By Rebecca Riddell
[SinglePic not found]The Pacific Grove Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA!) presentation was held on Feb. 24 at Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. More than 150 people attended.
Teachers, local business people and community leaders acknowledged approximately 120 Pacific Grove Middle School students who entered this year’s competition. A series of cash awards were presented to students who excelled in preparing comprehensive essays titled, “How I Will Create A Successful Business.”
Master of ceremonies Mayor Dan Cort, introduced the winners as our hope for the future.
Jack Giovinazzo’s business, titled Soccer Video by Jack, took first place. Jack received a check for $300 for his engaging business plan and video. Alex Procive received second place award and a check for $200 for his eco-retail business, Mad About Bamboo. Third place went to Aris Zavitsanos for his reinvention of the size, shape, and color of Surf Wax. He received a check for $100.00 from the judges.
Ten students received an Honorable Mention and a check for $10 for their efforts: Juliana Layne’s Rainbowrifics, a custom designed crayon pen; Dillon Nelson’s commercial art business, Interpretive Flow; a dyed flower business created by Danielle Baudoux, titled Pretty Petals; Kyle Czaplak’s Address Painting business; Paige Book’s menu planning service, titled Healthy Choices; Ji Eun Kim’s custom painted shoe business, Expression Shoes; Katie Phillips’ Customized Pillows; Conyal Cody’s PG Sporting Goods Store; Roman Maaske’s Pops Cookies; and Austin Mohl’s Garbage Can Management Service.
Entries were judged by a team of volunteers from local businesses and organizations, including: Lisa Bennett of Cornerstone Group; Valerie Morin, of H&R Block; Julie Blue, CFO of Chrysalis Corp.; Mario Mancilla with Fed-X/Kinkos; Les Morin, with CIG; Craig and Rebecca Riddell with Riddell & Riddell Advertising; Katie Allan with Monterey County Bank; Donna Penwell, substitute teacher, Robert Down School; Stanton Reuse with The Monterey Bay Aquarium; and David Spradling, a strategic planning consultant.
The judging committee used a set criteria to determine the most comprehensive entries.
The YEA! Program, formed in 1996, stimulates Pacific Grove students’ interest in business and serves to better prepare them for entering the work force or college. This year’s program is funded by contributions from the following businesses and individuals: The Cornerstone Group—Lisa Bennett; Cort Co. and the Cort Family, DMC Construction; D&S Upholstery; Passionfish; Barry Dolowich, CPA; Chrysalis Software, Inc.; Riddell & Riddell Advertising; PG Hardware; Todd and Alice McCoy; Betsy Brown; Kelly Moore; Kidwell’s; Chili Great Chili; Susan Nilmeier; The Wardrobe; Hazara Loom; Manutech; R&S Heating; Jeffrey and Leslie Procive; Eric and Joan Rodewald; Pushpa and Malisha Wijesinghe; Jim Hively, and Virginia Wright. The Young Entrepreneur Awards Program is under the fiscal sponsorship of the Action Council of Monterey County.