80th Person of the Year Award


The Santa Barbara Foundation congratulates the
80th Person of the Year awardees:
Joe Howell and Elisabeth Fowler

On April 19, 2023, we honored and celebrated the vast and impactful volunteer contributions to Santa Barbara County of Elisabeth Fowler and Joe Howell, the 80th Persons of the Year!

Learn more about the awardees’ contributions in these Noozhawk feature articles about Elisabeth and Joe. Watch for feature videos coming soon to this page!



Formerly known as Man & Woman of the Year, the annual Person of the Year honors Santa Barbara area individuals, couples, or families whose volunteer service represents a meaningful commitment to the community, addresses real community needs, or enhances the quality of life in the Santa Barbara area, or has involved acts of generosity, kindness, or innovation, with an emphasis on the recent accomplishments and achievements. Recipients are selected from a wide range of candidates nominated by community members.


At the Person of the Year Luncheon,
we celebrate our recipients and the spirit of volunteerism!

The 80th Person of the Year celebration luncheon was held on Wednesday, April 19 at the Santa Barbara Hilton Beachfront Resort Rotunda on a sunny spring day filled with rejoicing.







Person of the Year Selection Process

Persons of the year are nominated by community members in recognition of their history of extraordinary service that represents a meaningful commitment to the community, addresses a real community need, or enhances quality of life for a wide swath of the Santa Barbara-area community. Nominees may also be acknowledged for exemplary acts of generosity, kindness, or innovation in the Santa Barbara area.

The process to select the 80th Persons of the Year began with open nominations from January 20 to February 24, 2023. Anyone in the community could nominate an individual, couple or family. Former recipients of the award reviewed the nominations and selected this year’s awardees on March 15, with input from nonprofit leaders.



Former Recipients

George Adams | Sue Adams | David Anderson | Donald Anderson | Richard Arbagey | Stanley Bartlett | Russell Bell | Ed Birch | George Bliss | Patricia Dillon Bliss | David Boyd | Cally Brennand | Ardis Sloan Bryant | Bob Bryant |Hildahl Burtness | Gertrude Calden | George Castagnola | Harold Chase | Bill Cirone | Pearl Chase | Carnzu A. Clark | Pierre Claeyssens | Jon Clark | Michael & Marni Cooney | Ida Cordero | Virgil Cordano | Larry Crandell | John Daly | Emily Davis | Louise Lowry Davis | Jelinda DeVorzon | Carol Doane | Lura Dolas | Patricia Caldwell Dow |Wallace Drew | Warner Edmonds | Robert J. Emmons | Nancyann Failing | Léni Fé Bland | Carolyn E. Ferguson | Julia Forbes | Gil Garcia | Janet Garufis | Etta Glahn | Jeanne Graffy | Katherine Meeker Gray | Sylvia Griffiths | Betty M. Groebli | Susan Miles Gulbransen | Jane Habermann | Jerry Harwin | Vicki Hazard | Stephen M. Hicks | Lorraine Hoelscher | James Hurley, Jr. | Shirley Ann Hurley | Reuben Irvin | Palmer Jackson | Arnold Jacquemain | Penny Jenkins | Yvonne Jordan | Gerd Jordano | Robert Kallman | H.O. Koefod | Leonard Kummer |  Cliff Lambert | Louis Lancaster | Winnie Lancaster | Lotte Lehmann | Michael Lemus | Grace Meeker Lloyd | Stanley Lowry | Eli Luria | Steve Lyons | Duncan MacDougall | Peter MacDougall | Patricia MacFarlane | Anita Mackey | Patrick Maher | Sidney McFarland | Ralph McNall | Lucy McReynolds | David Medina | Joni Meisel | Mary Jo Miles | Courtney Monsen | Dwight Murphy | Vie Obern | Bruce O’Neal | Carol Palladini | Charles Panoyan | Ernesto Paredes | Tom Parker | John Parma | Helen Pedotti | Deborah Pelissero | David L. Peri | Mary Perry | Donald Phillips | R Mildred Pinheiro | Richard Polsky | Sheridah Porter | Francis Price, Sr. | John S. Rathbone | Joanne Rapp | Catherine Remak | John Rickard | Leslie Ridley-Tree | Edgar Robinson | Marshall Rose | Betty Rosness | Alice Rypins | Ginger Salazar | Clark Sargeant | Ken Saxon | Maryan Schall | Alice Schott | Jean Schuyler |  Jan Severson | David Shiffman | Elmer Shirrell | David Siebert | Annette Slavin | Clifford W. Sponsel | Sid Smith | Mary Standlee | Judy Stapelmann | Charles Stearns | Charles A. Storke | Thomas M. Storke | Barbara Tellefson | John Timmons | Anne Smith Towbes | Gail Towbes | Michael Towbes | James Van Etta | Selmer O. Wake | Milton Weinstein | Donald Welch | Edwin Welch | Richard Welch | Ada Schick Wing | L. Stuart Wing | Eleanor Wright | Katina Zaninovich

2023 Event Sponsors

Legacy Sponsor
Organizing Sponsor



Premier Media Sponsor


Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsors

Steve and Cindy Lyons



Bronze Sponsors

Katina Zaninovich


To become a sponsor of the 81st (2024) Person of the Year Awards please contact Kevin Kuga, Business Development Manager, at (805) 880-9389 or KKuga@SBFoundation.org