Our signature event is the Founder of the Year event, to honor founders who have done amazing things in our community. The event celebrates some amazing founders and businesses, with four finalists announced months prior and one Founder of the Year announced at the event. See below for past winners and finalists.

2019 Founder of the Year Finalists Videos

Luke & Associates (Founder of the Year 2019 Winner)

First Wave Financial (Finalist)

Accent Technology (Finalist)

The Thompson Family – Wild Ocean Seafood (Finalist)

2018 Founder of the Year Finalists Videos

Joe Penovich, Grills (Founder of the Year Winner)


Kurt Wilson, SeaDek (Finalist)


Randy May, Ambassador Services (Finalist)

Scott Lewit, Structural Composites (Finalist)


2017 Founder of the Year Finalists Videos

Eduardo Rabel, Rush Construction (Finalist)


Travis Proctor, Artemis (Finalist)


Don & Julie Herndon, Classic Wood Flooring (Finalist)

Edward J. Richard, Sr., Richard’s Paint (Finalist and Founder of the Year Winner)


Past Honorees

2017: Edward J. Richard, Sr, Richard’s Paint

2016: Bryan and Donna Scott, Barn Light Electric Company and Playalinda Brewing Company

2015: Carol Craig, Craig Technologies

2014: Mike Shah,  Southeast Petro Distributors, Inc.

2013: Scott Sorensen, Sorensen Moving & Storage

2012: Mike Williams, M.H. Williams Construction Group

2011: Mike Means, Health First

2010: Pam Gatto, Gatto’s Tires & Auto Service

2009: Walter Gatti, Tensor Engineering

2008: Bernie Simpkins, S & S Enterprises

2007: Roger Dobson, Ocean Partners Associates Ltd

2006: Rick McNeight, DRS Tactical Systems

2005: Harry Brandon, Brandon Properties

2004: Moses Harvin, American Services Technology, Incorporated

2003: Tim Reynolds, Soneticom

2002: Scott Moody, Authentec

2001: Joe Baggs, Optical Process Automation

2000: Bruce Deardoff, Continental Motor Cars

1999: Thomas Smaidris, Data Flow Systems

1998: David Poore, DE Restaurants (Durangos)