Regent Hosts 2014 Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards

previously published; dates may no longer be relevant

For the seventh consecutive year, Regent University’s School of Business & Leadership (SBL) partnered with Hampton Roads’ premier business journal, Inside Business, to host the Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards honoring the achievements of local entrepreneurs on Monday, June 16.

Individuals were nominated by the public and judged by a panel of local business experts, including SBL’s own Dr. Gregory Stone, associate professor. The 16 finalists were honored for their innovation and determination in many areas of business, from veterinary hospice care to mobile wood-fired pizza catering.

“By highlighting the entrepreneurial spirit of these individuals, Inside Business and Regent University hope to inspire others to create solid business plans, find strong mentors and partners, and take the risk to start their own business venture,” said Inside Business’ editor, Carol Lichti.

“I look forward to our continued partnership with Inside Business and the Hampton Roads community to foster entrepreneurial opportunity and support,” said Dr. Doris Gomez, interim dean of SBL. “I am greatly impressed and encouraged by the entrepreneurial talent present in the Hampton Roads region. This year’s award recipients reflect tremendous diversity, commitment and sophistication in the products and services they provide.

“This region is well poised to develop into a significant center for innovation and entrepreneurship, with so many individuals demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit at its best.”

Inside Business tipped its hat to the significant role of the military in Hampton Roads’ economy by presenting the Military Veteran Entrepreneur Award to Richard M. Reass, CEO and founder of RynohLive, a patented financial management and fraud prevention system.

The 2014 honorees have added hundreds of jobs to the Hampton Roads, Va., region in the last decade and are located all across its seven cities. They range in age from 16 to 70, and most started their business near or during the 2008 economic recession, when jobs were few and far between. The Hampton Roads economy is rebounding well due in part to the entrepreneurial efforts of its citizens.

“This year’s honorees all have amazing stories from the ground zero of entrepreneurship. Their experiences of starting and building their businesses and the challenges they’ve faced will either make you want to run out and start a business or run the other direction,” joked Ed Power, publisher of Inside Business. “What these honorees have in common is a passion for an idea and a commitment to excellence.”

According to Gomez and Stone, these traits are part of the reason Regent’s partnership with Inside Business makes so much sense.

“At Regent University and the School of Business & Leadership we have a deep understanding and appreciation for entrepreneurship,” Gomez said. “We understand the sacrifice, the risk, and the hard work involved and are so very happy to be able to come alongside Inside Business to celebrate each of these worthy recipients.”

“SBL has sponsored this event with Inside Business since its inception, which reflects the high interest level we both have in encouraging the grassroots entrepreneurs in Hampton Roads,” Stone explained. “The event has annually grown in scope and attendance, and people look forward to seeing who is being recognized for their innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial savvy.”

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