The National Association of Women Business Owners-Santa Barbara Foundation is excited to announce nominations are now open for the second annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, a gala awards dinner that will be held on Friday, May 11, 2012.  They will be honoring outstanding Santa Barbara women entrepreneurs in eight categories to recognize their contributions to the community and the economy.  The categories are:

•   Health/Fitness/Beauty

•   Professional Services

•   Publishing/Communications/Media

•   Real Estate/Construction

•   Science/Technology/Manufacturing/

•   Tourism/Hospitality

•   Wholesale/Retail

•   Rock Star: top-level woman entrepreneur/mentor in
SB County

The nominations are open to any woman business owner in Santa Barbara County, regardless of the size of her business.  “Being a member of NAWBO-SB is not a requirement for being nominated or winning,” says Cathy Feldman, Board Chair of the NAWBO-SB Foundation.  “Anyone can nominate herself or someone else just by going to our website, www.nawbo-sbfoundation.org and clicking on the form.  But nominations close on February 10, so the sooner you do it, the better.”

Susan Johnson, President of the NAWBO-SB Foundation, points out that the judging will be done by “independent judges who are not connected with NAWBO-SB.”   The top three nominees in each category will be invited to attend the Awards dinner at the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort as the Foundation’s guests, but the winners will not be announced until that evening.

The NAWBO-SB Foundation Awards Event is held in conjunction with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Santa Barbara City College.  In May 2012, the Scheinfeld Center will be holding their New Venture Challenge, a two-tiered business pitch competition for SBCC students and area high school students to promote youth entrepreneurship.  There will be three student prizes at both the college and high school level.  The winners of both tiers of the New Venture Challenge Awards will be not only be the NAWBO-SB Foundation’s guests and receive their prizes at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner, proceeds from the Event will also be funding most of the student prizes for 2012.

“The purpose of the NAWBO-SB Foundation is to support entrepreneurship at all levels in Santa Barbara County because entrepreneurs are the engine for growing our economy,” Feldman added.  “By recognizing both women business owners and budding student entrepreneurs with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, we believe we are making an important contribution.”

The winners of the 2011 NAWBO-SB Foundation Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are:

Health Fitness and Beauty: Catherine Lamberti, Exercise Technology Inc.

Hospitality and Tourism: Laura Knight, Pascucci Restaurant

Manufacturing, Wholesale & Retail: Caroline MacDougall, Teeccino Caffé

Publishing, Communications & Media: Lynda Weinman, Lynda.com

Professional Services: Patty DeDominic, DeDominic & Associates

Science and Technology: Barbara Tzur, Brylen Technologies, Inc.

For more information about the NAWBO-SB Foundation Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards go to www.nawbo-sbfoundation.org or email info@nawbo-sbfoundation.org or call 805-682-8380