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SANTA CRUZ -- The Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce is creating a new award, Entrepreneur of the Year, which will be awarded to Five3 Genomics at the chamber's 2012 community recognition dinner fundraiser 5:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Cocoanut Grove.
Here are profiles of the winners:
Man of the Year: Peter Prindle. A native of Santa Cruz, Prindle played important roles in the development of the Seymour Center, formation of the Sunrise Rotary Club, and as the only two-term president of the chamber. He has held board leadership positions with Long Marine Lab, UCSC Arboretum, Santa Cruz Public Works Commission, Locally Owned Business Alliance, Sunrise Rotary and Santa Cruz Rotary, Downtown Management Corp. and Cabrillo College President's Circle.
Woman of the Year: Donna Murphy. As UC Santa Cruz vice chancellor for university advancement, she has been an important partner in the effort to resolve long-standing disagreements between the campus and the city with a meaningful partnership. She has served five years on the United Way of Santa Cruz County board, chaired the United Way Campaign in 2009 and 2010, and chairs the board this year.
Business of the Year: Cruzio. Founded in 1989 by Peggy Dolgenos and Chris Neklason as a text-only bulletin board, the venture has grown into a Internet service provider with more than 9,000 Santa Cruz County connections. Most recently Cruzio invested $500,000 investment in high-speed fiber-optic resources to attract and retain technology companies and bought a part of the former Sentinel newspaper building for its data center and the Cruzioworks co-working office space.
Organizations of the Year: The Tannery Arts Center, Artspace Projects Inc. and Tannery Arts Center Inc. The city of Santa Cruz and its Redevelopment Agency working with these organizations transformed the former Salz Tannery, a site in need of environmental remediation, into an art center campus, with 100 units of affordable housing for artists and studios leased to 50-plus artists, with help from $7 million in state and federal grants. There is a three-year wait list for housing. Construction on the Kron House office space is slated to be the home for the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County in early 2013.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Stephen Benz, J. Zachary Sanborn and Charles Vaske. UCSC graduate students and genomics researchers who launched Five3Genomics to provide data processing and analysis for cancer therapy which matches treatments to genetic aberrations in patient's cancer cells. All three were independently doing genomics research in the laboratories of internationally recognized UCSC faculty members David Haussler and Joshua Stuart when they realized they could integrate elements from each into a ground-breaking process to compare genomes of healthy and diseased cells. Dr. Patrick Soon Shiong, Peter Koht, NextSpace and Web designers Octopus Creative helped them launch.
Lifetime Achievement Award: The late Bruce Woolpert of Granite Rock Co. Inc. A native of Watsonville, he turned the family business into a company recognized nationwide. Graniterock was the first small business to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1992. Fortune named it one of the "Best Places to Work in America" and Fortune Small Business magazine honored Woolpert as a "Best Boss." Woolpert, who died in a boat accident this year, also worked to improve education programs and the economic environment in Watsonville.
Follow Sentinel reporter Jondi Gumz on Twitter at Twitter.com/jondigumz
IF YOU GO
2012 COMMUNITY RECOGNITION AWARDS
WHAT: Wine reception, buffet dinner, silent and live auction sponsored by the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce
WHEN: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 30
WHERE: Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz
COST: $89 per ticket; $675 for a table of eight, 300 seats available.
INFORMATION: Buy tickets at www.SantaCruzChamber.org or call 457-3713.