Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation Announces Pamela Webber as 2017 Rock Star: Life Achievement Award Recipient

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship (SOE) Foundation is pleased to announce Pamela Webber, of Santa Barbara Hotel Group as the 2017 Rock Star: Life Achievement Award recipient. The SOE Foundation Board unanimously chose Pamela, who is not only a successful businesswoman, but also a pioneer in making Santa Barbara a tourist destination and an early environmentalist. She will be honored at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards gala on May 5 at the Coral Casino of the Four Seasons Biltmore.

The prestigious Rock Star: Life Achievement Award is presented to a successful woman entrepreneur who has made an indelible impact on our community.

“Pam is the CEO of the Santa Barbara Hotel Group, although she knew nothing about hotels when she and her late husband, David, arrived here from England in early 1950s and took over what is now the Rose Garden Inn,” says Cathy Feldman, Board Chair/CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation.  “Now there are five properties in SBHG that Pam runs with her daughter, Jeanette, who was only four years old when it all began.” The family-owned Santa Barbara Hotel Group offers affordable lodging in Santa Barbara with its five unique properties: The Inn by the Harbor, Lavender Inn, Best Western Plus Encina Lodge & Suites, Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn, and Brisas del Mar Inn at the Beach. Although she’s now in her 80s, Pamela still goes in to work every day.

Pamela has devoted much of her life to making Santa Barbara a destination for tourists. She created the Santa Barbara Scenic Drive and co-founded the Visit Santa Barbara Committee.  She also established the city’s waste reduction and cleanup program, Looking Good Santa Barbara. So, it is particularly fitting that she is being honored for her lifetime achievements here in Santa Barbara.

Pamela began her hospitality career at the 12-room Hacienda Motel on upper State Street, where she managed both the motel and her future partner – Jeanette, then age 4. Six years and multiple properties behind them, Pamela and David built the Pepper Tree Inn in 1962. The 110-room inn was one of the largest full-service hotels in the region. Shortly thereafter, the family and partners acquired the Encina Lodge and Suites. Both became affiliated with Best Western Hotels.

Truly a family business, Jeanette joined her mother in running the operation in 1974. During the real estate boom of the 1980s, two beach properties were added to the family holdings, the Inn by the Harbor and Brisas del Mar Inn at the Beach. They again expanded operations in 1996 with the purchase of the Colonial Beach Inn, now The Lavender Inn. To date, the Webber family owns and operates five hotels throughout Santa Barbara with 367 guestrooms and 225 employees.

More information about Pamela Webber:

  • Pamela became the “First Lady” of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce, as the first female member
  • Member of Best Western Hotel Group’s national Board of Governors, as a Regional Governor she oversees 18 of their hotels
  • Served on numerous tourism and environmental boards (past and present) including: Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee, Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission, Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, Looking Good Santa Barbara, and the California Offshore Oil, Gas, Energy Resources Study Steering Committee.

Along with Pamela, SOE Awards will be honoring 11 outstanding women entrepreneurs from Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, selected by an independent panel of judges. The top three finalists in each category will be announced at the end of March.

Proceeds from the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards benefit the winners of the SBCC Scheinfeld Center’s New Venture Challenge, a business plan competition for Santa Barbara County high school and collegiate students. The winners of both tiers of the New Venture Challenge are given financial support in the form of seed capital and scholarships and receive their prizes at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner on May 5.

For additional information about the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation or the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards please go to www.soefoundation.org, email info@soefoundation.org, or call 805-682-8380.

To arrange interviews with Pamela Webber and SOE Board Members, or to request high-resolution photos or collateral, please contact Joni Kelly at 805-886-1869 or jonikellycomm@gmail.com. A limited number of tickets to the event are available for working media upon advance arrangement; confirmation will be given closer to the event.

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About Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation:


The mission of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation, is to support entrepreneurship at all levels in our region. This is accomplished by honoring successful women entrepreneurs at a yearly event, the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, for the benefit of Santa Barbara County high school and collegiate student entrepreneurs. The student entrepreneurs, who have won the New Venture Challenge, a one-day business pitch competition put on by the Scheinfeld Center of Entrepreneurship at Santa Barbara City College, are awarded financial support (in the form of seed capital) and scholarships at our Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards to help them to develop their aspiring businesses and continue their education. These Awards allow the Foundation to fulfill its goal of encouraging future economic growth in our region.

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