Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala celebrates 14th year

Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala celebrates 14th year

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Twenty-eight of the Inland region’s leading entrepreneurs have been named as finalists for 2016 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at Cal State San Bernardino and will be honored at a black-tie gala on Nov. 15 in Riverside.

Now in its 14th year, the awards gala has honored the top business leaders in the Inland region since its inception in 2003, said CSUSB Entrepreneurship Professor Mike Stull, founder of the event and director of IECE. The gala will be held at the Riverside Convention Center on Nov. 15.

The gala will also include the final presentation of the Garner Holt Student Fast Pitch Competition, an innovative IECE annual competition consisting of 5 CSUSB student entrepreneurs given an opportunity to jump-start their entrepreneurial dreams by giving 90-second fast pitches to a panel of investors and other members of Southern California’s entrepreneurial community. East fast pitch is judged for the quality of the presentation and its investment potential.

Now in its 14th year, the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala has honored the top business leaders in the Inland region since its inception in 2003. The gala will be held at the Riverside Convention Center on Nov. 15. Photo: Rodrigo Pena Photography.

Now in its 14th year, the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala has honored the top business leaders in the Inland region since its inception in 2003. The gala will be held at the Riverside Convention Center on Nov. 15. Photo: Rodrigo Pena Photography.

“The hot topic of conversation among the semi-finalists at our judging reception on September 29 was how many amazing companies were in the room,” said Stull. “The judges had a difficult time making the finalist selections, and those companies that will be vying for the award on November 15 at the awards gala truly represent a diverse range of unique and innovative entrepreneurs.”

The 28 finalists, who were selected from a pool of more than 130 nominees, will compete for the Spirit of the Entrepreneur award in nine different categories.

The program will feature the presentation of the 2016 “Best of the Best” award to one of the award recipients that best exemplifies what it means to be an entrepreneur in terms of taking risks and building a successful enterprise that creates jobs and value where none existed before.

The 2016 Inland Empire entrepreneurial finalists include:

Corporate Entrepreneur

  • James M Lally D.O., MMM, Chino Valley Medical Center – Chino
  • Anand Patel, Metroll – Fontana
  • Mark Chivers, Superform USA – Riverside

Distribution, Logistics and Transportation Entrepreneur

  • Maria Thompson, Agile Sourcing Partners, Inc. – Corona
  • Chris Hively, Ecko Products Group – Ontario
  • Antonio Myrell, Premier Medical Transportation/Premier Medical Equipment and Supply – Colton

Family Business

  • The Miller Family, American National Manufacturing, Inc. – Corona
  • Michael Hellmers, ESL Power Systems, Inc. – Corona
  • Mark Widder, Dino Cancellieri Sr., Dino Cancellieri Jr., Randy Cancellieri, Adam Cancellieri; Veg-Fresh Farms – Corona

General Entrepreneur

  • Elaine C. Norland, A Cone Zone, Inc. – Corona
  • Leonora Foddrill, Foddrill Construction Corp. – Chino
  • Jay Jeffs, Jayco Industries – Apple Valley
  • Mike Perry, Klatch Coffee Inc. – Rancho Cucamonga

Innovator/Technology Entrepreneur

  • Saksit Suetrong, iA-ROBOTICS – Murrieta
  • Clifton Cooper & Greg Middleton, Pocial – Palm Springs

Manufacturing Entrepreneur

  • Alan Yu, Lollicup USA, Inc. – Chino
  • Troy Lindstrom, Lynam Industries, Inc. – Fontana
  • Kathy Bodor, Plastics Plus Technology, Inc. – Redlands

Service-Based Entrepreneur

  • Arthur R. Rose & Timothy J. Russell, Chiro, Inc. – Bloomington
  • Paul Anthony Courtney, PACE Services Corporation – Barstow
  • Tim Adams, School Portraits by Adams Photography, Inc. – Chino

Small/Emerging Enterprise

  • Nathan Greenberg, Arkside Marketing, Inc. – Riverside
  • William Schlanger, EV Enterprises – Palm Springs
  • Josephine “Fina” Meraz, Tile Designs by Fina, Inc. – Palm Desert

Social Entrepreneur

  • Cesar Navarrete, C.A.S.A. of San Bernardino County – Colton
  • Patricia Nickols-Butler , Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County – San Bernardino
  • Sylvia Anderson, Fontana Resources at Work – Fontana
  • John Neiuber, Trinity Youth Services – Claremont

The finalists and award recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges consisting of past Spirit Award recipients. The 28 finalists represent the culmination of a nomination and evaluation process that included more than 130 nominees.

Individual tickets for the Nov. 15 event are $110 per person and tables of 10 can be purchased for $1,000. Special Premier VIP experience ticket packages are also available. For more information or to make reservations, call (909) 537-3708 or visit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur website.

Commencing at 5:30 p.m., the gala includes a cocktail reception, dinner, special entertainment guests and the awards presentation. All proceeds benefit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Scholarship at Cal State San Bernardino.

About the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship

Located on the campus of Cal State San Bernardino, the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) was recognized by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) as having the top specialty entrepreneurship program in the US for 2010. IECE offers a wide range of programs and services including academic programs that lead to business degrees in Entrepreneurship for undergraduate and graduate students as well as delivering experiential learning and student support programs such as the Fast Pitch Competition. In the local community, IECE offers existing and aspiring entrepreneurs a wide array of business advisory and mentoring services, student internship and consulting resources, and entrepreneurial training programs that help them achieve greater levels of success in their business ventures. Visit the IECE website for more information.

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