hall of Fame five years ago in honor of our 10th anniversary. We’re delighted that these five will join our previous honorees, Oracle Corp. Vice Chairman Jeff Henley, Jordano’s President Peter Jordano, labor and workplace leader Hank Lacayo, Sage Publications’ co-founder Sara Miller McCune, consumer research pioneer J.D. “Dave” Power, retired banker Carrol Pruett, real estate and financial services entrepreneur Mike Towbes and the late Jack Gilbert and Martin V. Smith.

During our 15-year journey, we’ve been honored with a number of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Business Editors & Writers, the Los Angeles Press Club and Editor & Publisher. Our entrepreneurial efforts have been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the South Coast Business & Technology Awards, CSU Channel Islands and many others.

Our successes would not be possible without the support of our readers, advertisers and sponsors. Thank you for helping us build the region’s dominant business and financial news organization.
Look for our Hall of Fame publication on April 24 and please join us at Bacara on May 14.