The winners will be announced at the gala Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner on Friday, May 10, 2013. Outstanding women entrepreneurs will be recognized their success and contributions to the economy in eight categories. The categories are:
• Communications/Media /Publishing
• Emerging Business (less than 2 yrs old)
• Professional Services*
• Retail /Wholesale/Manufacturing
• Rock Star: Life Achievement Award
*Open to any profession that requires a license like accounting, legal, real estate, etc.
The nominations are open to any woman entrepreneur in Santa Barbara County. “We have added a new category this year for Emerging Businesses to level the playing field for women who are just starting their businesses,” says Cathy Feldman, Board Chair/CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation. “Anyone can nominate herself or someone else just by going to our website, www.soefoundation.org and clicking Nominations and filling out the form. The deadline is March 8, so the sooner you do it, the better.”
Feldman points out that the selection of the winners will be done by “independent judges who are not connected with the Foundation to preserve the integrity of the Awards.” The top three nominees in each category will be recognized, but the winners will not be announced until the dinner at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort, just like the Oscars. Lynda Weinman, co-founder/executive chair of lynda.com, will be the MC for the event.
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards Event is held in conjunction with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Santa Barbara City College. A week before the Awards event, the Scheinfeld Center will put on their New Venture Challenge, a two-tiered business pitch competition for SBCC students and area high school students to
promote youth entrepreneurship. There will be three student prizes at both the college and high school level. The winners of both tiers of the New Venture Challenge Awards will be not only be the Foundation’s guests and receive their prizes at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner, the proceeds from the Awards will also fund cash prizes for the student winners.
“The mission of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation is to support entrepreneurship at all levels in Santa Barbara County because entrepreneurs are the engine for growing our economy,” Feldman added. “By recognizing both women and student entrepreneurs with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, we believe we are making an important contribution.”
The winners of the 2012 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are:
Health/Fitness/Beauty: Kathy Gruver, Healing Circle Massage
Hospitality/Tourism: Merryl Brown, Merryl Brown Events
Professional Services: Karen Mora, Accountability Plus
Publishing, Communications & Media: Rachael Steidl, ParentClick.com
Real Estate/Construction: Carol Ashley, Demo2Design
Science/Technology/Manufacturing: Darya Bronston, CoreFitnessRoller
Wholesale/Retail: Kelly Jensen, Jensen AudioVisual
Rock Star (Life Achievement): Mindy Bingham, Academic Innovations