Montecito Bank & Trust Awards $1.1 Million to Local Nonprofits at Annual Community Dividends Event

Mario Baraona (Montecito Bank & Trust), Kathy Odell –(Women’s Economic Ventures), Scott Black (American Indian Health & Services), Carlina Gonzalez (Foundation for Santa Barbara High School), Fritz Olenberger (Old Spanish Days), Lori Goodman (LEAP), Gail Johnson (Safety Town of Santa Barbara County), Alan Acosta (Montecito Bank & Trust)

195 Local Nonprofit Organizations Receive Community Dividends Awards and Share of $1.1 Million at Montecito Bank & Trust’s 21st Annual Luncheon

Montecito Bank & Trust kicked off the holiday season on Monday as it has for the last 21 years, with the special annual tradition of their Community Dividends awards luncheon.

This year’s Community Dividends $1.1 million investment in the nonprofit community accounts for the majority of the Bank’s annual total investment nonprofit giving of $1.7 million. Through this unique giving program, the bank has granted more than $22 million to local Santa Barbara and Ventura County nonprofit organizations.

The Hilton Santa Barbara Beachside Resort rotunda was filled with 195 nonprofit leaders from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Following a casual networking hour, Chairman & CEO, Janet Garufis took to the stage to welcome the deserving nonprofits, expressing gratitude for their dedication and admiration of the positive effects their work and leadership has on our communities.

“As leaders of our local nonprofits, you play a pivotal role in driving the growth, development and vitality of our communities. You inspire and motivate your staff, your boards and the larger community to come together, work towards a common goal and make a tangible difference in the lives of so many. Our communities and their futures are better because of the work you do today!” said Garufis.

Speaking to the $1.1 million gifted in this year’s program, Garufis noted the honor to be able to support the work of so many local organizations.

Janet Garufis (Chairman and CEO, Montecito Bank & Trust), George Leis (President and COO, Montecito Bank & Trust)

“In an ideal world we would be able to say yes to all of the Community Dividend applications we receive each year, and while we do our best to support as many nonprofits within our footprint as we can, it’s inevitable that we have to decline some requests as we evaluate where the greatest needs exist in our local communities. Perhaps one day I will be able to stand at this event and say we were able to say yes to everyone, but until that day I am hopeful that the $1.1 million we can give today, can continue to make meaningful impacts across our communities,” Garufis said.

Forty-eight years ago Michael Towbes and a small group of local investors started Montecito Bank & Trust because they believed they could deliver exceptional and personalized customer service and fulfill the needs of the local community. When Towbes became the single shareholder and owner, the vision of investing a meaningful portion of the Bank’s profits back into the community took shape.

Five years ago, the Bank expanded the Community Dividends program to honor the impactful legacy of Towbes, by introducing the Michael Towbes Impact Dividend which is awarded to one or more nonprofits that deliver critical and sustainable services to the most vulnerable people in our community. The Impact Dividend honors Mr. Towbes and his desire to do more, give more and make an impact.

Over the past 5 years the Michael Towbes Impact Dividend has awarded $1,025,000 to 15 recipients including the two organizations who each received $50,000 at this year’s event.

  • Children’s Resource & Referral received $50,000 to support its CRR Child Care Expansion and Steps to Licensing Program. This program will recruit, train and provide technical assistance and grants to family childcare providers, with an emphasis on low-income, under-represented women, in turn creating new jobs and available childcare spaces.
  • Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurses Association received $50,000 to support its Grief & Bereavement Program and Latinx/Hispanic Capacity Building Program. The Grief & Bereavement Program provides counseling services and support groups to those dealing with grief and loss. The Latinx/Hispanic Capacity Building Program seeks to create lasting change in and provide equitable access to quality healthcare for Latinx/Hispanic adults in Ventura County by being more culturally responsive.

Community Dividends and the Michael Towbes Community Impact Dividend primarily focus on supporting organizations or programs that serve low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Dividends are awarded to organizations that serve youth and education, social services, medical and health services, and the arts.

Today’s nonprofit leaders were joined by the Bank’s board of directors and leadership team, in addition to 121 MB&T associates who volunteer over 5,400 hours each year with many of the nonprofits in attendance.

Brianna Aguilar (Montecito Bank & Trust). Alana Walczak (CALM)

A list of all 195 nonprofit organizations that received Montecito Bank & Trust Community Dividends is below.

