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Thu, November 11, 2010

Top entrepreneurs honored at the sold-out event!!

Riverside, Calif., November 11, 2010 – An audience of nearly 600 business and community leaders gathered last night to celebrate and honor eight Inland Empire entrepreneurs during the 8th Annual Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards, an event recognizing the leadership, innovation and business acumen of entrepreneurs.

"I continue to be impressed by the unique and talented entrepreneurs of our region,” said Dr. Mike Stull, founding organizer of the event and director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship. “They represent the best and brightest businesses that are helping drive the Inland Empire economy.”

This year’s award recipients recognized at the black-tie gala, chosen from 21 finalists, include:

Emerging Entrepreneur
  • Leah Post & Brandon Weimer – Brandini Toffee – Rancho Mirage
  • Technology Entrepreneur
  • Jong S. Lee – Monoprice, Inc. – Rancho Cucamonga
  • Supporter of Entrepreneurship
  • Mike Napoli – Tech Coast Angels – Palm Springs
  • General Entrepreneur
  • Eve Yen – Diamond Wipes International, Inc. – Chino
  • Social Entrepreneur
  • Kara Lubin – 100 Mile Club – Norco
  • Innovator Entrepreneur
  • Charles Cole III – Five Ten – Redlands
  • Family Business Entrepreneur
  • Bill Wilson – Wilson Creek Winery – Temecula
  • In addition, the event also featured the presentation of the 2010 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement award to the Bourns Family, who for multiple generations have owned and operated Bourns, Inc., a Riverside-based global manufacturer of electronic components such as automotive electronic components, circuit protection and magnetic & resistive products.

    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, Michael Fisher of Sample Solutions, walked away with a ,000 prize. The fast pitch, which involves students from Cal State San Bernardino, is sponsored by local entrepreneur Garner Holt of San Bernardino. Holt’s company, Garner Holt Productions, is the world’s leading manufacturer of Animatronics & Animatronic Figures.

    The Spirit of the Entrepreneur event was presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University San Bernardino and sponsored by a wide range of local organizations including The Business Press, Inland Empire magazine, Business Alliance, County of San Bernardino, County of Riverside, Best Best & Krieger LLP, Citizens Business Bank, KWB Wealth Managers and many others.