2018 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards Finalist Announced
San Bernardino, CA – Award winners will be announced on November 15th at the black-tie gala at the Riverside Convention Center. Now in its 16th year, the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards event has honored the top business leaders of the Inland region since its inception in 2003.
“Every great entrepreneur knows that to be successful, you have to expect the unexpected,” said Mike Stull, founder of The Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards and Director of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE). “Our 16th annual Spirit of the Entrepreneur celebrates this, but the one thing that isn’t unexpected is the outstanding group of finalists we have again this year – further proof that Inland Southern California is home to some of the most impressive entrepreneurs you will ever find.”
The program will feature awards presented from eleven categories, and also presentation of the 2018 “Best of the Best” award to one of the eleven (11) 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.
Entrepreneurial Finalists for 2018 include:
Consumer Products Manufacturing Entrepreneur
Dan Olszko, DIY BBQ – Murrieta
Mary Meeks, Nature’s Specialties Manufacturing – Corona
Todd Mattson, Pro-Line Racing – Banning
Angel Sanchez Jr., Phenix Technology, Inc. – Riverside
Dan Fachner, The ICEE Company – Ontario
Edward Dainko, III, Hub Construction Specialties Inc. – San Bernardino
Anthony James Espinoza, Artesia Sawdust Products, Inc. – Ontario
Harrie Cohen, Inland Empire Recycling – Ontario
Food & Beverage Manufacturing Entrepreneur
Bizhan (BJ) Fazeli, Fazeli Vineyards – Temecula
Eugene Kang, Country Archer Jerky Co. – San Bernardino
Eric Zwigart, RPP Products Inc. – San Bernardino
Frank Himpelman, Infinite Pools – Riverside
Mark Vaca, OCS Construction Services – Riverside
Ana Karina Suchánek, Casks Restaurant Group and Project Boon, Inc. – Rancho Cucamonga
Athena Sippel, TKB Deli and Bakery – Indio
Ryan Molnar, JoJo’s Grill-A-Dog – Yucaipa
Industrial Manufacturing Entrepreneur
Jon Armstrong, Do It American Mfg Co. – Corona
Roger Hayes, Valew Quality Truck Bodies/ 1954 Manufacturing – Adelanto
Steve Raio, Proluxe – Perris
David Friedman, Realicore – Yucaipa
Melinda Margiotta, ABC Child Care Center – Temecula
Rodger Smelcer, United Service Technologies, Inc. – Riverside
Angelica (Angy) Lopez, National City Inc. dba Angy’s Angels Cleaning – Hesperia
Gene Ganas, General Door Service – Riverside
Mariatu Browne, Tu Organics Salon & Spa – Rancho Cucamonga
Bobby Spiegel, Corona Chamber of Commerce – Corona
Eva Ford, The Greater Hope Foundation for Children – Barstow
Jennifer O’Farrell, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire – Riverside
Sylvia Anderson, Fontana Resources at Work dba Industrial Support Systems – Fontana
The finalists and award recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges consisting of past Spirit Award recipients. The 31 finalists represent the culmination of a nomination and evaluation process that included over 220 nominees.
GET YOUR TICKETS FOR THIS PREMIER EVENT!
Attendees can book tickets online with direct seat selection for the 2018 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala event at spiritawardsie.com. Ticket prices for the black-tie event range from $135 to $175 each. Premier VIP experience tickets and packages are also available. Full-table discounts are available.
Commencing at 5:00 p.m., the gala includes a cocktail reception, dinner, special entertainment guests and the awards presentation. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Scholarship at Cal State San Bernardino.
Spirit Awards Event Features:
The “Best of the Best” award Sponsored by Best, Best & Krieger, LLP
The top entrepreneur from among the evenings’ award recipients that best exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit will take home the 2018 Best of the Best 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.
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
Treat yourself to a luxurious experience only available to VIP ticket holders. The 2018 Spirit VIP Experience includes access to the exclusive pre-show VIP reception with hosted bar, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and preferred access to showroom seating for the gala presentation as well as top section seating for the main event while you enjoy specialty selected cuisine for your 3-course dining experience.