September 28, 2023
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Turning page on a new chapter in the Business Times newsroom


I’m going to take the opportunity this week to give an update from the newsroom at the Pacific Coast Business Times.

Like the rest of you in the business world, we have team members who didn’t set foot in the office or meet anyone in person until just two months ago. We’ve been very fortunate to have navigated the remote world and now have a hybrid model while we wait for the next iteration of COVID-19.

First, I’d like to announce that Amber Hair, who joined us as a staff writer just a few months before the pandemic struck, has been promoted to assistant managing editor for special reports and research.

Henry Dubroff
Henry Dubroff
From the Editor

She’ll be overseeing our special report nominations and production as well as our top 25 lists and the 2022 Book of Lists. She joined us from The Villages Daily Sun, a newspaper in central Florida, and recently received her master’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

To round out our newsroom staffing, we’ve hired Brooke Holland, who joins us after five years at the digital news website Noozhawk in Santa Barbara. Her first bylines appear in this edition of the Business Times, and she’s off to a fast start.

Brooke graduated from California State University Northridge, where she studied journalism. One of her professors there was Gretchen Macchiarella, a one of the original Business Times employees back in 2000.

Nearly a year ago, we hired Jorge Mercado from the Santa Barbara News-Press to cover technology and brought another Business Times alum, Tony Biasotti, on as managing editor. They’ve done a remarkable job of re-energizing our newsroom and keeping our digital-print hybrid model moving forward.

I’d like to thank Chris Officer, who is moving to Los Angeles to pursue new opportunities, for seven years of holding down the fort in special reports and research. I’m also pleased to announce that Marissa Nall, Jorge’s predecessor, is now on the staff of the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle.

Next week’s issue of the Business Times will mark our 21st annual 40 Under 40 special report, our look at the next generation of rising stars who will be reshaping the region in future years.

We’re now actively looking for nominations for our annual Fastest Growing Companies special report, and you can submit your company’s revenue data at

We’re also reaching out to nonprofits and community organizations that want to participate in our annual Giving Guide, an advertorial section that this year will include a “State of Philanthropy” roundtable with the CEOs of the region’s three community foundations: Vanessa Bechtel at Ventura County Community Foundation; Jackie Carrera at the Santa Barbara Foundation; and Heidi McPherson at The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County. For information about how to participate or sponsor the Giving Guide, contact Publisher Linda le Brock at

In October we’ll be launching a new Top CFOs special report that looks at the top CFOs and financial executives at the region’s public and private companies and substantial players in the nonprofit sector. Email your nominations to to

One of our most exciting new digital innovations is the “Charting Her Course” podcast, hosted by Advertising Account Executive Veronica Kusmuk and produced by Marketing and Advertising Coordinator Vianna Mabanag. Veronica is passionate about telling the stories of women taking on entrepreneurship roles.

Finally, we’ll be spending much of the fall refreshing our Book of Lists database. The Book of Lists is our gift to you at the end of each year — and it also makes a gift subscription a nice way to thank vendors, customers, or employees. For information about subscriptions, and especially gift subscriptions, you can always email Debra Giles at or check out

We are always looking for ways to improve the Pacific Coast Business Times and deliver more value for our subscribers and our advertisers. Please let me know your thoughts at

• Henry Dubroff is the owner and editor of the Pacific Coast Business Times.