Entrepreneurship awards celebrate innovation and leadership

The 3rd Annual Entrepreneurs of the Year Awards were held May 16 at the Blackhawk Museum. The event was produced by John F Kennedy University (JFK), based in Pleasant Hill, California, and its Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL) program, headquartered at Todos Santos Square. The entrepreneur focused event attended by over 250 business, electeds, plus students and alumni of the IEL showcased the Institute’s mission and programs, included a Shark-Tank style business plan pitch competition, and special awards in honor of Chuck Smith, former president and CEO of AT&T West. Dr Raul Deju, the IEL Director served as MC.

Entrepreneurship Award Honorees

Jean Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo received the Global Entrepreneurship Award for their work with Boisset and Gallo Wineries and their labels representing the innovative trends in the consolidation of the wine industry in the U.S. and Europe.

Tim Harden, president of AT&T Supply Chain and Fleet Operations, received the Global Leadership Award for AT&T’s creation of the world’s largest procurement effort that also fosters diversity through its entire supply chain.

Former U.S. Secret Service Agent Clint Walker was honored with the Civic Leadership Award. Hill demonstrated bravery in protecting Mrs. Kennedy during the tragic Kennedy assassination in Dallas in 1963, and was instrumental in reshaping the Secret Service until his retirement, when he became a best selling author.

Special recognition was also given to Sigma Nu Tau, an honor society dedicated to entrepreneurship, and its honorary member Vanessa Thompson, who created Storybookmath.org to help disabled children enhance their math knowledge and skills.

The Pitch Competition included three local entrepreneurs including: Doc’s of the Bay for the expansion of its food truck and catering business; Sunspeed Enterprises plan to install Electronic Vehicle charging stations along Hwy 1 from Eureka to Malibu to serve the rapidly growing use of EVs in California; and the winner Viditure, which offers a video authorization service for digital documents.

Gina Gallo and Jean Charles Boisset-2 IEL Entrepreneur Awards Luncheon audience Gina Gallo and Jean Charles Boisset IEL Entrepremneur Award recipients Judges rank e@ Pitch contest at IEL Entrepreneur Awards Tim Harden AT&T Clnt Walker (R) 

The pictures in the nearby gallery are courtesy Melissa Apocs, and are served by Slickpic.com, another IEL participant. Slickpic’s image serving technology and service was ranked 2nd, higher than Instagram and Flickr, even as a young company, in a recent industry review. Get your free Slickpic account, and download the iOS App or Android App.

John F Kennedy University serves 1600 adult professionals each year to help them advance their careers, with over 30,000 alumni and offers programs around the Bay Area through its community Centers and public programs.

The JFK Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership offers collaborative and cross-sector programs to support the entrepreneurial development in Contra Costa County and beyond. Its Advanced Certificate in Entrpreneuship Training and Resident Entrpreneur Programs are located in Downtown Concord. IEL offers practical classroom training, one-on-one mentoring by experts, former CEOs and angel investors, small business training, accelerator office space, free small business seminars, and its high profile E2 Pitch Contests that highlight emerging entrepreneurs from around the Bay Area.

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