Press Release — Riverside, Calif., November 13, 2019 — Recognizing that “Innovation is Not Enough,” and that creating a successful business enterprise includes equal measures of passion, drive, commitment, determination, and risk-taking, the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards celebrated and honored the Inland Empire region’s best entrepreneurs on Wednesday evening. The 17th annual gala event, presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at Cal State San Bernardino, drew more than 1,000 attendees to the Riverside Convention Center to hear the inspiring stories of the 33 entrepreneurs selected as finalists.
This year’s award recipients recognized at the black-tie gala, chosen from the 33 finalists, include:
- Vikita Poindexter, Poindexter Consulting Group – Murrieta – CONSULTING ENTREPRENEUR
- Bob Marcynyszyn, Avalon Shutters Inc. – Perris – CONSUMER PRODUCTS MANUFACTURING ENTREPRENEUR and BEST OF THE BEST AWARD
- Dane Stevenson, QC Manufacturing – Temecula – FAMILY BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR
- Rod Vandenbos, buzzbox beverages inc. – Indio – FOOD & BEVERAGE ENTREPRENEUR
- Jonathan Mitchell, Sunergy Construction, Inc. – Corona – GENERAL ENTREPRENEUR
- Dr. Kelly Hong, Kelly Smile Dentistry – Victorville – HEALTH CARE ENTREPRENEUR
- Jon Armstrong, Do It American Manufacturing Company, LLC – Corona – INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING ENTREPRENEUR
- Karen Mason, United Transmission Exchange – San Bernardino – INSPIRATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR
- Mickey McGuire Jr., Acorn Technology Services, Inc. – Riverside – SERVICE-BASED ENTREPRENEUR
- Ryan Rainbolt, Education Through Imagination – Redlands – SMALL/EMERGING ENTERPRISE
- Carrie Ridgway, Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center – Riverside – SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR
In addition, a special surprise Lifetime Achievement Award presentation was made to Garner Holt, founder of Garner Holt Productions or Redlands. Holt, who founded the company 42 years ago as a teenager in his parents’ garage, has grown the company to become the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of animatronic figures and ride show and theme park attractions. Holt became the first entrepreneur to win a Spirit Award multiple times, having been recognized as “Innovator Entrepreneur” in 2006.
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 local entrepreneur Garner Holt of San Bernardino. The top 3 finishers were:
- Jonathan Stoneking – Halo Mouse
- Victoria Zachary – Cloud 9
- Alexander Watkins – Stoggo
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 which supports local college students that are seeking to further their education through entrepreneurship and business management.
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, Fifth Third Bank, Southern California News Group, Bank of America, Inland Empire Magazine, and the Inland Empire Business Journal.
- GOLD SPONSORS – San Bernardino County EDA, City of Riverside, US Bank, Wilson Ivanova CPAs, Wells Fargo, Altek Media Group, JP Morgan Chase, Riverside County EDA
- SILVER SPONSORS – Varner & Brandt LLP, CDC Small Business Finance, The Community Foundation, SmartSyt, Pacific Premier Bank, Tangram Interiors, City of Ontario, and ROARK Accounting.
- JUDGING RECEPTION SPONSOR – Roorda, Piquet & Bessee, Inc.
- VIP RECEPTION SPONSOR – City National Bank
- AFTER PARTY SPONSOR – Leadership Dimensions, Inc.
About the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE)
Established in 1999, the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) supports and celebrate Entrepreneurship & Small Business through innovative programs and educational resources. IECE coordinates 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 and entrepreneurial training programs that help them achieve greater levels of success in their business ventures.
IECE was recognized internationally by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and received the Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge award for demonstrating leadership in creating (and incubating) cutting-edge business innovations through enriched student learning and experiential education; which ranked them among the top 35 entrepreneurship programs globally.
California State University, San Bernardino is a preeminent center of intellectual and cultural activity in Inland Southern California. Opened in 1965 and set at the foothills of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, the university serves more than 20,000 students each year and graduates about 4,000 students annually. CSUSB offers 48 undergraduate, 35 graduate, and 1 doctoral degree programs and 14 academic programs with national accreditation.
