spirit of entrepreneurship

2016 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards
May 6, 2016
Bacara Resort & Spa
6 - 9 p.m.



The Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation's 2016 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards was held on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Bacara Resort, and it was a huge success. Not only did we honor 11 outstanding women entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara County, but we were able to raise $15,000 for seed money and scholarships for next year's high school and collegiate winners of Santa Barbara City College Scheinfeld Center's New Venture Challenge (NVC) business plan competition.

lynda weinmanThe mission of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation is to support economic at all levels in Santa Barbara County. With the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards, in a very real way, we honor women entrepreneurs for the benefit of student entrepreneurs. The winning women are also role models who inspire the student entrepreneurs, and their beautiful engraved awards from Tiffany are a fitting tribute.

Lynda Weinman, co-founder and former executive chair of lynda.com and an amazing role model, was our MC for a wonderful evening of great food and inspiring stories of the women and student entrepreneurs.

For more about the 2016 winning women and students, click on the links below.


The winners of the 2016 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards are:

2016 winners

Seated: Kristi Cooper, Pilates Anytime (Media/Communications): Judy Hawkins, Ruby Road Leadership (Professional Services); Sara Miller McCune, SAGE Publications (Rock Star), and Robin Walker, Core Fitness Training (Health);

Standing: Randee Disraeli, Kanaloa Seafood (Green/Social Entrepreneurship); Sherry Villanueva, Acme Hospitality (Hospitality/Tourism); Norah Eddy, Salty Girl Seafood (Emerging Business), Mahri Kerley, Chaucer's Books (Retail); Nathalie Gensac, Youth Interactive (Nonprofit); Andrea Neal, Blue Ocean Sciences (Science/Technology); Lynda Weinman, Emcee and founder of lynda.com, and Morgan Clendenen, Cold Heave Cellars (Agricultural/Wineries). | Photo by Linda Blue Photography


Learn more about the winners here.

In recognition for her achievement, each winner received a beautifully engraved crystal award from Tiffany & Co., and they will all be highlighted and profiled throughout the year.


NEW – 2016 Santa Barbara Entrepreneurs Giving Back Award - $10,000

This important, separately funded Award was given out for the first time at our 2016 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards to Andrea Neal, Ph.D, for her company, Blue Ocean Sciences, Ltd.

The award was set up to recognize and financially support an outstanding new business founded by a woman entrepreneur who is creating value and job opportunities in her new endeavor in Santa Barbara County. The winner is selected by the donors to this Award, who are successful entrepreneurs living in Santa Barbara. All the winners of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards who have been in business five years or less are eligible for the SB Entrepreneurs Giving Back Award. This year, the donors, who included Lynda Weinman and Sara Miller McCune, among others, selected Andrea.


2016 Student Winners

Special thanks to Montecito Bank & Trust, Southern California Edison, Bank of the West, Cox Media and our many other amazing sponsors for helping to underwriting student awards for the 2016 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards, where a total of $12,500 of cash prizes (as well as scholarships) were given to the winning students.

Learn more about the student winners here »

To make a contribution to the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, a 501(c) corporation, here »


2016 Lifetime Achievement Winner

The 2016 Life Achievement Award Winner is Sara Miller McCune, founder of SAGE Publications, a truly amazing role model. You can read more about Sara here »


The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ Photos

event photos To see a slideshow by Linda Blue from the 2016 SOE Awards, click here »


The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ Video

Watch the video of the 2016 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards Ceremony by Lisa Angle of ninetydegreesmedia.com, click here »


The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ Press

Santa Barbara News Press


For information about making a contribution to the Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation, a 501(c) corporation, please call 805-682-8380.