Santa Maria Valley Chamber Annual Gala Awards

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual awards gala the evening of Thursday September 1st. The ceremony was hosted at the Veterans Memorial Community Center, where about 300 people attended. The event reflected on last year and is meant “to acknowledge the work people are doing in our community,” said Glenn Morris, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO and President. Chamber’s 2022 Annual Awards Gala celebrates community excellence and honors the individuals, organizations and businesses who have shown their commitment to making a positive impact on the Santa Maria Valley community.

Eddie Taylor, CEO of Northern Santa Barbara County United Way was honored to learn that his non-profit was selected as one of two in the category for the Non-Profit of the Year Award. “I immediately thought of our team, all the people who are on our team all over santa barbara county, who go out every day and do the work that they do. This is an honor for them…still working together to improve lives,” says Taylor.

Pictured: Santa Maria Valley Chamber President/CEO Glenn Morris, left, and Marian Regional Medical Center’s Sue Andersen, right, present the Nonprofit of the Year award to Northern Santa Barbara County United Way, led by Eddie Taylor, second from left.

The Chamber presented the following awards:

Ambassador of the Year: Kelsi Fitzgerald of Veritas Innovative Pest & Termite Solutions
Young Professional of the Year: Robert Tolan
Tourism Partner of the Year: Cubanissimo Cuban Coffee House & Cafe
Non-Profits of the Year: Transitions-Mental Health Association
Non-Profits of the Year: Northern Santa Barbara County United Way
Robert P. Hatch Citizen of the Year: Pastor Carl Nielsen
Robert F. Grogan Public Service Award: Dan Blough, Santa Barbara County Planning Commission (Posthumous)
Small Business of the Year: Cugini’s Pizzeria & Trattoria
Large Business of the Year: Atlas Copco-Mafi Trench

Josh Wong, CDO for NSBC United Way, with his wife, Chris

“The Chamber is thrilled to once again gather with our community and celebrate a few of the individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations that make Santa Maria such a great community,” said Glenn Morris, President & CEO of the Chamber. “This year’s recipients continue the tradition of excellence and unique contributions that makes Santa Maria the best place to live, work, and do business on the Central Coast!”

“I couldn’t be more excited for our team, our board members, and I think especially for all of the people that we get to help throughout our communities to help improve lives,” adds Taylor.


Since 1959, United Way has been serving Northern Santa Barbara County with the mission of bringing people together to address the community’s toughest challenges in education, financial stability, and health. Northern Santa Barbara County United Way continues to lead financial literacy and reading efforts throughout the region with their Literacy 2.O initiative.