2017 Finalists


Ashley Farrell, Ashley Farrell Landscape Design

Ashley Farrell Landscape Design is a full service landscape design company that works closely with their clients to address all issues from conceptual design to installation. The company specializes in sustainable landscaping practices for our changing climate.

Melissa Sayer, Matilija Law

Melissa practices business law representing agriculture clients advising on water and agriculture related issues. She also owns a 23-acre avocado and specialty citrus ranch in Santa Paula, CA with her husband as well as part of another ranch in Ventura.

Deborah Shaw. Deborah Shaw Landscape + Restoration

Deborah specializes in native plant habitat restoration and residential landscape installation. Deborah offers award-winning professional landscaping services to a wide variety of private clients and government agencies in urban, suburban and rural settings.


Emerging Business:

Carey Bradshaw, Hooter Holster

Having faced the challenge pumping in order to breastfeed her baby, Carrie invented a comfortable and workable pumping bra that could be worn under anything but also provided modest coverage and the ability to wear it around the house while still feeling pretty. Nursing mothers love it.

Yvonne Erwin, My Yard Card

Yvonne came up with the idea of creating unique yard greetings for all events and celebrations – think birthdays, baby showers/gender reveal, anniversaries, real estate events, welcome home, patriotic holidays! It's designed for retail stores around the globe.

Alexis Schomer, RepWatch

Alexis wanted to help people improved their health. RepWatch combines wearable technology with a mobile application to connect physical therapists and with their patients throughout the recovery process keep patients motivated and on track with their recovery plan. While only a year old, RepWatch has already won several awards.


Green/Social Entrepreneurship:

Heather Hochrein, EVmatch

Heather and her partner designed EVmatch as a sharing platform for the electric vehicle (EV) community that redefines the public charging experience to better support all EV drivers. The company currently offers an online platform for peer-to-peer EV charging that allows owners to rent out their private charging stations.

Marine Schumann, Brighten Solar

Marine founded Brighten Solar Co. to develop and build customized solar photovoltaic solutions for residential and commercial buildings. They design systems that fit their clients' energy needs, integrate into their buildings' structure and maximize their financial return.

Kristine Sperling, Makes 3 Organics

When Kristine's daughter developed food and environmental allergies, eczema and severe asthma she began her journey to detox their lives from chemicals. Make 3 Organics grew out of her efforts and now makes personal skin care products dedicated to providing consumers with safe and healthy choices.



Jacqui Burge, Desk Yogi

Desk Yogi delivers online expert fitness training, stress reduction and mindfulness videos specifically designed for office life. Jacqui's mission is to help employees become healthier and more productive with their unique, non-disruptive way to de-stress, de-stiffen and reboot throughout the day.

Emilee Garfield, The Loft: Emilee's Pilates & Yoga

The Loft is a small boutique-like studio where Emilee teaches Yoga & Pilates. She also offers specialized classes in Pilates Therapeutics and specialized classes for yoga for scoliosis, and cancer core recovery classes. She believes that If you focus your mind on the entire body and making all your muscles work together, you can get so much stronger.

Melodee Meyer, Martial Arts Family Fitness

Melodee is a speaker, author, mentor and a master instructor at my martial arts school called Martial Arts Family Fitness (MAFF) in Santa Barbara. MAFF provides fitness and martial arts classes for the entire family; our affiliate businesses also provide martial arts, fitness & health products/services nationally.



April Hoff, Camping Adventures

Camping Adventures makes camping easy by renting and delivering Vacation Trailers to your camp site. The trailer/RV is set up for the customer at the camp site and ready for the customer with an employee present to provide an orientation of the trailer. The trailer is picked up at the end of the stay.

Tara Jones Haaf, Eat This, Shoot That!

Eat This, Shoot That! Is Santa Barbara's first food tour company that offers food & photo tours of the Funk Zone and the Presidio. The tours walk guests to various restaurants and watering holes showcasing the different neighborhoods along with photo tips on to use their smartphone cameras.

Nirasha Rodriguez, The Food Liaison

The Food Liaison is a full service catering company, a lunch counter, a recreational cooking school, and a community kitchen dedicated to eating local by using healthy seasonal food from Santa Barbara. The company partners with local and regional farms and vendors to make sure everything is fresh and nourishing.



Lindsey Carnett, Marketing Maven Public Relations

Marketing Maven is an integrated communications agency that provides traditional public relations, social media marketing, influencer marketing and Hispanic marketing services. Lindsey started it when she was only 26 and was recently named a Top 25 Largest Women Owned Business in San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

Gillian Christie, Christie & Co.

Christie & Co is a global strategic branding and communications company that works with ethical companies worldwide designing and implementing strategies to take their Dream to Mainstream. Since starting her company 25 years ago, Gillian's goal is to ensure that those courageous brands working to make the world better succeed. Her company continues to pioneer innovative, new products, technologies, and services that address critical health, environmental, and social issues and opportunities.

Raiza Giorgi, Santa Ynez Valley Star/SB Family Life Magazine

Raiza started the Santa Ynez Valley Star in 2016 to provide quality journalism tailored specifically to the Santa Ynez Valley that covers a variety of topics from news, features, business profiles, organization and non-profit coverage, event coverage, agriculture and equine, food and drink, education and events. It has been growing ever since.



