Friday , December 1 2023
2023 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards Seeking Nominations

Entrepreneurs recognized during black-tie gala

Last week nearly 900 of the Inland Empire region’s entrepreneurs and community members gathered for the 21st annual Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala in Riverside.

The black-tie event, presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) and the Jack H. Brown College of Business & Public Administration at California State University San Bernardino, celebrated in the theme of “accelerating the future” and the eight award recipients selected from a pool of 32 finalists.

This year’s award recipients are:

  • Prospero Collado, H&S Transport – Fontana – GENERAL ENTREPRENEUR & BEST OF THE BEST AWARD
  • Christine Holyfield, My Health Penguin – Rancho Cucamonga – MARY ANNE FOX TOP FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR
  • Kirby Hays, Cal Pacific Constructors, Inc. – Riverside – CORPORATE ENTREPRENEUR
  • Stephen Hasemeyer, Arcade Coffee Roasters – Riverside – FOOD, HOSPITALITY AND ENTERTAINMENT ENTREPRENEUR
  • Jeff Grange, Symbiosis – Redlands – HEALTHCARE ENTREPRENEUR
  • Pete Benavidez – Blindness Support Services – Riverside – NONPROFIT ENTREPRENEUR
  • Andrea K. Shoup, Shoup Legal – Murrieta – SERVICE-BASED ENTREPRENEUR
  • Dana Walker-Jackson, Cinderella’s Closet – Rancho Cucamonga – SMALL/EMERGING ENTERPRISE

In addition to recognizing the region’s top entrepreneurs, a competition was held for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Five students from CSUSB participated in the Garner Holt Student Fast Pitch Competition where they had to deliver a 90-second pitch about their up-and-coming venture idea to the audience and were critiqued on their overall preparation, poise and professional presentation. The top three pitches were recognized, and the top student received a $4,000 prize. The fast pitch is sponsored by local entrepreneur Garner Holt of Garner Holt Productions and City National Bank. The top 3 finishers were:

    • Samuel Moreno – SPIKED
    • Jeramy Sanchez – Business Spanish Solutions
    • Ana Gonzalez – Bake with Me

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