Event Santa Cruz is a monthly happening that showcases thriving local businesses, and the people behind them.

Each month we have 8 to 10 entrepreneurs speak for 4 minutes each about what drives and motivates them to do what they do. We invite the community to come listen to, interact with, and be inspired by our speakers’ passion and their often long, rocky journeys to success. Events are hosted in a variety of unique Santa Cruz locations such as: The Nick, The MAH, Assembly, Cosmic, The Verve Roastery, and even the empty building of a future brewery. Most of the time food and drinks from local vendors are provided.

Our events provide valuable (and fun!) networking opportunities, delicious bites and drinks from local vendors, and live shows by talented local musicians. But the most important part of Event Santa Cruz is the inertia you get from listening to the success stories of local entrepreneurs who are deeply engaged in the Santa Cruz community.

If you’re interested in volunteering or speaking at our next event, or if you’d like to showcase your artistic or culinary talents for the Santa Cruz community, please contact Matthew Swinnerton at Matthew@EventSantaCruz.com. We’d love to have you at our next event!


Matthew Swinnerton

Matthew Swinnerton is the Owner, Creative Director and Magic Maker behind Event Santa Cruz. His eclectic background in Business Development, Event Planning, Public Speaking and Sales gives Matthew the unique set of skills that it takes to fuel Event Santa Cruz.

Jill Stone

Recently arriving from Michigan, Jill brings with her more than 12 years of marketing experience specializing in strategy, public relations and social media. Most recently, she was the executive director of St. Joseph Today, an event producing nonprofit organization that brings tens of thousands of people to year-round happs to St. Joseph, Mich., a Lake Michigan resort town just outside of Chicago. Whether putting on a large-scale outdoor BBQ and music festival or a downtown chili tour, colleagues say she only does things full tilt. Her infectious enthusiasm and passion for making sure event attendees and participants are having a great time … combined with knowing how to keep everyone in-the-loop of what’s going on … make Jill a natural fit for Event Santa Cruz where she will be diving in wherever she is needed.

Lia Adams

Lia Adams comes to Event Santa Cruz from 15 years of restaurant management, catering, and event coordination experience. She is a seasoned hospitality professional with a passion for every detail of the culinary experience. Lia comes from notable companies like, Feast for a King Catering and Coastside Couture. She has studied in Southern Cuisine, and founded her own catering company Together We Eat, and even won a reality TV show, The Big Dish reality cooking show. Lia brings her insider knowledge of the catering business to find the most delicious, locally grown food and drinks to the Event Santa Cruz events.

Harrison Gough

Harrison Gough is a recent addition to the Event Santa Cruz team, assisting with community outreach, marketing, and interviewing and writing articles about the many local entrepreneurs who call Santa Cruz home. As a continuing UCSC student majoring in Film/Digital Media and Creative Writing, (as well as coming from a background in print and digital publication) he's found an opportunity to use his skills and experience to put local businesses—and the people behind them—on the map

Amber Bushman

Amber Bushman works as the Event Marketing Specialist at Event Santa Cruz. From creating content for our website and social media channels to helping with event logistics, she makes sure every event is promoted and advertised to the community. Amber is currently a senior at UC Santa Cruz studying Sociology and Global Information Social Enterprise Studies. She has worked in marketing with various startups and companies like Gengo and Seagate Technology. Amber brings her educational and professional background, combined with enthusiasm for creating the best events with the Event Santa Cruz team!

Logan Cooper

Logan Cooper is the Communications Intern at Event Santa Cruz. He brings his blogging and academic writing experience to the table to help create content for the ESC website and blog. He is currently finishing up his bachelor’s degree in Global Economics at UC Santa Cruz, and is looking forward to getting a close-up view of the entrepreneurs that make Santa Cruz (and not to mention ECS!) what it is, and bringing that unique perspective to a wider audience.

Minh Nguyen

In Fall 2016, I will be a senior studying Psychology at UCSC. I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends and practicing my Mandarin Chinese. My goal is to learn about the process of marketing and event planning. While doing that, I will also get to know more about human connection and social influence, two topics that fascinate me as a Psychology major. I am excited to learn to put on successful events that celebrate and promote our Santa Cruz community members and talents with the team at Event Santa Cruz