2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award Winners Announced

Photo by Linda Allen Blue

From left: Marta Alvarez, YCE Inc. (Agriculture & Wineries); Diana Pereira, Impact Hub (Green & Social Entrepreneurship); Sarah Otterstrom, Paso Pacifico (Nonprofit); Lindsey Carnett, Media Maven (Media & Communications); Robin Long, The Balanced Life (Health & Wellness); Nirasha Rodriguez, The Food Liaison (Hospitality & Tourism and winner of Successful Entrepreneurs Giving Back Award in the amount of $10,000); Michele McDowell, Wiggins Lift Co. (Wholesale, Manufacturing & Global Trade); Zdena Jiroutova, ZFolio (Retail); Raiza Giorgi, Santa Ynez Valley Star/SB Family Life Magazine (Emerging Business); and Ann Levine, Law School Expert (Professional Services)
Not shown: Kristin Denault, Fluency Lighting (Science & Technology); and Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Pacific Air Industries (Rock Star: Life Achievement Award)

Winners of the 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation Awards were announced May 4 at gala dinner at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, formerly Fess Parker’s Doubletree Hotel Resort. 

It was announced that the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards would become part of Women’s Economic Ventures beginning next year. A tribute was paid to Cathy Feldman, Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation’s founder, for her long history of championing women and student entrepreneurs.   

The award winners in were in 12 categories.

They include: Impact Hub Santa Barbara co-founder Diana Pereira for Green & Social Entrepreneurship; Marta Alvarez, YCE Inc. for Agriculture & Wineries; Sarah Otterstrom, Paso Pacifico for Nonprofits; Lindsey Carnett, Media Maven for Media & Communications; Robin Long, The Balanced Life for Health & Wellness; Nirasha Rodriguez, The Food Liaison for Hospitality & Tourism and winner of Successful Entrepreneurs Giving Back Award in the amount of $10,000; Michele McDowell, Wiggins Lift Co. For Wholesale, Manufacturing & Global Trade; Zdena Jiroutova, ZFolio for Retail; Raiza Giorgi, Santa Ynez Valley Star/SB Family Life Magazine for Emerging Business; and Ann Levine, Law School Expert for Professional Services.  

Also honored were: Kristin Denault, Fluency Lighting for Science & Technology; and Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Pacific Air Industries for the Rock Star: Life Achievement Award.

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation’s Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are designed to acknowledge the contributions of women entrepreneurs to the local economy in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, as well as to support future economic growth through the recognition and education of student entrepreneurs. The annual gala helps support the student awards program.

The winners were chosen from a field of 33 finalists. 

Also honored May 4 were Venture Challenge Contest student winners for business ideas they pitched. They include Santa Barbara City College students: Jake Zander, for Feel Me Footsouls, first place, $5,500; Heather Luikart, SBCC, Peregrin8 Travel, second Place, $3,000); and Adam Verhasselt, SBCC, VOIID!, third place, $2,000. 

Venture Challenge winners include San Marcos High School students: Amanda Moores, Flora Wellness Tech, first place, $1,000; Trevor Eubank, Hinterland, second Place, $600; and Natalie Hey-Shipton, myHunnybox, third place, $400.

Posted May 10, 2018  

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