Chairman’s Message

Margo Cobian 2015June, 2016

Celebrating 100 Years of Educational Excellence!

On April 16, 2016 the Vista Chamber of Commerce held its 5th Annual Heroes of Vista Gala at California State University of San Marcos, in collaboration with the Vista Education Foundation (VEF).   The VEF was established to serve as an alternative funding source for the Vista Unified School District with the purpose to seek  and aid in funding requests that support activities and projects from VUSD Schools, PTA’s and many other community organizations. The event honored our local heroes including teachers, small business owners, fire fighters, sheriff deputies, veterans, community leaders and more.   Nearly 300 attendees joined together to celebrate those that have made a positive difference in our amazing City.  We recognized Kathy Issa as our 2016 Lifetime Achievement Honoree.  Kathy and Congressman Darrell Issa, who was also in attendance, founded the Issa Family foundation in 2000. As the CFO of the Foundation, Kathy has overseen the donation of over $10 million dollars, predominately to North County based charities that support education, homelessness, veterans, children, food banks and substantially more. Our Heroes of Vista Gala continues to grow into a much anticipated annual event that promotes a city in which we all want to work, live and play.

Our 2016 Heroes of Vista Honorees are:

Small Business of the Year: Pass ‘N Go Smog Center

Large Business of the Year: Watkins Wellness

Innovative Business of the Year: Solutions for Change

Business Person of the Year: Terry Woods,

Educator of the Year for Arts:  Kathy Olson, Vista Academy of Visual & Performing Arts

Educator of the Year for Technology: David Ruiz, Vista Innovation & Design Academy

Educator of the Year for Scholarships: Kelly McKinney, Vista Unified

Educational Administrator of the Year:  Dr. Matt Doyle, Vista Unified

Firefighter of the Year: Miles Sweeney

Sheriff Deputy of the Year: Kai Bowman

Military Veteran of the Year: Haywood Bagley

Lifetime Achievement Award: Kathy Issa

We also toasted to the Vista Unified School District 100 years of existence.  The VUSD was formed in 1916, with the combining of 3 separate schools into one campus that was built for $8,000 in the early 1920’s, which included a total of 60 students and 3 teachers.  As of today, there are over 22,000 students and 2,000 plus district employees.   Under the leadership of Devon Vodicka, Ed.D., Superintendent of The Vista Unified School District, the district has become a highly recognized leader in educational innovation and excellence.  Congratulations to the Vista Unified School District and all your positive work to bringing Vista to the forefront of success.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Directors, Vista Chamber staff, our Committees, members of the Chamber and the City of Vista for making my year as you Chairman of the Board a memorable, incredible and joyful experience.  Thank you to all of you and to every one of our Heroes of Vista 2016 nominees and Honorees.

Margo Cobian
Chairman of the Board
EDCO Waste & Recycling