Business Owners Win Awards

updated: May 18, 2011, 8:30 PM

Source: Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners

Taking a lesson from the Academy Awards, the Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners honored women entrepreneurs in six categories at their gala Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner on Friday, May 13. Each winner learned of her selection only after keynote speaker Maria Contreras-Sweet asked for “The envelope, please” from Mistress of Ceremonies Melanie Doctors, and read the recipient’s name.

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards were created to honor both a national level entrepreneur and local women who exemplify what it means to be a successful entrepreneur. The winners were selected by independent judges from forty-five women business owners in Santa Barbara County who had been nominated in the months preceding the awards.

The winners of the 2011 NAWBO-SB Spirit of Entrepreneurship are: National Level: Maria Contreras-Sweet, founder and chair of Promerica Bank in Los Angeles Health Fitness and Beauty: Catherine Lamberti, Exercise Technology Inc. Hospitality and Tourism: Laura Knight, Pascucci Restaurant Manufacturing, Wholesale & Retail: Caroline MacDougall, Teeccino Caffé Professional Services: Patty DeDominic, DeDominic & Associates Publishing, Communications & Media: Lynda Weinman, Science and Technology: Barbara Tzur, Brylen Technologies, Inc.

In addition to honoring women entrepreneurs, the NAWBO-SB Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner also presented certificates to the winners of Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Santa Barbara City College New Venture Challenge. This was a two-tiered business pitch competition for SBCC students and area high school students held the same day as the Awards dinner. Scholarships and/or cash awards were given out for the first, second and third place at both the college and high school level.

NAWBO-SB president Maeda Palius said, “We believe a large part of our mission is to support entrepreneurship at all levels, and the students are our future. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with the Scheinfeld Center and encourage the next generation to grow their own businesses.”

Thanks to the success of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards event, the NAWBO-SB Foundation will be funding two additional $2,500 prizes for the Scheinfeld Center’s 2012 New Venture Challenge awards. One will be named for their Premier Diamond Sponsor, Montecito Bank and Trust, and the other for one of the founders of NAWBO-SB, Patty DeDominic.

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