Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 9:26 am | Fair 54º



New Awards to Honor Women Entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara

Nominations for several categories will be accepted through April 13

The Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners has announced the first Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards Dinner on May 13.

Maria Contreras-Sweet
Maria Contreras-Sweet

The awards were created to honor both a national level entrepreneur and local women who exemplify what it means to be a successful entrepreneur.

“The awards are an important milestone for NAWBO-SB,” said Maeda Palius, president of NAWBO-SB. “The incredible growth of our chapter is proof of the importance of women entrepreneurs in building the economy. We wanted to create a way of acknowledging the many women entrepreneurs, not just our members, who are contributing to the economic recovery in Santa Barbara.”

She noted that any women entrepreneurs in the area can apply for the awards by filling out the nomination form at The deadline for nominations is April 13.

Maria Contreras-Sweet will be the recipient of the main Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award and the keynote speaker. Contreras-Sweet, whose own success story is inspiring, is the founder and chairwoman of Promerica Bank in Los Angeles and former secretary of business, transportation and housing for the State of California.

Six other awards will be given to Santa Barbara women entrepreneurs in specific categories to recognize their contributions to the community and the economy. The winners will be selected by a panel of independent judges.

The categories are manufacturing/wholesale/retail; professional services; health/beauty/fitness; publishing/communications/media; science and technology; and tourism and hospitality.

The awards dinner is being held in conjunction with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at SBCC. The Scheinfeld Center’s New Venture Challenge is a two-tiered business pitch competition for SBCC students and area high school students to promote youth entrepreneurship.

The student awards will include scholarship and/or cash awards for the first, second and third place at both the college and high school levels. The winners of both tiers of the New Venture Challenge Awards will be the NAWBO-SB Foundation’s guests and receive their prizes at the awards dinner.

“We believe a large part of our mission is to support entrepreneurship at all levels, and the students are our future,” Palius said. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with the Scheinfeld Center and encourage the next generation to grow their own businesses.”

All proceeds from the event will go toward underwriting the 2012 awards dinner and funding at least two prizes to the Scheinfeld Center for the 2012 event to be given to one female and one male student entrepreneur.

The awards dinner will be held at the Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, May 13. Tickets are $100 for NAWBO-SB members and $125 for non-members. Reservations are required.

For nomination forms, sponsorship opportunities and ticket information, click here or or call Executive Director Cathy Feldman at 805.682.8775.

— Karen Dwyer is the public relations chairwoman for the National Association of Women Business Owners-Santa Barbara Chapter.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Cimme Eordanidis
"Since I truly enjoy doing what I do, interacting with people and representing them during one of life's most exciting events is very rewarding."

Full Profile >