Wednesday, June 01, 2011

June 1st, 2011

Women's Economic Ventures (WEV) Fundraiser at the Montecito Country Club

It's been an absolute joy becoming involved with local non-profit WEV. Created twenty years ago by Midwestern raised (woohoo!) and Santa Barbara local Marsha Bailey, WEV has provided loans and support to thousands of men and women business owners who have flourished throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura County. Together these businesses have created countless employment opportunities throughout the area and enriched businesses with steady support in our community.

To say I'm proud to be a part of the WEV community is an understatement. During a recession, organizations like WEV are more important than ever as they play an essential role in supporting small business owners to not only survive but to thrive and prosper. This past week they held their annual fundraiser breakfast at the ever-so-posh and gorgeous Montecito Country Club. Gorgeous! The main ballroom was bursting with an extraordinary group of men and women as Marsha presented awards to two of WEV's latest stars. Gail Zannon (former Board Member, Major Donor and Entrepreneur) was honored with the Trailblazer Award and Jill-Marie and Jean-Michel Carre (owners of Chocolats du CaliBressan) were given WEV's Business of the Year Award.

My mother who was visiting from Flagstaff, Arizona for the week was blown away by the inspiring stories that many WEV alumni shared with the audience about their personal trials trying to get their businesses off the ground. Many of them would not have survived or been successful without the support of WEV.

I am grateful to Marsha Bailey for sticking it out through two recessions in the past twenty years since WEV's inception and to the many extremely hard-working staff members who have worked their butts off to provide this beacon of hope and inspiration for so many local entrepreneurs.

We are truly blessed to have WEV in our midst here in Santa Barbara!

Enjoy the slideshow! I

*If the music doesn't come on when the slideshow begins, try "refreshing" your webpage and clicking "play" again.