Finalists announced for the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards 2023 gala event! Image.
Finalists announced for the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards 2023 gala event!
October 05, 2023
by Spirit Administrator
Views: 5515

Finalists announced for the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards 2023 gala event!

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., October 5, 2023 -- The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at Cal State San Bernardino announced the finalists for the 21st annual celebration of the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards program. 32 entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of over 250 nominees. 41 semi-finalists participated in a reception on October 4, sponsored by RP&B CPAs, where they interacted with the event judges. Immediately following the reception, the judges convened and selected the 32 finalists. The finalists for the event will compete for the Spirit of the Entrepreneur award in seven (7) different categories at the black-tie gala on November 15 at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside. Winners will be announced at the event.

The 2023 Inland Empire entrepreneurial finalists include:

  • Cal Pacific Constructors, Inc., Kirby Hays - Riverside
  • Columbia Aluminum Products, LLC, Drew Mumford Sr - Corona
  • Technical Employment Training Inc., Virginia Martinez - San Bernardino
  • Williams Furnace Company, aka Williams, Williams Comfort Products, Thinh Pho - Colton
  • Angelo's Brick Oven Pizzeria, Angelo Catalano - Wildomar
  • Arcade Coffee Roasters, Stephen Hasemeyer - Riverside
  • E.A.T Marketplace A Cultivating Good company, Leah Di Bernardo and Joanne Di Bernardo - Temecula
  • Gram's BBQ Restaurant & Catering, Benita Bratton - Riverside
  • My Healthy Penguin, Christine Holyfield (Lopez) - Rancho Cucamonga
  • SkyPark at Santa's Village, Bill Johnson - Skyforest
  • A&R Tarpaulins, Inc., Bud Weisbart - Fontana
  • California Smog Institute, CSAI Auto Service, CSAI Smog Check Center & Sage Leadership Academy, Jonathan and Patricia Summers - Riverside
  • Composition Hospitality, Jeffrey Luchonok - Ontario
  • H&S Transport Inc., Prospero Collado - Fontana
  • North Shore Greenhouses, Inc., Suzette Overgaag - Thermal
  • 360 Human Services, Harry Jackson - Victorville
  • MVS, Inc. (Mountain View Services), Eric Goodman - Redlands
  • Symons Emergency Specialties Inc. DBA Symbiosis, Jeff Grange - Redlands
  • Blindness Support Services, Pete Benavidez - Riverside
  • Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce | Welborn Media, Zeb Welborn - Chino
  • Greater Ontario Business Council, Peggi Hazlett - Ontario
  • Active IT Solutions, Inc., David Shay - Riverside
  • Bid Fast and Last, Jeff Patterson and Johan Graham - Hesperia
  • Biztek Solutions, Inc., Derek Anderson - Riverside
  • Murrish Maintenance Construction Services LLC, Suzie Murrish - Ontario
  • Shoup Legal, Andrea K. Shoup - Murrieta
  • Tomorrow's Talent, Dale Marsden, EdD - San Bernardino
  • Cinderella's Closet Your Specialty Lingerie Boutique, Dana Walker-Jackson - Rancho Cucamonga
  • Heyward Marketing Lab, Chastity Heyward - Temecula
  • McKell Partners Wealth Management, Mark McKell, CPA & Adam McKell, CPA- Riverside
  • Roses Say, Rose Study - Chino Hills
  • Vested Solutions, Vernon Wyllie-James - Desert Hot Springs


Attendees can BOOK TICKETS ONLINE HERE with direct seat selection for the 2023 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala event. Ticket prices for the black-tie event range from $145 to $195 each.

Spirit Awards Event Features

Commencing at 5:00 p.m. on November 15th, attendees will experience either a Gala, Preview or VIP reception, stellar event entertainment, awards presentations, and an exclusive after party! Ticket are on sale now!

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 2023 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.

The Mary Anne Fox Top Female Entrepreneur Award

The top female entrepreneur from among the finalists that demonstrates exceptional leadership, vision and risk taking to create a unique business.

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

A portion of the 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. The scholarship is awarded to vetted and deserving entrepreneurship students in order to assist them in achieving their degree. Since inception, the fund has provided over $235,000 in scholarship support.


    The Spirit of the Entrepreneur event is presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at California State University San Bernardino and sponsored by a wide range of local organizations including:

  • PLATINUM SPONSORS Best Best & Krieger LLP, U.S. Bank, Southern California News Group, Inland Empire Magazine, and Inland Empire Business Journal
  • GOLD SPONSORS Varner & Brandt LLP, Wilson Ivanov CPAs, San Bernardino County EDA, JP Morgan Chase, Desmond & Louis, and Riverside County Office of Economic Development
  • SILVER SPONSORS Pacific Premier Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Pepsico, Eide Bailly LLP
  • JUDGING RECEPTION SPONSOR Roorda, Piquet & Bessee, Inc.
  • VIP RECEPTION SPONSOR - City National Bank, An RBC Company
  • AFTER PARTY SPONSOR - Roark Financial
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