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Communify’s CEO Patricia Keelean Receives Prestigious “Editor’s Choice: Nonprofit Award” and is named among the 2024 “Top 50 Women in Business” on the Central Coast

April 25 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm PDT

All Winners to be Celebrated at April 25th Event sponsored by Pacific Coast Business Times

The staff and Board of Directors for CommUnify (formerly Community Action Commission/CAC) are proud to announce CommUnify’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Keelean has been selected as one of the 2024 Top 50 Women in Business by the venerable Pacific Coast Business Times. In addition, Ms. Keelean was chosen as one of only six Editor’s Choice Award recipients.

The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 25, 4:30-6:30pm at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort and will feature keynote speaker Elizabeth Cholawsky, CEO of HG Insights. The event was launched more than 15 years ago and was the first program of its kind to recognize the many vital contributions of women in business and nonprofit leadership forthe tri-county area ofthe Central Coast. This year, Ms. Keelean was chosen from more than 200 nominees as one of the Editor’s Choice Award Winners. In keeping with tradition, the six Editor’s Choice Award winners include leaders in banking, healthcare, retail, nonprofits, and law. Decisions are based on each woman’s achievements, roles, and contributions which make the Central Coast a better and more interesting place to live. Past Editor’s Choice honorees and keynote speakers have included: CNBC reporter Jane Wells; America’s first black woman winery owner, Irene Rideaux; Sherry Villanueva, CEO of Acme Hospitality; Ventura County CEO Sevet Johnson; Janet Garufis, CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust; Joanne Funari, Chief Operating Officer, American Riviera Bank; and Pam Lopker, co-founder of QAD.

“Pat was a natural selection for an Editor’s Choice Award given the strength of her nomination by Marina Owen, CEO of CenCal Health, and her commitment to the CommUnify mission,” said Henry Dubroff, Founder and Editor of Pacific Coast Business Times.

Ms. Keelean, a veteran nonprofit executive in Florida, relocated to Santa Barbara in 2017 as Executive Director and was named CEO in 2019. What she found here is that despite its pockets of extreme wealth, Santa Barbara County has the 2nd highest rate of poverty in the state of California and that many community members work two or three jobs, struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table due to the high cost of living. CommUnify’s 16 programs work to the benefit of all members of our community by bringing stability to the lives of those community members who need it the most. CommUnify empowers our most vulnerable neighbors to live healthy, resilient, and financially secure lives through education and support services..

“Pat is an incredibly collaborative leader. I see her tireless work to develop new programs aimed at improving the economic security of Santa Barbara County residents,” said Marina Owen, CommUnify Board Chair and CEO of CenCal Health.

“It’s a privilege to lead this organization and to serve Santa Barbara County,” said Ms. Keelean. “And while it is such an honor to be recognized with this award, it truly is a group effort. There is no way that I would receive these accolades without the compassion and contributions of every single member of our team. Our staff are incredibly effective, and completely and wholeheartedly committed to this community.”

To purchase tickets for the event, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2024-top-women-in-business tickets828457918937. To read the complete story and learn about all this year’s remarkable honorees, please visit https://www.pacbiztimes.com/top-women-in-business-2/.

For a complete description of CommUnify’s programs and services please visit www.CommUnifySB.org. Please contact Joni Kelly, Communications Manager for CommUnify at 805-964-8857 ext. #1109 or via email jkelly@CommUnifySB.org to request high-resolution images, or to arrange interviews with Patricia Keelean, Chief Executive Officer for CommUnify, Henry Dubroff or Founder and Editor of Pacific Coast Business Times.


April 25
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm PDT
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Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
633 E Cabrillo Blvd
Santa Barbara, CA 93103 United States
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+1 805-564-4333
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