Smith has a successful and profitable track record of attracting and managing private equity and venture capital funding. He has expertise in acquisition, growth strategy, organizational leadership, financial management, external communications, marketing, and sales of income and resort properties. These investments -in California, Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, the Caribbean and Australia – span 43 years of business. Pat has also lead organizations through multi-company collaboration agreements to economic and physical success of remediation of environmental disasters. He has been the driving force in nationally recognized LEED Certified Developments. The total value of the Smith-led projects is in excess of $6 Billion Dollars, employing over over 3,600 people.
As COO of Amway Corporation for 8 1/2 years – during which time revenues increased from below $1 billion to over $10 billion – Bill was instrumental in a number of pro-environment initiatives resulting in recognition by U.N. Environmental Programme, Country of Canada and by Klaus Nobel.
Bill graduated with a finance degree, and All-American Honors for Basketball, from the University of Nevada (he was later elected to Nevada Athletic Hall of Fame). Bill served his country in the U.S. Air Force, flying two tours and over 300 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He was subsequently decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Multiple Oak Leaf Clusters, and Vietnamese Medal of Honor and Cross of Gallantry. He completed his service at the rank of Captain.
After the military, Bill joined Robert Engstrom Associates and Pemtom Builders as Vice President of Marketing. In 1974, Bill joined the White House as Appointments Secretary to President Gerald R. Ford, creating and managing the President’s schedule and serving as interface with the Cabinet Members.
Post White House, Bill threw himself into entrepreneurship as owner of multiple radio stations with partners including Dean Burch (former FCC Chairman), Bill Seidman (former FDIC Chairman), and Robin Martin (Bessemer Trust). He participated in the purchase and transition of Mutual Broadcasting and founded the Term Limits Foundation. Bill created Amway’s first Washington, D.C. Government Affairs Office.
In 1978 Bill coordinated the Presidential Campaign of then Ambassador George H.W. Bush. During this period, he became a shareholder in Swiftships, an established shipbuilding company, becoming the majority shareholder in 1979. Swiftships became the world’s largest fabricator of high speed aluminum patrol boats and support vessels for the offshore oil industry. In 1982 Bill was invited to Guangzhou to negotiate a technology transfer agreement with China Shipbuilding. The successful outcome was executed in Beijing. Swiftships was sold to a New York Stock Exchange listed firm in 1982. After the sale, Bill invested in eight vessels and two ocean-going work barges working in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Mexico, the California Coast and off India.
Bill became COO of Amway and was involved in the creation of a Co-Generation Plant at Amway fueled by Canadian natural gas and the successful IPO of the Amway Japan subsidiary, that went public at $3 billion USD and peaked at $10 billion. Bill successfully negotiated the business license for Amway China, which has become Amway’s most successful market.
After years of record-breaking earnings at Amway, Nicholson stepped up his personal investing by becoming Director/Investor in GenMar, the world’s largest independent recreational boat manufacturer. He also became Investor/Director of Irwin Jacobs’ $500 million IMR Fund, and an investor in Jacobs Trading Company and its affiliated company World’s Greatest Deals. Bill also invested in FLW Outdoors, the world’s largest producer of fishing competitions, Partner in development of Planet Hollywood restaurants in Vancouver, Bangkok, Seoul, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur and Washington D.C
With a Texas-based partner commencing in 1990, Bill acquired 28 major real estate properties throughout Texas from the RTC and FDIC. Bill was Director/Investor to Hope River Ventures and Hopen Therapeutics. These ventures focus on life science opportunities in therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics, and Natural gas exploration in the North Texas Barnett.
In 2001, Bill once again became involved in full-time management as Co-Chairman and Co-Founder of a nutritional rollup venture which included either the creation or acquisition of major brands such as Twinlab Corporation, Metabolite, Alvita Tea, Nature’s Herbs, Cole Water, Dr. Greene and NitriScience along with the contract manufacturing for some of the largest nutritional brands and marketers. Twinlab has taken steps to become a publicly traded firm.
Still committed to sustainability, Bill has become a Director and Shareholder of Ecomerit Technologies.