2023 Community Dividends® Recipients

2nd Story Associates
ADL (Anti-Defamation League) Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties AHA! (Attitude. Harmony. Achievement.)
Alano Club of Santa Barbara, Inc.
Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara
Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Coast Chapter American Indian Health & Services
Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara
Atterdag at Home, Inc.
Atterdag Village of Solvang
Bethania Tuesday Food Distribution
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County, Inc
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley
Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara C.A.R.E.4Paws
California Avocado Festival
California Missions Foundation
California State University Channel Islands Foundation CALM
Camerata Pacifica
Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara
Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara Carpinteria Education Foundation, Inc.
Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
Casa Serena, Inc.
Channel Islands YMCA
Children’s Resource & Referral
City Impact, Inc.
City of Oxnard – Multicultural Festival
Community Arts Music Association of Santa Barbara Inc. Community Conscience / Under One Roof
Community Environmental Council
Congregation B’nai B’rith
Cornerstone House of Santa Barbara
Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County Court Appointed Special Advocates of Ventura County Crane Country Day School
Dignity Moves
Direct Relief
Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County Dream Foundation
Easy Lift Transportation
Elings Park Foundation
Elverhoj Museum of History & Art Ensemble Theatre Company Environmental Defense Center Explore Ecology
Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County Fielding Graduate University
Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley
Food From The Heart
Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
Foundation for Santa Barbara High School
Fr. Virgil Cordano Center
Freedom 4 Youth
Friendship Manor Inc.
Ganna Walska Lotusland
Girls Inc.of Carpinteria
Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara
Gold Coast Veterans Foundation
Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation
Gwendolyn Strong Foundation
Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County
Hearts Aligned Inc.
Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center
Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.
Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura Housing Opportunities Made Easier
Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, Inc. Housing Trust Fund Ventura County
Independent Living Resource Center, Inc.
James Storehouse
Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara
Kids & Families Together
Laguna Blanca School
Leading From Within
Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County LifeChronicles
Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association
Lobero Theatre Foundation
Magoo’s Shoes
Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties
Mental Wellness Center
Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project Momentum WORK, Inc.
Moorpark College Foundation
MOVE Santa Barbara County
MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation Museum of Ventura County
Music Academy of the West
National Disaster Search Dog Foundation
New Beginnings Counseling Center
New Directions for People with Disabilities, Inc. New West Symphony Association
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Old Spanish Days
Opera Santa Barbara
Organic Soup Kitchen
Oxnard Housing Authority
Pacific Pride Foundation
Partners In Housing Solutions, Inc
PCPA – Pacific Conservatory Theatre
Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Corporation
Planned Parenthood California Central Coast Project Understanding of San Buenaventura
Ride On LA
Safety Town of Santa Barbara County
Sansum Clinic
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute
Santa Barbara Birth Center
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Inc.
Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation
Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade
Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Santa Barbara Community Housing Corporation Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation Santa Barbara County Education Office
Santa Barbara Culinary Experience
Santa Barbara Education Foundation
Santa Barbara Foundation
Santa Barbara Hillel
Santa Barbara Historical Museum
Santa Barbara Humane
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels, Inc.
Santa Barbara Middle School
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
Santa Barbara Police Activities League
Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
Santa Barbara Symphony
Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Santa Barbara Zoological Foundation
Santa Cruz Island Foundation
Santa Maria Police Council
Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum
Santa Maria Valley YMCA
Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation
Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Carriage House
Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, Inc.
Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program
Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara
Showers of Blessing
Solvang Friendship House
Solvang Senior Center
Solvang Theaterfest, Inc.
Special Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara Region
Standing Together to End Sexual Assault
State Street Ballet
Storyteller Children’s Center
Students for Eco-Education & Agriculture, Inc.
Studio Channel Islands Art Center
Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International
Teacher’s Fund
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation
The Arc Foundation of Ventura County
The Foundation for Girsh Park
The Foundation For Santa Barbara City College
The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County
The Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center
The Rona Barrett Foundation
The Salvation Army of Santa Barbara
Tina Hansen McEnroe & Paul V. McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic at UCSB Transition House
Turning Point Foundation
UCSB Arts & Lectures
UCSB Economic Forecast Project
United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County
United Way of Santa Barbara County, Inc.
United Way of Ventura County, Inc.
Unity Shoppe, Inc.
Ventura College Foundation
Ventura County Library Foundation
Ventura County Medical Resource Foundation
Ventura Land Trust
VNA Health Foundation
Westmont College
Wilderness Youth Project
Wildling Museum of Art and Nature
Women’s Economic Ventures
Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara
Youth and Family Services YMCA: Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Center

Montecito Bank & Trust is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Founded in 1975, the bank celebrated its 48th anniversary on March 17, 2023, and operates 13 branch offices in Santa Maria, Solvang, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake Village. Montecito Bank & Trust has a history of unwavering corporate philanthropy in the local communities it serves.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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