Spirit of the Entrepreneur Finalists Announced For The Nov. 19 Gala

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Finalists for the 2013 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards, which honor the top business leaders of the Inland Region, will be announced on Nov. 19 during a black-tie gala at the Ontario Convention Center.

Now in its 11th year, the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards program is presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at Cal State San Bernardino.

“This year’s event will celebrate ‘The Art of Entrepreneurship,’ as it is the artistry of creativity and innovation that sets entrepreneurs apart,” said Mike Stull, founder of the event and director of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship. “Once again we have an impressive number of companies competing to be recognized as the best success stories in the region.”

The program will feature the presentation of awards in nine categories and also presentation of the 2013 “Best of the Best” award to one of the nine 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.

The finalists and award recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges consisting of past Spirit Award recipients. The 27 finalists represent the culmination of a nomination and evaluation process that included more than 160 nominees.

Entrepreneurial finalists for 2013 are:

Corporate Entrepreneur

Bruce Himes, Western Water Works Supply Company, Chino Hills
Phil Kurtz, Wetmore Tool and Engineering Co., Chino
Roger Orton, Globe Plastics, Chino

Emerging Entrepreneur

Sam Howard, Argeron Inc., Murrieta
Bob Kunesh, SacTec Solar Inc., Palm Springs
Levi Vincent, PSTalent.com, LLC, Palm Springs

Family Business

Tony Falco, Accurate Leak Locators, Inc., Menifee
Jae, Robert and Sue Boyd, Boyd Specialties Manufacturing, Colton
Satya Singh, Food Tech Enterprises, Corona

General Entrepreneur

Gary and Sally Myers, BMW Management, Temecula
Linda Smith, Four-D College, Colton
Kostas Vitakis, Vitco Food Services, Fontana

Manufacturing Entrepreneur

Chris Kuran, Waterstone Faucets, Murrieta
Donna Purcell, Prestige Mold Inc., Rancho Cucamonga
John Suhr and Steve Smith, JS Technologies Inc., Lake Elsinore

Service-Based Entrepreneur

Dan Hill, Mach One Air Charters Inc., Chino
Chris Francis, Logos Architecture Inc., Corona
Connie Threlkel, Goodfaith Medical Transportation Co. Inc., San Bernardino

Small Enterprise

Joan Nguyen, MeriEducation, Riverside
C.J. Sillers and Sarah Sillers, Brewcakes, Redlands
Sandy Slade, Skillastics, Corona

Social Entrepreneur

Willa Bagwell, Animal Friends of the Valleys, Wildomar
Karen DiCarlo, Santa Claus Inc., San Bernardino
Terrance Stone, Young Visionaries, San Bernardino

Technology Entrepreneur

Drew Jorgenson, OmniPlatform, Riverside
Kevin Mahaffy and Eric Schmidt, EXQUADRUM Inc., Adelanto
Brad McDermith, Computer Options Inc., Redlands

Individual tickets for the Nov. 19 event are $110 per person and tables of 10 can be purchased for $1,000. Special Premier VIP experience ticket packages are also available. For more information or to make reservations, call (909) 537-3708 or visit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards website at www.inlandspiritawards.com.

Commencing at 5:30 p.m., the gala includes a cocktail reception, dinner, special entertainment guests and the awards presentation. All proceeds benefit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Scholarship at Cal State San Bernardino.

Located on the campus of Cal State San Bernardino, the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship was recognized by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship as having the top specialty entrepreneurship program in the U.S. for 2010. IECE has also been recognized for its excellence by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review, achieving a ranking of fourth in the nation among graduate entrepreneurship programs in 2006.

IECE offers a wide range of programs and services, including 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. Locally, IECE offers existing and aspiring entrepreneurs a wide array of business advisory and mentoring services, student internship and consulting resources, and entrepreneurial training programs that help them achieve greater levels of success in their business ventures. Visit the IECE website at www.entre.csusb.edu for more information.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.

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