UPDATE: The 2020 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala will be available for viewing beginning Saturday, Dec. 5, on YouTube, presented by the CSUSB Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship. The video will be posted Cal State San Bernardino YouTube channel.
For the first time in its history via telecast on KSCI Channel 18 Los Angeles, the 2020 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards gala, presented by the Inland Center for Entrepreneurship at Cal State San Bernardino, recognized that “Despite all odds – the Spirit of the Entrepreneur will prevail!”
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. 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
The 2020 Spirit of the Entrepreneurs gala will be available to be viewed on Saturday, Dec. 5. More details will be posted as they are available.
About the Spirit of the Entrepreneur event founder – The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE)
The Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards was founded by Mike Stull, director of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) that is located in the Jack H. Brown College of Business & Public Administration on the beautiful campus of Cal State San Bernardino. Visit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur website for more information.
About the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship
Established in 1999, the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) supports and celebrates entrepreneurship and small business through innovative programs and educational resources. IECE is based at the Jack H. Brown College of Business & Public Administration at the CSUSB School of Entrepreneurship and coordinates academic support programs that lead to business degrees in entrepreneurship for undergraduate and graduate students as well as delivering experiential learning and student support programs.
Most recently, 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.
About City National Bank
With $70.3 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment, and trust services through locations in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and Miami*. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $81.3 billion in client investment assets. City National is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 34 other countries.
For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at CNB.com.
*City National Bank does business in Miami and the state of Florida as CN Bank.