Stater Bros. Charities and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling Give Back to Military Families
Stater Bros. Charities, the philanthropic arm of Stater Bros. Markets, partnered with Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling again this year for their Give Back program during National Military Appreciation Month. The program ran for the entire month of May, during which Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling committed to donating $0.25 per eligible product purchased to the Bob Hope USO. Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling donated $15,000, and Stater Bros. Charities matched their donation for a total contribution of $30,000.
A check presentation occurred during a K-EARTH 101 radiothon benefiting the Bob Hope USO. The radiothon took place at the Bob Hope USO at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) on June 29, 2023, where Stater Bros. Charities and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling presented Bob Hope USO with a $30,000 check.
Bob Hope USO’s mission is to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. The Give Back program is a unique opportunity to show gratitude and support to the brave men and women who risk their lives for our freedoms and to care for their families while they are away from home on deployment.
“Stater Bros. Markets has a long history of supporting veterans, service members, and their families,” said Danielle Oehlman, Director, Stater Bros. Charities. “We are so pleased to partner with our friends at Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling and the USO to give back to those who have given so much for us.”
Lorin Stewart, President, USO West Region, said, “We are deeply grateful to Stater Bros. Charities and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling for being sustaining partners of the USO. The Give Back program embodies the essence of the USO mission by enabling the community at large to come together to support and give thanks to our armed forces and their brave military families in an impactful way.”
Funds will support the Bob Hope USO and USO San Diego Center operations, including programs and services that strengthen the social, mental, physical, and emotional well-being of local military service members, their families, and their communities.
BDK Logistics Intelligence Fully Leases 114,190 SF Industrial Facility in Corona, CA
Cushman & Wakefield represents landlord in lease in SoCal’s Inland Empire
Cushman & Wakefield announced that BDK Logistics Intelligence, Inc. has signed a lease for an entire 114,190-square-foot industrial facility at 1161 Olympic Drive in Corona, California. Situated in Southern California’s renowned Inland Empire, the building is owned by Monterey Rancho Mirage, LLC, which was represented by Brett Lockwood and Rick Ellison of Cushman & Wakefield in the transaction.
“We are pleased to welcome BDK to the property as a quality industrial tenant that is expanding its presence in the market, which it also currently occupies multiple warehouse facilities,” said Director Brett Lockwood. “Our client was instrumental in helping this deal transact as there were many variables that needed to be navigated which led to this lease coming together quickly and successfully.”
1161 Olympic Drive is a quality freestanding building situated on ±4.8 acres and features 20 dock high loading doors. The property is conveniently located off Interstate 15 near the confluence of SR 91 and is proximate to the extensive freeway network traversing the entire Greater Los Angeles region and into other major markets in and out of state.
According to Cushman & Wakefield’s latest Q2-2023 quarterly report, the Inland Empire industrial market posted an overall vacancy of 3.4% and has recorded more than 2.7 million square feet of positive net absorption through the first half of 2023.
Hernandez resigns as County CEO; Snoke will continue filling in pending Board action
Leonard X. Hernandez resigned from the post of County Chief Executive Officer effective today. County Chief Operating Officer Luther Snoke has been filling in for Hernandez while Hernandez has been on leave and will continue to do so. The Board of Supervisors will act to appoint an interim or permanent CEO shortly.
“The Board of Supervisors appreciates the service Leonard provided to the public and the County organization, especially as we navigated our way through the pandemic and other very difficult challenges,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe.
Hernandez provided the following statement:
“It has been an extreme privilege to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of San Bernardino County. I am thankful to the Board of Supervisors for their leadership and the hard-working men and women who do amazing work every day. Due to an urgent family health issue that requires my immediate and undivided attention, I have informed the Board of my resignation. Under the strong leadership of the Board of Supervisors and the County’s executive team, the County will continue doing great things for the residents of San Bernardino County.”
“The Board of Supervisors is committed to a seamless transition in staff leadership with no interruption in County services or impact on County residents or employees,” Rowe said. “Luther has performed well filling in for Leonard and I am confident in his ability to continue serving in this role until the Board takes action.”
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