SYV Star Owner Named Finalist for Entrepreneurship Award

SYV Star Owner Named Finalist for Entrepreneurship Award 

The evening of May 5 at the Biltmore’s Coral Casin, emcee Lynda Weinman, founder of, will reveal the 11 women entrepreneurs who will receive the 2017 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards.

Raiza Giorgi, publisher of the Santa Ynez Valley Star and Santa Barbara Family and Life Magazine, is among the finalists.

Winners were selected from more than 100 nominees in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties by independent judges who live outside the Santa Barbara area, and are not connected with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (SOE) Foundation, the nonprofit group that hosts the event.

“It is exciting for everyone involved,” said Cathy Feldman, the foundation’s board chair and CEO. “We had an amazing group of candidates this year, and it was hard for our judges to narrow down to the top three in each of the categories.”

The 33 finalists will be recognized for their achievements at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner.

“These remarkable women have such a variety of enterprises that we think it is important to tell the community about them. In fact, every one of them deserves recognition,” Feldman said.

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards also will honor high school and college student winners of SBCC’s Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge competition.

Proceeds from the awards dinner will go toward cash prizes, in the form of seed money, as well as scholarships for the winning student entrepreneurs.

For more information, email or call 682-8380.

The 33 finalists for the 2017 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are:

  • Agricultural/Wineries: Ashley Farrell, Melissa Sayer, Deborah Shaw
  • Emerging Business: Carey Bradshaw, Yvonne Erwin, Alexis Schomer
  • Green/Social Entrepreneurship: Heather Hochrain, Marine Schumann, Kristine Sperling
  • Health: Jacqui Burge, Emilee Garfield, Melodee Meyer
  • Hospitality/Tourism: April Hoff, Tara Jones Haaf, Nirasha Rodriguez
  • Media/Communications: Lindsey Carnett, Gillian Christie, Raiza Giorgi
  • Nonprofit: Lynn Houston, Debra Manchester, Janet Reineck
  • Professional Services: Hannah Jenner, Alelia Parenteau, Deborah Sweeney
  • Retail: Reyna Chavez, Fay Doe, Angela Rosales
  • Science/Technology: Marta Alvarez, Kristin Denault, Payap Kamdar
  • Wholesale/Manufacturing/Global Trade: Jeanne David, J’nelle Holland, Kirsten Kemp Becker


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