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Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award Winners Announced

Eleven outstanding women entrepreneurs received the 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards during a ceremony May 4 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. Presenting the honors was Caroline MacDougall, founder of Teeccino and one of first SOE award winners.

The winners were selected from 33 finalists in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties by independent judges who live outside the area and are not connected with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, the nonprofit that hosts the event. Each recipient received an engraved award from Tiffany.

“These eleven winners were recognized for their achievements as entrepreneurs in diverse and forward-thinking businesses,” said Cathy Feldman, board chair/CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation.

“Together, these 33 amazing finalists we are honoring tonight have gross revenues that total approximately $32 million and employ more than 450 people in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. This demonstrates the importance of women business owners to our local economy,” Feldman said.

The previously announced Rock Star: Life Achievement Award winner, Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, CEO of Pacific Air Industries and one of Santa Barbara’s leading philanthropists, was honored at the event in the presence of her friends.

The 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards winners are:

Agricultural & wineries: Marta Alvarez, YCE, Inc., www.YCEinc.com

Emerging business: Raiza Giorgi, Santa Ynez Valley Star/SB Family & Life Magazine, www.santaynezvalleystar.com

Green & social entrepreneurship: Diana Pereira, Impact Hub of SB and Balance Financial Management, www.impacthubsb.com

Health & wellness: Robin Long, The Balanced Life, www.thebalancedlifeonline.com

Hospitality & tourism: Nirasha Rodriguez, The Food Liaison, www.thefoodliaison.com

Media * communications: Lindsey Carnett, Marketing Maven, www.marketingmaven.com

Nonprofit: Sarah Otterstrom, Paso Pacifico, www.pasopacifico.org

Professional services: Ann Levine, Law School Expert, www.lawschoolexpert.com

Retail: Zdena Jiroutova, ZFolio, www.zfolio.com

Science & technology: Kristin Denault, Fluency Lighting Technologies, www.fluencylighting.com

Wholesale, Manufacturing & Global Trade: Michele McDowell, Wiggins Lift Co., www.wigginslift.com

Rock Star: Life Achievement: Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Pacific Air Industries, www.pac-air.com

The SOE Awards also honored high school and college student winners of SBCC Scheinfeld Center’s New Venture Challenge competition. Proceeds from the SOE Awards dinner went toward cash prizes, in the form of seed money, as well as scholarships for the winning student entrepreneurs.

The student winners and finalists all had their products and services on display at the Student Startup Showcase that preceded the event and was open to the public. The student winners of the 2018 New Venture Challenge are:

Collegiate winners: Jake Zander, SBCC, Feel Me Footsouls (1st place - $5,500); Heather Luikart, SBCC, Peregrin8 Travel (2nd Place - $3,000); and Adam Verhasselt, SBCC, VOIID! (3rd place - $2,000).

High school winners: Amanda Moores, San Marcos High, Flora Wellness Tech (1st place - $1,000); Trevor Eubank, San Marcos, Hinterland (2nd place - $600); and Natalie Hey-Shipton, San Marcos, myHunnybox (3rd Place - $400).

For more information about the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, visit www.soefoundation.org, email [email protected], call 682-8380.

— Joni Kelly for Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards.


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