February 4, 2023
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Winter’s legacy endures at Westmont College


Shortly after the Business Times was founded, we learned about David Winter and his work as president at Westmont College.

Over lunch at the Westmont campus, we were introduced to Westmont’s vision for its students as a liberal arts institution focused on Christian values and ethics.

Coincidentally, one of the first Business Times staff writers was a recent Westmont graduate, Laura Polland, who became our founding technology editor.

Through the years we followed Westmont’s progress in building a new campus, surviving the devastating fire that ripped through Montecito. And always Winder was a towering presence even after the sudden onset of a disease that gradually reduced his ability to see.

Although he stepped down officially as president in 2001, Winter remained a trusted adviser to many on the campus and in the business community.

He returned as interim president and chancellor in 2006-07.

Today, with Gayle Beebe as president, Westmont has become a nationally-ranked undergraduate institution with an expansion under way into downtown Santa Barbara and an active internship program.

“Westmont continues to benefit from Dave’s contribution during his long and distinguished service,” Beebe said in a statement. “The college and our local community are fundamentally different and better because of his vision and the work he accomplished.”

Winter had an advanced cancer diagnosis this summer and returned home in early August.  He died Aug. 15 at age 84.

We’re grateful to Ed Birch and former Santa Barbara Bank & Trust President Dave Spainhour, who made those early introductions.

And we express our condolences to the Winter family and the Westmont community.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 29 at First Presbyterian Church on the corner of State and Constance streets in Santa Barbara.

Cyber security a concern

California has a cyber-security problem.

In the wake of a scathing state auditor’s report about California’s apparent inability to protect the private information of millions of citizens, there’s been a rising call for legislation to protect public networks from security breaches.

Leading the call is Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, a Democrat from Thousand Oaks and chairwoman of the Select Committee on Cyber Security.

It has not escaped our notice that each year thousands of businesses in the Tri-Counties routinely provide confidential financial information to the state via corporate tax returns, unemployment filings and reports to other agencies.

We’d point out that protecting this information, for competitive as well as privacy reasons, is just as important as protecting individual data