February 22, 2024
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Dubroff: Welcoming another bright year for the Central Coast in 2024


This week’s column leans in to 2024 with some exciting news about the upcoming year.

We will be inducting Bill Kearney, one of the leading figures in business and philanthropy in Ventura County, into our Hall of Fame this spring. I’m really excited to be honoring Bill who was in the room when so many important things happened in our region, including the founding of California State University Channel Islands.

Editor Henry Dubroff

Elizabeth Cholawsky, CEO of Santa Barbara-based HG Insights, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, will be our special honoree and keynote for our Top Women in Business Awards in April. Cholawsky has been a proven leader and a pioneer when it comes to women in the c-suite role in tech and HG Insights is one of the region’s fastest-growing companies.

Here’s a closer look at the year ahead:

We’re making final selections for our Dealmakers of the Year special report in late January and our Deal of the Year will be Amgen’s merger with Horizon Therapeutics, the largest transaction in the history of the Central Coast.

In February we will publish our third report on the State of Black Leadership in the region, along with our Most Influential special report. We’re actively seeking nominations for our annual Central Coast Innovation Awards, which will be published at the end of the month.

In March we’re looking for nominations for Who’s Who in Commercial Real Estate as well as our Top 50 Women in Business, which will be headlined by Cholawsky.  

Champions in Education will become our newest special report when we introduce it in April. 

We’ll be recognizing teachers, administrators, innovators and philanthropists from across the region as we recognize the role that education plays in creating the workforce of the future. 

April will be a busy month with our Hall of Fame profile of Kearney and recognition of our Legacy list of organizations celebrating milestone years.

In May, our Spring forecast will include special coverage of the region’s Latino economy and we’re actively looking to recruit new companies for our Central Coast Best Places to Work special report.

Our Hall of Fame presentation will be combined with Best Places to Work in June at the Santa Barbara Zoo. 

We’re going to return to the Limoneira campus in Santa Paula for our Latino Business Awards and our Spirit of Small Business awards will have a special focus on our SCORE chapters, our small business development centers and others that support our entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

We’re going to be focusing on the theme of health families and preventive health for our Champions in Health Care awards later in the year. Our Central Coast Health Watch focus reports will also concentrate on a major theme in this rapidly evolving field.

We’ve already had requests to open our nominations for Forty Under 40 an extremely popular program, which will return to Topa Topa Brewing in September. 

Our popular Giving Guide will return in September followed by our second annual Emergency Preparedness Guide in early October.  

We also have a special treat in mind for our Fastest Growing Companies awards in October, which are moving to the LinkedIn headquarters in Carpinteria as a truly unique way to celebrate the region’s most successful companies.

Looking further ahead, we are excited about celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2025.

Nominations are open for all of our special reports. You can nominate your favorite person, company, or nonprofit at www.pacbiztimes.com/nominations, or if you have questions you can reach special reports Co-Managing Editor Amber Hair at ahair@pacbiztimes.com,

For information about advertising or sponsorship of our special reports, Publisher Linda le Brock at llebrock@pacbiztimes.com has all the answers.

Enjoy your holidays and we’ll see you again in the New Year.

Henry Dubroff is the founder, owner and editor of the Pacific Coast Business Times. He can be reached at hdubroff@pacbiztimes.com.