Women have played and continue to play critical economic, cultural, and social roles in every sphere of the life of the United States by constituting a significant portion of the labor force working inside and outside of the home.
We've come a long way and we are a powerful force in business, politics, and homes. We have demonstrated intelligence, skill, and determination to overcome obstacles and succeed. We have pushed for big changes and advancements and we are winning.
Right here in Goleta Old Town are women leaders making impacts in business, powerful contributions in charity, and caring for families. In recognition of International Women's Day March 8th, we are celebrating women in business for the entire month of March.
2019 Women In Business
ALE ORTEGA BOTELLO
VICE PRESIDENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
COMMUNITY WEST BANK
Ale's primary focus is small business, and she helps them with their banking needs. Her goal is to find solutions for businesses' financial issues. She sees herself as a "problem solver". Whatever your business financial needs are, Ale can make suggestions to help your business.
With her job now at Community West Bank in Goleta Old Town, she now sees neighbors and friends on a daily basis. Generous in nature, Ale gives of her time to various non-profits and has done so for the past couple of decades to help improve our community. Ale loves living and working in Goleta.
She and her husband have two sons. The older served in the Marines and now attends school in the Bay Area. The younger son attends Santa Barbara City College.
Ale has a very full life and Goleta Old Town is lucky to have her.
LABORATORY & TECHNICAL SERVICES MANAGER
GOLETA SANITARY DISTRICT
As the Goleta Sanitary District Laboratory and Technical Services Manager, she ensures that each and every single hour of every day the effluent (treated waste water) discharged into the Pacific Ocean meets or exceeds the many requirements in place by the State of California to protect marine life (sea mammals, fish, and kelp for example) and those who enjoy ocean sports like swimmers and surfers.
Five years ago Goleta Sanitary District recruited Lena. She had already proven her high standards as a recipient of several awards of recognition. In 2019 Lena received a statewide award of excellence in her field. She received her degree from Humboldt State University in Inter Disciplinarian Studies. Her love of lab work and protecting the environment led her to her field of work.
Lena is a native Californian, and now lives with her husband and young son in Lompoc.
Thank you, Lena, for helping to protect all of us and the environment. Goleta Sanitary District is lucky to have you.
EL SITIO MEXICAN RESTAURANTS
Sanjua Gil, married at age 17, relocated to Santa Barbara from the town of El Sitio, Zacatecas Mexico in 1979 with the focus of building a prosperous life alone side of her husband Jose. Owner of El Sitio’s Restaurants, Sanjua worked for a company during the day, cared for her two children, (Pepe and Ivette), getting them to practice and worked on the restaurant’s booking keeping at night resulting in 10-12 hour days. She received her GED from night school and attended Santa Barbara City College.
After several years of working hard and saving, in 1990, Sanjua and Jose open their first of four restaurants. Sanjua has always been an excellent cook, making her first tacos at age 6.
Sanjua recited that being Latino has been the most challenging part of being a business owner, recalling the ups and downs.
Her business has allowed her to send her children to private schools and colleges. She’s grateful that she can work zero to 15 hours, it’s her own business which gives her flexibility and freedom. “It’s rewarding to take a vacation at any time”, she stated. Sanjua is thankful for her family and employees, some of which have worked for her since the very beginning.
Sanjua's father, Diaz de Leon, is her life long mentor. He taught her that the greatest riches one can achieve in life comes from giving to others. So for 30 years, Sanjua has followed her father's advice and has grown her business by “giving” to non-profit organizations. Sanjua believes that giving to non-profits is about "how it makes you feel when you help others”.
“To be successful in life, you need to work hard, be humble and help others because you can not be successful by yourself.” Sanjua
SANTA BARBARA CIDER COMPANY INC.
Twilight Robin was born and raised in the Los Angles suburbs. She received her BA from UCSB in Socialology 1994 and her MA from back east in Health Education. She knew she always wanted to be a business owner. Her Brother, Ben Staolder started an apple cider business out of his garage with a friend Nik Shaefter around this time. Twilight entered into a partnership with them in 2017 which has been very rewarding. She stated that “the most rewarding moments are seeing the business be successful and the people enjoying themselves."
Santa Barbara Cider Co. Inc. is a family friendly and animal friendly place, having games (bean-bag toss, legos) for the younger ones. Each night features different foods from stone woodfired baked delicious pizza to Paella (similar to a jambalaya), made right in front of you!
They have many different fun theme events to hold your interest all year around. Some of their seasonal themes include winter Lagoona, pig roast, harvest festival and school fundraiser. Her customers enjoy the “In-Cider Club” for only $100 which gives them a shirt and hat and full growler of cider alone with 15% off every purchase all year.
Santa Barbara Cider Co. Inc. has hard cider along with non-alcoholic beverages for the tea-totallers.
Twilight recited that the most challenging part of being a business owner is navigating through all the laws of small business ownership such as business permits and taxes. When asked where she sees her business in 10 years, she replied “I’m exploring the best way to expand into bars and restaurants as a local brand as a distributor”.
Robin contributes the company’s success to hard work. Sometimes she works 10-12 hours days as she works at her day job in the healthcare profession. She recounted that the community has been very supportive: individuals, Goleta Old Town Association, amazing vendors, and other local businesses owners.
Twilight said her customers and faithful employee Kayla Pence are like family. "It’s really a great team effort and she loves what she’s doing! Make sure to stop into Santa Barbara Cider Company for cider, fun and amazing food!"
We encourage you to support the following businesses below which are owned or managed by women or have women in leadership roles.
Alicia’s Skin Care
Ophelia Tagatac, Owner
Barbara Tzur, Owner
Cal Coast Locksmith
Carbajal Cell Phone Accessories
Eli Carbajal, Owner
Community Action Commission
Community West Bank
Ale Ortega Botello
Vice President Relationship Manager
Phebe Mansur, Owner
Dr. Crystal A. Galvan DC, Owner
Del Valle Grill
Destined For Grace
Eleni Tziouvaras, Owner
Family Discount Center
Feed My Sheep
Trudee Thompson, Co-owner
Amanda Twining, Owner
Miraya Raya, Owner
Goleta Valley Community Center
Jo Merit, Assistant Manager
Goleta Valley Paint
Colleen Ozab, Co-owner
Lela Rousseau, Owner
Gerrma Bernardo, General Manager
Housing Authority County of Santa Barbara
Le’ Wanda Croft, Goleta Housing Manager
Kitson Landscape Management
Sarah Kitson, Owner
La Guerrerita Mexican Restaurant
La Hacienda Mexican Grill
Latitude 34 Technologies LLC
Hallie Avolio, Co-owner
Mary’s Beauty Supply
Master Clean Master Care
Jennifer Housh, Co-owner
Ocean Health Center
Old Town Coffee
Sylvia Flaatan, General Manager
Safety Engineering International
Suzi Bozzini, Owner
Santa Auto Accessories
Santa Barbara Cider Company
Santa Barbara Gift Baskets
Anne Pazier, Owner
Super 8 Motel
Renee Fletcher, Manager
Teresa Spaulding, Owner
Zermeno Dance Studio
Daniella Zermeno, Owner