Almost 100 years ago, celebrated architect George Washington Smith inspired the California movement, the Spanish Colonial revival. Smith dropped out of Harvard and eventually worked as a bond trader. Once Smith became a successful worker, he moved to Santa Barbara anticipating a relaxing lifestyle and hoping to work on his painting interests. However, he was taken aback when he learned that everyone loved the house he had built, prompting him to continue creating architectural gems for the city. He only used quality materials from Spain and merged new and old world styles. Today Smith’s works are desired for their simplistic beauty and complex design. He is known as a founding father in the city of Santa Barbara, as many generations of architects have followed his artistic pathway. Kenny Slaught recognizes the keen eye and attention to detail needed to create works of such artistic excellence.
A major pillar of Santa Barbara’s exceptional community, notes Kenny Slaught, is the region’s widespread commitment to philanthropy. The county’s civic leaders, business professionals, and residents maintain a deep tradition of nonprofit activity and generous giving, seen today through numerous charities, volunteer organizations and community initiatives. The area’s history of giving dates back to the creation of the Santa Barbara Foundation in 1928. Thriving local nonprofits eliminate mean that public officials do not need to seek assistance from national foundations, and can provide immediate attention to the needs of the community.