Lynn Houston, A Different Point of View

Lynn, a pilot, started A Different Point of View to engage, inspire and transform youth using flight lessons as a launching pad! Through aviation education and mentoring, show them a world they've never seen before. Our vision is to expand their consciousness and the way they see the world by giving them different points of view.

Debra Manchester, The Family Therapy Institute of SB

The Family Therapy Institute a nonprofit counseling center and training institute. FTI has several important missions: (1) to help strengthen families making; (2) to foster healthy relationships and methods of communication; (3) to provide innovative and effective counseling methods, and (4) to teach those models to the public and to othermental health professionals.

Janet Reineck, World Dance for Humanity

World Dance for Humanity is a dance class, a humanitarian aid organization, and a community of women working to change lives and ease suffering in the world. Our aid work is focused on Rwanda, where we are helping 8,400 people lift themselves out of poverty. We also help out in our own community, working with disadvantaged children at the Westside Boys and Girls Club. Our motto: In shape, inspired, in service to humanity.


Professional Services

Hannah Jenner, Hannah Jenner

Hannah has spent 15 years as professional ocean-racing sailor, captain and motivational speaker. Since 2015 she has been combining sailing with speaking and coaching to professional groups and individuals to help unlock their hidden potential and be the best version of themselves.

Alelia Parenteau, iSurf School

ISurf is an Santa Barbara-based surf school dedicated to women's empowerment and well being. Alelia offer annual memberships for women, private and group lessons as well as kids (co-ed) camps and other after-school programs. They also have a nonprofit arm., Surf Like A Girl, that provides free, needs-based surf lessons to underserved girls.

Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com

MyCorporation.com is an online document filing service offering incorporations & LLC filings, as well as ongoing business maintenance to ensure entrepreneurs and business owners corporate status remains in good standing with state and local agencies. Deborah actually bought the business from Intuit where she had managed the division for 12 years and made it better.



Reyna Chavez, Scrubs on the Run

Scrubs on the Run is retail store that specializes in medical uniforms and accessories for those in the medical, dental and veterinary field. They have two retail locations in Ventura County and are currently opening a third location. They also have a website where our customers can shop 24/7, and, as the name suggests, we also provide mobile sales at local medical facilities and hospitals.

Fay Doe, Underground Hair Artists

Underground Hair Artists is an award-winning salon in downtown SB that has been serving clients for twelve years at that location. Fay has created her own line of hair products, Underground Culture, and donates $1 from every sale to youth nonprofits. Fay is all about giving back to the community.

Angela Rosales, Very Ventura Gift Shop & Gallery

Very Ventura Gift Shop and Gallery is a retail store that celebrates the city by offering a blend of fine art, upscale souvenirs and carefully curated products designed by local artisans, USA companies and larger brands. In four years Angela has grown her business from 300 sq. ft. to 2200 sg. ft. and become a fixture in downtown Ventura where she is involved in the Downtown Organization.



Marta Alvarez, YCE, Inc.

YCE, Inc. is a full-service civil engineering and land-surveying firm that Marta founded in 1986. YCE is a nationally recognized Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise, and is focused on serving the agricultural community, architects, developers, contractors and other engineering firms, as well as individual landowners.

Kristin Denault, Fluency Lighting

Fluency Lighting Technologies, Inc. is an early-stage startup creating next-generation bright and narrow beam light sources from laser-based lighting. Kristin founded the company and their goal is to provide ultra-efficient light sources, surpassing the limitations of current lighting technologies, and ultimately leading to new functionalities from the traditional light bulb.

Payal Kamdar, vSolvit

Payal Kamdar founded VSolvit (pronounced: "We Solve it") in 2006 as a technology consulting services company focused on the Federal Government. VSolvit is dedicated to service to our nation, and our community by bringing innovation to their customers. They are a company by technologists for technologists in government.


Wholesale/Manufacturing/Global Trade:

Jeanne David, Outer Aisle Gourmet

Outer Aisle Gourmet makes cauliflower pizza crusts and cauliflower sandwich thins for retail stores and foodservice. Our products are naturally gluten free, low-carb, non-GMO, Paleo friendly and are low glycemic load, the only product of this kind on retail shelves. Jeanne started the business three years ago to be part of the solution to the country's obesity and diabetes crises and to improve the health of her own family.

J'Nelle Holland, Hot Cherry Pillows

Hot Cherry™ manufactures pillows filled with sustainable cherry pits, a by-product of the American tart cherry industry. When heated, the pillows deliver moist heat, that smells subtly like cherry pie! In six years, Hot Cherry has repurposed more than 20 tons of cherry pits, that would normally go to a landfill. Hot Cherry is certified by Green America, and by WBENC, a national council recognizing woman-owned businesses. Hot Cherry is most proud of making products that help people feel better.

Kirsten Kemp Becker, Becker Studios/Millworks

Becker Studios/Millworks offers full service interior decorating, architechtural design, construction, and a showroom to experience it all in the Funk Zone. They offer a one-stop-shop for all your design needs. Kristen's motto is: We don't build houses; we create homes. She also hosts TLC's TV show, Property Ladder.