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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation is Looking for 8 Great Women Entrepreneurs

Nominations are now open for the third 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 on Friday, May 10, 2013. Outstanding women entrepreneurs will be recognized their success and contributions to the economy in eight categories. The categories are:

• Beauty/Fitness

• Communications/Media /Publishing

• Emerging Business (less than 2 yrs old)

• Hospitality/Tourism

• Medical/Science/Technology

• Professional Services*

• Retail /Wholesale/Manufacturing

• Rock Star: Life Achievement Award

*Open to any profession that requires a license like accounting, legal, real estate, etc.

The nominations are open to any woman entrepreneur in Santa Barbara County. “We have added a new category this year for Emerging Businesses to level the playing field for women who are just starting their businesses,” says Cathy Feldman, Board Chair/CEO of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation. “Anyone can nominate herself or someone else just by going to our website, www.soefoundation.org and clicking Nominations and filling out the form. The deadline is March 8, so the sooner you do it, the better.”

Feldman points out that the selection of the winners will be done by “independent judges who are not connected with the Foundation to preserve the integrity of the Awards.” The top three nominees in each category will be recognized, but the winners will not be announced until the dinner at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort, just like the Oscars. Lynda Weinman, co-founder/executive chair of lynda.com, will be the MC for the event.

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards Event is held in conjunction with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Santa Barbara City College. A week before the Awards event, the Scheinfeld Center will put on their New Venture Challenge, a two-tiered business pitch competition for SBCC students and area high school students to

promote youth entrepreneurship. There will be three student prizes at both the college and high school level. The winners of both tiers of the New Venture Challenge Awards will be not only be the Foundation’s guests and receive their prizes at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner, the proceeds from the Awards will also fund cash prizes for the student winners.

“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 both women and student entrepreneurs with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, we believe we are making an important contribution.”

From left: Mindy Bingham, Rock Star; Carol Ashley, Real Estate/Construction; Karen Mora, Professional Services; Kathy Gruver, Health/Fitness/Beauty; Rachael Steidl, Publishing/Communications/Media;  Kelly Jensen, Wholesale/Retail; Kathy Odell for Darya Bronston, Science/Technology/Manufacturing, and Merryl Brown, Tourism/Hospitality.
Click to enlarge photo

From left: Mindy Bingham, Rock Star; Carol Ashley, Real Estate/Construction; Karen Mora, Professional Services; Kathy Gruver, Health/Fitness/Beauty; Rachael Steidl, Publishing/Communications/Media; Kelly Jensen, Wholesale/Retail; Kathy Odell for Darya Bronston, Science/Technology/Manufacturing, and Merryl Brown, Tourism/Hospitality.

The winners of the 2012 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are:

Health/Fitness/Beauty: Kathy Gruver, Healing Circle Massage

Hospitality/Tourism: Merryl Brown, Merryl Brown Events

Professional Services: Karen Mora, Accountability Plus

Publishing, Communications & Media: Rachael Steidl, ParentClick.com

Real Estate/Construction: Carol Ashley, Demo2Design

Science/Technology/Manufacturing: Darya Bronston, CoreFitnessRoller

Wholesale/Retail: Kelly Jensen, Jensen AudioVisual

Rock Star (Life Achievement): Mindy Bingham, Academic Innovations

For more information about the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards go to www.soefoundation.org or email info@soefoundation.org or call 805-682-8380

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