Bill has numerous other accomplishments including: selected as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America in 1976, appointed to the Presidential Commission on Personnel Interchange in 1977, elected as one of the Outstanding Young Political Leaders in 1977, 1980 Offshore Power Boat Racing Champion, 1989-90 Chairman of the Michigan Export Authority. Since 1990 Bill serves on numerous corporate and philanthropic boards. and is the co-Founder of Taft-Nicholson Center for the Humanities in conjunction with the University of Utah and co-Founder of a multi-branded initiative with Dr. Art Ulene to reduce obesity and Type II Diabetes
Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager and Community Reinvestment Managr, Sykes joined Montecito Bank & Trust as Chief Risk Officer in 2009. Laurel is responsible for consumer compliance, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) /Anti-Money Laundering (AML), fraud prevention, information security, vendor management, business continuity planning, and overall enterprise risk management and regulatory affairs. She is the Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act Officer and shares the role of Board-appointed Information Security Officer. Sykes has more than 25 years of experience in financial services and risk management.
After working briefly at Wells Fargo, she joined Santa Barbara Bank & Trust while attending the UCSB and moved into the bank’s risk management function in 1997 building out compliance programs for the small business, mortgage and consumer lending divisions, and implementing an enterprise AML program to address increasing regulatory scrutiny in a post-9/11 environment. Sykes attained the designation of Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager in 2004 and was appointed Regulatory Affairs Director in 2008, shortly after the first few bank failures and increasing enforcement actions throughout the state of California turned up the heat on bank regulatory examinations. Sykes develops and teaches financial literacy classes, including elder financial abuse and cybersecurity awareness programs. She is also on the boards of several local non-profits that provide youth/family services and affordable housing for lower-income families.
Megan is Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Bank of Montecito. She is a multi-disciplined marketing professional whose career is underscored by 18 years at iconic NYC advertising agencies like Ogilvy & Mather, Foote, Cone & Belding and Havas Worldwide. Prior to joining Montecito Bank & Trust in 2015 as SVP, Director of Marketing, she led strategy, brand and acquisition efforts for a variety of clients including Liberty Mutual, Time Warner Cable, Verizon Wireless, JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock, M&Ms, and Barilla.
Megan’s expertise is in strategic planning, brand development, advertising, customer experience, public relations, and sales support. As EVP, Chief Strategy Officer, she enjoys marrying her creative sensibilities and strategic acumen to define growth and revenue strategies that will reinforce the future and continued health of the Bank.
Several of Habra’s companies have been acquired; others have achieved series B and C funding levels. Habra was lead investor/interim CEO for TrackR (formerly Phone Halo) which raised $50MM through Amazon Ventures. Habra was involved in the launch and sale of SBClick, and the launch of First Click – still in operations.
Habra serves on several non-profit boards and was named Entrepreneur of the Year, SB Technology and Industry Association, 2016
Brandon’s work experience is in startups. He feels this critical stage of business ‘is where the most excitement and opportunity exist’. His early professional contributions were in the tech industry. Yoga was how Brandon managed his health and in 2002 he cofounded CorePower Yoga. Now with over 170 studios around the country, it is the largest chain of yoga studios nationwide. Most recently, Brandon co-founded Impact Hub Santa Barbara, Orange Theory Fitness Goleta and he just broke ground on another CorePower Yoga studio in La Cumbre areas.
His career in technology began in the Telecommunications Department at Westmont College where he recognized that the world of data was growing very rapidly. After several classes through UCSB Extension, Paul joined the TynanGroup, Inc. as IT Director in the midst of concerns surrounding Y2K. Following a successful transition of rolling all technology into 2000, Paul led all of the IT efforts for TynanGroup’s growing hospitality and development from 2000-2004. During that time, TynanGroup, began many different business ventures which Paul and his team supported.
In 2005, Paul (and his partners) started Anchor Point IT Solutions which focused on providing full technology support for a flat monthly fee. When the company began, he served as the Technology Lead for the company and earned certifications as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Network Administrator. In 2014, Anchor Point was named one of the fastest growing solutions providers in the country. Paul is responsible for sales, operations, finance and culture. He currently lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Arlene, now President of Zamagic, is about to open a new magic club in Santa Barbara, CA. The club will be an off-shoot of the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood. Arlene worked as a costume designer for the popular TV shows, Murder She Wrote, Air Wolf, Street Hawk, and Truth & Consequences, where she met writer/magician and Magic Castle founder, Milt Larsen. It’s been magic ever since!
