MB&T gives away $1.1M, Benefits 195 Orgs
Janet Garufis, CEO and chairwoman of Montecito Bank & Trust, gathered dozens of representatives from local nonprofits and organizations to celebrate the season of giving with a bang at the 2023 Montecito Bank & Trust Community Dividends event Nov. 20.
During the event, the bank announced it was donating $1.1 million to nonprofits based in and around Santa Barbara, including organizations like MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, Channel Islands YMCA, CommUnify, Direct Relief, the Community Environmental Council and 190 others.
Garufis announced the donations at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, where she talked about the history of the program, now in its 21st year, and shared the vision behind the program.
“You enhance the quality of life for all segments of our community, and for that we are so grateful,” Garufis said, addressing the nonprofit leaders in the event.
The bank also chose two recipients for this year’s Michael Towbes Community Impact Dividend, a special award created in 2019 to honor the late founder. Anne Towbes, his widow, presented the $50,000 awards to Children’s Resource & Referral and Livington Memorial Visiting Nurse Association.
The award will help create 30 jobs through Children’s Resource & Referral as the organization works to improve the state of childcare in the region, said Jacqui Banta, the Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Resource & Referral.
“We do not take this responsibility lightly,” Banta said.
Molly Corbett, the CEO of Livingston Memorial VNA, was a little more surprised by the award, but no less grateful for it.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this community,” Corbett said, “and I cannot wait to tell you next year all the wonderful things we did with this award.”
While there are 23 organizations that have been a part of the Community Dividends program since its inception, there were a couple of new entrants this year, including the Ventura College Foundation. CEO Anne Paul King was there to receive the award, along with board member and MBT senior portfolio manager Nicole Kreutz, and King was quick to point out how the donation would benefit students at Ventura College.
“When we get a donation, the return on that investment is massive,” King said.