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Award Recipients Unveiled At The 2019 Spirit Of The Entrepreneur Awards!

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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.

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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.

 

EVENT SPONSORS 

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.

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The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

Business

IECE Presents its Inaugural State of Entrepreneur Report on Dec. 9

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The first-ever State of Entrepreneurship Address for the Inland Empire is being held by the Cal State San Bernardino Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 5-8 p.m. at 4th Sector Innovations in Ontario. 

IECE’s goal in producing the State of Entrepreneurship research study is to bring the voice of local entrepreneurs to those who need to hear it most – local and state policymakers, community organizations, lenders, and other resource providers. 

The Voice of the Entrepreneur survey, on which the address is based, sends powerful feedback on the challenges that entrepreneurs and business owners of the Inland Southern California region face. 

Survey results were drawn out earlier this year by reaching out to IECE’s extensive network, consisting of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners representing a diverse group of industries. The IECE will continue to distribute the Voice of the Entrepreneur survey in the spring of each calendar year to find out what Inland Empire entrepreneurs and business owners are going through. 

The report is a potent tool for policymakers, economic impact drivers, and business owners and entrepreneurs to analyze growth potential within the region. Using measurable data, the goal is to identify the challenges and opportunities facing local business owners and obstacles that may be impeding business growth. 

The result is a concise report that gives insight into how we can effectively learn and evolve together with a regional focus. 

The evening will start and end with networking and food; in between, the SOER report will be presented, which includes examining the indicators of entrepreneurial activity and how the IE measures up as a region; learning of the Voice of the Entrepreneur direct survey results and the common themes, as well as an IE Ecosystem assessment; and regional perspectives from influencers that include: 

  • Rod Vandenbos, founder and CEO, buzzbox beverages, Indio; 
  • Mike Napoli, Tech Coast Angels, Palm Springs; 
  • Edward Ornelas, Jr. President, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Ana Karina Suchánek, president, Cask Restaurant Group, Inc., Rancho Cucamonga; and 
  • Pepi Jackson, president and CEO, Riverside Black Chamber of Commerce 

Click the following link – Secure Your Spot for the 2021 State of Entrepreneurship Address – to attend, network and learn more about entrepreneurship in the region. Whether you are a seasoned or soon-to-be entrepreneur, there is a perspective for everyone who wants to know more about how to strengthen the Inland Empire economy.

The presentation will unveil breakthrough metrics and perspectives on the State of Entrepreneurship throughout the Inland Empire, including: 

  • Why a report like this is essential for the collective growth of our region; 
  • What the report consists of: indicators for entrepreneurship and what real entrepreneurs in our communities are telling us through our Voice of the Entrepreneur survey results; and
  • Regional perspectives from influencers and officials that are active in our ecosystem. 

The event will also include food and cocktails while networking within an inspirational setting at 4th Sector Innovations Ontario. 

To learn more, visit the IECE State of Entrepreneurship Report website

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By Press Release

Southwest Airlines will fly from Ontario International Airport, CA, to Austin in 2022

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The announcement from Southwest Airlines that it will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

The announcement from Southwest Airlines that the low-cost carrier will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

Southwest will offer flights between ONT and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport daily on the following schedule effective March 10, 2022.

Flt #OriginDestinationDepartureArrivalFrequencyAircraft
1204ONTAUS10:55 a.m.3:35 p.m.Mon – Fri &
Sun
737-700
474ONTAUS9:50 a.m.2:30 p.m.Sat737-700
1739AUSONT4:35 p.m.5:55 p.m.Mon – Fri &
Sun
737-700
257AUSONT2:55 p.m.4:10 p.m.Sat737-700

The new flights are available for booking immediately at southwest.com.

“The addition of the Texas state capital to our route map is welcomed news and further indication of confidence by ONT’s largest air carrier,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners. “It is also another sign that ONT’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is well underway and gaining momentum.”

The announcement of the new Southwest flights comes as ONT continues to experience an impressive pandemic recovery. In August, ONT reported passenger traffic was within 7% of pre-COVID levels.

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By Press Release

Family Fun Month of Rides, Slides & Glides

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Alpine Slide Big Bear Observes Family Fun Month with a Variety of Delights 

August is Family Fun Month, and Alpine Slide Big Bear (Alpine Slide) is the premier spot in Big Bear that gives families an opportunity to soak up the joys of summertime fun together. Alpine Slide provides guests of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, a variety of family-fun offerings, which includes a double waterslide, a mountain coaster thrill ride, a zipline-style flight, the Alpine Slide bobsled experience, go-karts and miniature golf. 

“The great thing about having a variety of attractions is it gives families a chance to pick and choose what best appeals to them,” said Alpine Slide Big Bear General Manager Julie Eubanks.

Family Fun Month occurs every August, and undoubtedly August happens to be one of the hottest months that many Southern California communities have to face each year. However, Big Bear is a great place to escape the daunting heat. Not only is Big Bear 20 to 30 degrees cooler than most of Southern California’s hot zones, but Alpine Slide’s double waterslide gives families who seek refuge from the heat an extra bonus to cool off. Kids can splash all day on two flumes of cascading water, turning and banking on the way to a 3 ½ – ft. deep, heated splash pool. Parents can spread a blanket out on the grass, or relax on the shaded, wrap-around deck at the base of the double waterslide. 

“Alpine Slide is also home to three attractions that are the first and only in California, which includes the Mineshaft Coaster, the Soaring Eagle, and the Alpine Slide,” added Eubanks. “Each of these rides offers something unique and suitable for all ages.” 

Mineshaft Coaster, which is the first and only mountain coaster in California, is an amusement-style, thrill ride that stretches over one mile long on a stainless-steel-tube track. It has all the bells and whistles of a roller coaster such as steep descents, hairpin turns, tunnels, bridges and 360-degree corkscrews. Here’s the kicker…the rider actually controls the speed of the coaster cart, which can reach max speeds of 30 mph.

The Soaring Eagle is a one-of-a-kind ride not seen anywhere else in California either. The Soaring Eagle has dual seats so a parent and child can ride side-by-side. It starts by lifting riders backwards on a zipline cable to a 70-foot tall launch tower. Once it reaches the top, it then catapults forward at 26 mph, on a 100-foot long vertical drop, that travels 500 feet back to the base. The Soaring Eagle not only offers folks an opportunity to experience the sensation of flying, but they are treated to a bird’s eye view of Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountain vistas, too. 

Another distinctive attraction on site is the Alpine Slide, which is the only authentic bobsled /luge experience in California. Riders navigate their own individually controlled sleds down a quarter-mile long concrete track with high-banked turns and long straight-aways. Each sled is equipped with Teflon runners, ball bearing wheels, control handle and brakes. Youngsters who meet the height requirements can ride with their parents on this fun-filled feature ride.  

Rounding off the family-fun activities at Alpine Slide is a go-kart track, putt-putt golf and video arcade. When it’s time for a break, head inside for an ice-cream cone. An ice-cream bar located at the snack bar offers 12 different tasty flavors to choose from, such as Banana Split, Cotton Candy or Birthday Cake!     

Alpine Slide, located at 800 Wildrose Lane (just off Big Bear Blvd.), is open daily. The Summer hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For general information, height requirements, pricing and specific hours for each attraction, please visit AlpineSlideBigBear.com or call 909-866-4626. 

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