Milt is a writer, actor, performer, lyricist, magician, entrepreneur, and speaker. Five decades ago, Milt – then a writer for Truth & Consequences – co-founded the Magic Castle with his brother Bill. The Larsen boys grew up in the world of television with a family of magicians, including their dad who was both a professional magician and an LA defense attorney. Their mother, Geraldine, pioneered early kids’ TV shows with magical characters. The Larsen family was named one of the 100 most influential magicians in the 20th century.
Garufis began her banking career as a teller 45 years ago with Security Pacific Bank, now Bank of America. She rose through the ranks of retail banking and after completing the Security Pacific Management Training Program, successfully led retail banking, commercial banking and private banking organizations. She developed and organized Security Pacific’s Business Banking division where she developed and implemented a streamlined credit origination program to make capital accessible to small businesses and which ultimately became Bank of America’s business lending division.
She was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Marymount High School. She attended UCLA and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State University Northridge and is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. She moved to Santa Barbara in 2002 to attend the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara to earn a Ph.D in Composition and Rhetoric. Her educational pursuits were put on hold when she joined Montecito Bank & Trust in 2004 and became the bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer in September, 2006 and Chairman of the Board in April, 2017.
Garufis actively contributes her time and talent to industry associations as well as local non-profits. She is a past Chair of the Western Independent Bankers Association. She is also a Director of the Pacific Business Management Institute of Pacific Coast Banking School. In early 2014, Garufis was invited to join the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank’s 12th District (CDIAC) and was named the Chair of that council in February 2015. In that capacity, she also serves on the national CDIAC and was chosen as the National CDIAC President in 2017.
Garufis serves as the Chair of Sansum Clinic® Board of Trustees and is a director and a Past President of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara Board. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Music Academy of the West and she recently joined the Board of Directors of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Advisory Board of Casa Pacifica and the Leadership Council for CASA. She also co-chaired the Santa Barbara Children’s Library Campaign and the CALM development campaign.
Garufis has served as a Trustee of the California State University Channel Islands Foundation (CSUCI). She served as a Director on the Board of the Santa Barbara Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she was the 2012 Board Chair. Garufis has served on the Strategic Planning Committee for the Santa Barbara Symphony, was the Co-Chair of the United Way Santa Barbara workplace campaign from 2009 – 2011, Chaired the Santa Barbara AHA Heart Walk event and served as the Chairperson of the Santa Barbara American Heart Association Go Red for Women Health Expo and Luncheon for both 2010 and 2011 and will do so again in 2018. She co-chaired the AHA Heart Ball in 2013. She has also served on the Board of the Santa Barbara Symphony and Women’s Economic Ventures, Santa Barbara Habitat for Humanity, Fielding Graduate University and Leading from Within.
Ms. Garufis continues to enjoy new challenges as an endurance athlete, completing her first sprint Triathlon in 2011 and her first Marathon in December 2012. She celebrated a milestone birthday by running the 2014 Paris Marathon and recently completed a 10 day hiking trip in the Dolomites as a fundraiser for CADA. She enjoys spending as much time as possible enjoying the Santa Barbara outdoors. And, she visits her granddaughters as often as she can. She enjoys gourmet cooking and baking for friends and family, tending to her organic vegetable garden, and playing with her two rescued terriers, Giacomo (Jack) and Isabella (Bella).
– American Banker – 25 Most Powerful Women to Watch – 2015, 2017
– Santa Barbara Foundation Woman of the Year 2017
– Pacific Coast Business Times – Top 50 Women in Biz 2007 -2017
– Association of Fundraising Professionals – Volunteer of the Year 2015
– American Heart Association – Lifestyle Change Award 2013
– Girls Inc. (Carpinteria) – Women of Inspiration Award March 2012
– Santa Barbara Chamber Businesswoman of the Year 2010
– Pierre Claeyssens Award for Distinguished Service 2010