Home Business EntreCon Awards Honor Pensacola Area Businesses

EntreCon Awards Honor Pensacola Area Businesses

Geo Zelaya, Tacos El Fluffy wins Entrepreneur of the Year

Studer Community Institute hosted the EntreCon Awards at The Rex Theater in downtown Pensacola. The event celebrated the achievements and impact of Pensacola area businesses and entrepreneurs.

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18 awards were handed out in 10 different categories, honoring a wide range of businesses and individuals. SCI is especially focused on championing small businesses that are the lifeblood of a thriving community.

The highlight of the night was Nan DeStefany of Blues Angel Music Foundation winning two awards. She arrived knowing her organization, which aims to make a positive impact through the promotion of music education, instruction, and therapy, was being honored as Non-Profit of the Year. The surprise came when DeStefany was announced as winner of the John Myslak Award for Servant Leadership. “Servant leadership is what we all strive for”, said DeStefany, “Im thankful that somehow, it’s become something that’s recognized. I’m absolutely thrilled.”  

Geo Zelaya, owner of Tacos El Fluffy restaurant, a rising star in the area just eight months after opening his business, earned Entrepreneur of the Year. HatchMark Studio, a branding and design agency, won Small Business of the Year, while Office Pride, a commercial cleaning service, took home Large Business of the Year honors. It’s really cool to be part of the EntreConAwards because you get to see so many of the other businesses in the community that maybe you haven’t even heard of that are doing great things”, said Olon Hyde, President of Office Pride, “It’s energizing to see that we’re getting recognized as part of all of those people doing amazing things in our community.”

 Also of note, the Rodney Jackson Minority-Owned Business of the Year award went to National Energy USA, a local company that provides leading-edge environmental expertise to government and private sector clients.

See the full list of awards and winners below.

You can watch a short EntreCon Awards event highlight video here.

EntreCon Awards, held Friday, Oct. 27th, came in advance of the 9th annual EntreCon (Nov. 1-2), SCI’s World-Class Business, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship Conference that brings high caliber expert speakers from all over the country to downtown Pensacola, providing a tremendous opportunity for learning and networking. For more information visit: https://entreconpensacola.com

For additional info and resources, including video and quotesfrom the event, please contact Steve Nissim (snissim@studeri.org).

The Studer Community Institute is a non-profit 501c(3) organization in the Pensacola, Florida area whose mission is improving the quality of life for all people in the diverse communities we serve. Learn more at www.studeri.org

Rodney Jackson Minority-Owned Business of the Year 

 This award recognizes a minority-owned small business that has attained outstanding business achievement while showing social responsibility, creativity, and leadership; all to improve and grow the community. 

 Runner Up: InHer Physique Pelvic Floor Therapy & Wellness 

Winner: National Energy, USA 

Veteran-Owned Business of the Year  

This award recognizes a veteran-owned small business that has attained outstanding business achievement while showing social responsibility, creativity, and leadership; all to improve and grow the community.  

 Runner Up: S&K Boutique 

Winner: Dominguez Design Build  

Female Owned Business of the Year 

This award recognizes a women-owned small business that has attained outstanding business achievement while showing social responsibility, creativity, and leadership; all to improve and grow the community. 

 Runner Up: HatchMark Studio 

Winner: InHer Physique Pelvis Floor Therapy & Wellness 

Emerging Business of the Year 

 This award is open to businesses who have started in the last two years and have had success introducing their product or service. Businesses recognized in this category are run by great leadership, show a promising vision for the future, and have created a mission statement that aligns with their core values. 

 Runner Up: Code Ninja 

Winner: Evolve Medical 

Small Business of the Year 

This award is open to businesses who have less than 50 employees that focus on employee inclusion, community involvement and innovation in their business practices. Businesses considered for this award can clearly explain what makes their product or service unique, how they measure success and what opportunities they provide their employees. 

Runner Up: Native Café 

Winner: HatchMark Studio 

Large Business of the Year 

This award is open to businesses who have more than 50 employees that has been able adaptable to change over the past year, has displayed economic growth, and provides opportunities for their employees to improve their skills in an ever-changing environment. 

 Runner Up: Alyssa’s 

Winner: Office Pride 

Non-Profit of the Year 

This award recognizes a nonprofit organization that shows dedication for improving the quality of life in the community through volunteering, partnerships, or fundraising. Winners will be able to share how they have effectively used these skills to further their mission and improve the community.  

 Runner Up: Positively Pensacola 

Winner: Blue’s Angel Music Foundation  

Entrepreneur of the Year  

This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has a creative product or service that solves a problem in the marketplace. They are highly ambitious, serve as community leaders, and work to improve the quality of life for others through either employment or serving others. 

 Runner Up: Jessica & Kimberly Wolford – WolfGang, LLC 

Winner: Geo Zelaya – Tacos El Fluffy 

Excellence in Mentorship Award 

 This award recognizes a person who has dedicated themselves to helping others through mentoring. Their level of experience affords them the ability to have a significant impact on the professional development and career advancement of those they mentor. 

 Winners: Capt. Sterling Gilliam 

John Myslak Award for Servant Leader  

 This award is given to a leader who enriches the lives of others, builds better organizations and ultimately helps create a more just and caring world. That is what our friend and colleague John Myslak did in our community, and we honor his memory by recognizing others who live their lives as fully as he did. 

Winner: Nan DeStefany