Last Friday evening at Fess Parker's Double Tree Resort, Lynda Weinman, co-founder and executive chair of lynda.com, asked for “The envelope, please,” and revealed the nine outstanding women entrepreneurs who had won the 2014 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards.
The winners were selected from 27 finalists in Santa Barbara County by independent judges do not live in Santa Barbara and are not connected with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, the nonprofit that hosts this unique event.
“The 10 winners were recognized for their achievements as entrepreneurs and range in age from their early 20s to 70s,” according to Cathy Feldman, board chair and CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, which hosts the event. “Together, the 27 amazing finalists that we are honoring tonight have gross revenues that total approximately $45 million and employ 684 people, mostly in Santa Barbara County."
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards also honored high school and college student winners of SBCC’s Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge business pitch competition that took place a week before the awards dinner. Proceeds from the awards dinner provide cash prizes, in the form of seed money for the students to use for their fledgling businesses, as well as scholarships for the winning student entrepreneurs.
The women winners are:
Kathy Joseph, Fiddlehead Cellars, www.FiddleheadCellars.com
Amy Chalker, Isabella Gourmet Foods, www.isabellagourmetfoods.com
Lacey Grevious, The Refillery, www.the-refillery.com
Suzanne McNeely, Senior Planning Services, www.seniorplanningservices.com
Marianne Partridge, The Independent, www.independent.com
Kymberlee Weil, Strategic Samurai, http://strategicsamurai.com
Calla Gold, Calla Gold Jewelry, www.callagoldjewelry.com
Michele Hinnrichs, PAT Industries Inc., www.patinc.com
Anita Chambers, Odulair LLC, www.odulair.com
Rock Star: Life Achievement
Betty Hatch, La Belle Modeling Agency, SelfEsteem.org, www.selfesteem.org
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation’s Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are designed to recognize the contributions of women entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara County to the economy as well as to support future economic growth through the recognition, funding and education of student entrepreneurs.
For more information about the 2014 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, click here or call 805.682.8380. Click on the Awards button to see bios of the finalists as well as information about our independent judges.
— Cathy Feldman is the board chairwoman/CEO for the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation.