2019 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award Winners Announced

Women’s Economic Ventures has announced the winners of the 2019 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards following its  May 3 dinner. 

The winners in their respective categories include: 

Successful Women Giving Back Award: Caleigh Hernandez, of shoe and accessory company RoHo; she also was awarded a $10,000 grant and a business support package valued at $6,000;

Arts & Entertainment: Laurie Gross, Laurie Gross Studios; 

Green & Social Entrepreneur: Emily Barany, Visionality; 

Hospitality & Tourism: Leanne Schlinger, Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals; 

Health & Wellness: Carmen Curtis, The Aerial Studio; 

Media & Communications: Jamie Edlin, Hollywood & Wine; 

Nonprofit: Jen Baron, Girls Rock Santa Barbara; 

Professional Services: Sara Caputo, Sara Caputo Consulting; 

Retail: Claudia Cordova Rucker, Aqua Skin & Nail Bar, Inc.; 

Science & Technology: Shawn Sullivan, Above All Aviation, Inc. 

Rock Star Life Achievement: Carol Duncan, Rusty’s Pizza.

The awards program honors Central Coast women owners and raises funds for budding college and high school student entrepreneurs.

“Combined, the 30 impressive finalists have gross revenues that total approximately $18 million and employ more than 300 people in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties,” said Marsha Bailey, founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures.

The collegiate winners include:  

1ST PLACE: $5,500 scholarship opportunity 

Abel Amoes, SBCC, Propria Mixa;  


$3,000 scholarship opportunity 

Karsten Heideman, SBCC, Droplit; 


$2,000 + scholarship opportunity 

Giuseppe Dattilo, SBCC, Dattilo Custom Leather Goods (3rd place – $2,000) 

High school winners are: 

1st place $1,000 scholarship opportunity 

Eva Moschitto, Emily Steidl, San Marcos High School, Pressed Apron; 

2nd place $600 scholarship opportunity 

Anne Burdette, Mariana Rodriguez, Bella Comati, Orion Guevara, Anacapa School, One4One; 

3rd place $400 scholarship opportunity 

Fiona Kinsella, San Marcos High School, Fiona Kinsella Designs. 

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