Members of UCSC community among those to be honored by Chamber of Commerce

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The Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce hailed Donna Murphy’s work "at the heart of two Santa Cruz communities" — the scholarship and culture of UC Santa Cruz and the safety-net services and social resources of the United Way and its member agencies.(photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)
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The cofounders of Five3 Genomics are (left to right) Charles Vaske, Steven Benz, and Zachary Sanborn, all former graduate students in the Baskin School of Engineering. (photo credit:Octopus Creative)
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Peter Prindle, whose volunteer service has touched many community and UCSC organizations, is among the honorees at the upcoming ceremony.
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Cruzio Internet, cofounded by UCSC alumna Peggy Dolgenos, was selected as Business of the Year. 

Donna Murphy, vice chancellor for University Relations, will be one of a number of people with UCSC connections to be honored during the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Community Recognition Award Winners ceremony on November 30.

The chamber, which will honor Murphy with its Woman of the Year award, hailed her work "at the heart of two Santa Cruz communities" — the scholarship and culture of UC Santa Cruz and the safety-net services and social resources of the United Way and its member agencies.

The chamber said Murphy’s skills make her "an ideal partner" in the effort led by Chancellor George Blumenthal and former Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty to resolve long-standing town-gown disagreements and to forge a meaningful partnership between the university and the city for economic development, sustainable solutions to environmental problems, and shared investment.

At the same ceremony, Five3 Genomics cofounders Stephen Benz, J. Zachary Sanborn, and Charles Vaske, all former graduate students in UCSC’s Baskin School of Engineering, will be honored as Entrepreneurs of the Year.

Five3 Genomics, which has signed a license agreement with UCSC, offers software and services for cancer researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and health-care organizations. Its goal is to provide the data processing and analysis required for personalized cancer therapy, in which treatments are matched to the specific genetic aberrations found in an individual patient's cancer cells.

The chamber hailed the co-founders for having more than just a “great idea … One of the things that makes Five3 Genomics’s story heartening is its successful use of local entrepreneurial resources.” The cofounders had “unparalleled experience” working in the genomics laboratories” under the tutelage of leading researchers, and used UCSC’s "VC one-to-one" program to meet with venture capitalists.

Two other people with strong UCSC ties will be among the evening's honorees: Peter Prindle, whose volunteer service has touched many community and UCSC organizations; and UCSC alumna Peggy Dolgenos, who cofounded Cruzio Internet.

Prindle, who will receive the chamber's Man of the Year Award, has provided critical support to UCSC's Seymour Marine Discovery Center and UCSC's Arboretum. His work with the Friends of the Long Marine Lab, for example, has been especially helpful, said Seymour Marine Discovery Center director Julie Barrett Heffington. "Peter was our president during a very formative period for the center, and his management experience was critical to our development," she said. "Peter has also been a generous and regular financial supporter and has really helped make the Seymour Center what it is," Barrett Heffington added.

Dolgenos will be honored with Chris Neklason for Cruzio's selection as Business of the Year. Dolgenos is one of many UCSC graduates who have started or are making major contributions to local businesses. She graduated from UCSC (Stevenson College) in 1992, having earned a bachelor's degree in computer and information sciences.

Read more about this year’s winners