The 2020 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala video will be available for viewing beginning Saturday, Dec. 5, presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at Cal State San Bernardino, with the theme “Despite all odds – the Spirit of the Entrepreneur will prevail!”
The recorded awards event will be available to view on the Cal State San Bernardino YouTube channel.
Adapting and pivoting its program model due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards focused on recognizing those entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who have survived, thrived and played a key role in helping the community adapt and overcome the coronavirus pandemic through their direct efforts.
Mistress of Ceremonies Janice Bryant Howroyd, the founder and chief executive officer of The ActOne Group, presided over the ceremony that took place on Nov. 21. She is currently No. 39 on Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. In 2014, Howroyd was recognized by Black Enterprise as the first black woman to own and operate a billion‐dollar company.
The 18th annual gala event, presented by Cal State San Bernardino and produced by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at CSUSB, in partnership with Premier Sponsor City National Bank, recognized nine entrepreneurs selected from nearly 200 nominees and 48 semi-finalists.
During the broadcast from The Fox Theater in Pomona, the recipients of the COVID Hero, COVID Innovator, and COVID Angel Entrepreneur Awards were unveiled. The award recipients included:
- Lisa Wright, Inland SoCal United Way, Rancho Cucamonga –
COVID Hero Entrepreneur
- Zubin and Tenzing Carvalho, SoCal Face Shields for Frontline Workers, Hemet – COVID Innovator Entrepreneur
- Eugene Weems, Vibrant Green for Vibrant Peace, San Bernardino – COVID Angel Entrepreneur
In the tradition of the Spirit of the Entrepreneur, the event featured top-flight entertainment, delivered this year by Vintage Trouble. The Los Angeles-based quartet, presented by Premier and Entertainment Sponsor City National Bank, delivered a scorching two song set of swaggering rock, soulful blues, R&B grooves, and pop ambition blended into a bold and brash brew of infectious music.
FAST PITCH COMPETITION
As part of the event festivities, the Garner Holt Student Fast Pitch Competition was held for five future entrepreneurs 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 walked away with a $4,000 prize. The fast pitch, which involves students from Cal State San Bernardino, is sponsored by entrepreneur Garner Holt of San Bernardino. The top three finishers were:
- Emma Biland, Bracelet Bodyguard – 1st place
- Matthew List, 1Knock – 2nd place
- Misty Lopez, She Me – 3rd place