San Bernardino, CA - The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at Cal State San Bernardino announced the semi-finalists for the 2023 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards program. Chosen from a field of over 250 nominees, the 45 semi-finalists will attend a judging reception on October 4th where they will meet and interact with the event judges. Immediately following the reception, the judges will convene, deliberate and select the finalists, whose names will be unveiled on October 5th. The finalists for the event will compete for the 2023 Spirit of the Entrepreneur award at the 21st annual black-tie gala on November 15th at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside.
THE 2023 INLAND EMPIRE ENTREPRENEURIAL SEMI-FINALISTS INCLUDE:
- 360 Human Services, Harry Jackson - Victorville>
- A&R Tarpaulins, Inc., Bud Weisbart - Fontana>
- Active IT Solutions, Inc., David Shay - Riverside>
- Angelo's Brick Oven Pizzeria, Angelo Catalano - Wildomar>
- Arcade Coffee Roasters, Stephen Hasemeyer - Riverside>
- Bid Fast and Last, Jeff Patterson and Johan Graham - Hesperia>
- Biztek Solutions, Inc., Derek Anderson - Riverside>
- Blindness Support Services, Pete Benavidez - Riverside>
- Cal Pacific Constructors, Inc., Kirby Hays - Riverside>
- California Smog Institute, CSAI Auto Service, CSAI Smog Check Center & Sage Leadership Academy, Jonathan and Patricia Summers - Riverside>
- Chef2thebone LLC, Reginald Stewart - Corona>
- Chelas Bakery #1, Celia and Javier - Riverside>
- Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce | Welborn Media, Zeb Welborn - Chino>
- Cinderella's Closet Your Specialty Lingerie Boutique, Dana Walker-Jackson - Rancho Cucamonga>
- Columbia Aluminum Products, LLC, Drew Mumford Sr - Corona>
- Composition Hospitality, Jeffrey Luchonok - Ontario>
- E.A.T Marketplace A Cultivating Good company, Leah Di Bernardo and Joanne Di Bernardo - Temecula>
- Gram's BBQ Restaurant & Catering, Benita Bratton - Riverside>
- Greater Ontario Business Council, Peggi Hazlett - Ontario>
- H&S Transport Inc., Prospero Collado - Fontana>
- Heyward Marketing Lab, Chastity Heyward - Temecula>
- ISU Insurance Services - ARMAC Agency, Ryan McEachron - Victorville>
- McKell Partners Wealth Management, Mark McKell - Riverside>
- MillworX Precision Machining, Inc., Stacy Wilson - Corona>
- Montague Brothers Coffee, Nichole Montague - Wildomar>
- Murrish Maintenance Construction Services LLC, Suzie Murrish - Ontario>
- MVS, Inc. (Mountain View Services), Eric Goodman - Redlands>
- My Healthy Penguin, Christine Holyfield (Lopez) - Rancho Cucamonga>
- National Logistics Team, LLC., Erik Meza - Grand Terrace>
- North Shore Greenhouses, Inc., Suzette Overgaag - Thermal>
- Off The Chain Alliance, Porscha N. Dillard - Riverside>
- Roses Say, Rose Study - Chino Hills>
- Shoup Legal, Andrea K. Shoup - Murrieta>
- SkyPark at Santa's Village, Bill Johnson - Skyforest>
- Symons Emergency Specialties Inc. DBA Symbiosis, Jeff Grange - Redlands>
- Technical Employment Training Inc., Virginia Martinez - San Bernardino>
- Tomorrow's Talent, Dale Marsden, EdD - San Bernardino>
- Tu Organics LLC , Mariatu Tu Browne - Rancho Cucamonga>
- United Material Handling, Inc., Ryan Bartlett - Corona>
- Vested Solutions, Vernon WyllieJames - Desert Hot Springs>
- Wallace Commercial Landscape, Tamara Wallace - Apple Valley>
- Watermark Associates, Judy A Zulfiqar - Temecula>
- West Coast Entitlement, LLC, Craig Heaps - Calimesa>
- Williams Furnace Company, Thinh Pho - Colton>
JUDGING RECEPTION is Sponsored by Roorda, Piquet & Bessee, Inc.
Spirit Awards Event Features
Commencing at 5:00 p.m. on November 15th, attendees will experience either a Gala, VIP or Preview reception, stellar event entertainment, awards presentations, and an exclusive after party! Ticket sales will be starting soon!
Best of the Best Award The top entrepreneur from among the evenings award recipients that best exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit will take home the 2023 Best of the Best award, sponsored by Best, Best & Krieger, LLP
The Mary Anne Fox Top Female Entrepreneur Award The outstanding female entrepreneur from among the finalists will be recognized with the Mary Anne Fox Top Female Entrepreneur Award.The Garner Holt Student Fast Pitch Competition
Witness 90-second business pitches from competing student finalists. Audience members cast their votes for the best business idea through a live voting poll to determine which students will walk away with the top cash prizes.
Entertainment Upcoming entertainment guest stars are always an anticipated reveal during the gala. Past events have included top flight entertainment such as: Rock Legend Eddie Money, Ekenah Claudin-Transcending Box, and Gregory Adamson- Facing the Music Performance Artistry.
VIP Reception Sponsored by City National Bank an RBC Company
A portion of the proceeds from the Spirit of the Entrepreneur event benefit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Scholarship established by Dr. Mike Stull, Director of Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University, San Bernardino. The scholarship is awarded to vetted and deserving entrepreneurship students from CSUSB's School of Entrepreneurship, in order to assist them in achieving their degree.
The Spirit of the Entrepreneur event is 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 and sponsored by a wide range of local organizations including:
- PLATINUM SPONSORS Best Best & Krieger LLP, U.S. Bank, Southern California News Group, Inland Empire Magazine, and Inland Empire Business Journal
- GOLD SPONSORS Varner & Brandt LLP, Wilson Ivanov CPAs, San Bernardino County EDA, JP Morgan Chase, Desmond & Louis, and Riverside County Office of Economic Development
- SILVER SPONSORS Pacific Premier Bank, Fifth Third Bank
- JUDGING RECEPTION SPONSOR Roorda, Piquet & Bessee, Inc.
- VIP RECEPTION SPONSOR - City National Bank, An RBC Company
- PREVIEW RECEPTION SPONSOR - Bank of America
- AFTER PARTY SPONSOR - Roark Financial
- WINE & CHAMPAGNE SPONSOR - BBSI, Inc.