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Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation Opens Nominations for Annual Awards

Nominations are now open for the sixth annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, the most prestigious awards for women entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara County.  

The winners will be announced at the gala Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner Friday, May 6, 2016, at the beautiful Bacara Resort. Lynda Weinman, co-founder and former executive chair of will once again be the emcee.  

Outstanding women entrepreneurs will be recognized for their success and contributions to the economy in eleven categories: agriculture and wineries, emerging business (1-3 years), green and social entrepreneurs, health, hospitality and tourism, media and communication, nonprofit, professional services, retail, science and technology, wholesale, manufacturing and global trade.

Descriptions of each category are listed at

The nominations are open to any woman entrepreneur in Santa Barbara County.  

“This year also has a new cash award for one of the women winners who has been in business less than five years,” says Cathy Feldman, board chair and CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation.  

“It’s called Santa Barbara Entrepreneurs Giving Back Award and is being funded by successful entrepreneurs who live in Santa Barbara. The donors to this award will both pick the winner and present the award,” she said.

Anyone woman entrepreneur can be nominated or self-nominated by going to There is an online and downloadable form. The deadline for nominations is March 7. 

According to Feldman, the selection of the winners is done by “independent judges who are not connected with the Foundation and do not live in Santa Barbara to preserve the integrity of the Awards.”  

The top three nominees in each category will be announced at the end of March.  

The winners will be named for the first time at the Awards dinner at the Fess Parker Resort May 8, just like the Oscars.  

One additional award whose winner is selected by the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation’s board, the Rock Star: Life Achievement Award, will be announced separately in a few weeks.

Proceeds from the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards benefit the student winners of the SBCC Scheinfeld Center’s New Venture Challenge, a two-tiered business pitch competition for area high school and collegiate students that promotes youth entrepreneurship.

The winners of both tiers of the New Venture Challenge Awards will be the Foundation’s guests and receive their prizes at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner. All of the winners will participate in a Student Startup Showcase preceding the Awards.

“The mission of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation is to support entrepreneurship at all levels in Santa Barbara County because entrepreneurs are the engine for growing our economy,” Feldman added.  “By recognizing women entrepreneurs for the benefit of student entrepreneurs, we believe we are making an important contribution to that growth.”

The winners of the 2015 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are Marsha Bailey, Marge Cafarelli, Kristin Fraser, Lisa Grossmann, Sandra Hirsch, Lynette La Mere, Dorothy Largay, Anne Pazier, Kimberly True, Anupama Vaid, Kim Wiseley and Dr. Elizabeth Wisniewski.

You can learn more about each of the winners at

For more information about the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, go to or email [email protected] or call 805.682.8380.

Cathy Feldman is the board chair and CEO for the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation.


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