Denise Wilson of Desert Jet selected as a finalist from a pool of more than 150 nominees

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., September 27, 2012 – The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at Cal State San Bernardino announced the finalists for this year’s Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards program. The award recipients will be announced at the Nov. 7 black-tie gala at the Ontario Convention Center.

“The comments I received from the judges were clear,” said Mike Stull, director of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship. “We have another outstanding group of entrepreneurs that represent some of the best companies in their field. It seems that every year we uncover more companies that are doing incredible things here in the Inland Empire and beyond.”

The 2012 Inland Empire entrepreneurial finalists include:

Consulting Entrepreneur

  • Darlene Merkler – Merkler’s Consulting Services – Redlands
  • Concepcion Powell – USHWGA-Hispanic Women Grocers Association – San Bernardino
  • Kathy Walsh – Business Waste Management LLC – Wrightwood

Emerging Entrepreneur

  • Robin Allen – Necessary Nutrition, Inc. – Riverside
  • Lou & Nicole Desmond – Desmond & Louis Public Relations – Yucaipa
  • Laveda Moore – Angels for Autism – Twentynine Palms

Family Business

  • Isaac & Lucy Gallardo – Inland Empire Autobody & Paint, Inc. – Riverside
  • John & Kim Kelliher – Grapeline Wine Country Shuttle – Temecula
  • Peter & Cindy Stamatis – Inland Valley R.V. – Rancho Cucamonga

General Entrepreneur

  • Dave and Catherine DeHart – DeHart Construction Services, Inc. – Redlands
  • Grey Frandsen – HG Ventures, Inc./Magnolia Pool & Spa Supply – Riverside
  • Tim Veliquette – Diesel Injection Service – San Bernardino

Manufacturing Entrepreneur

  • Chris Ma – Vantage LED – Corona
  • Harry Nelson Jr. – Dansereau Health Products, Inc. – Corona
  • Adel Sayegh – Universal Surveillance Systems, LLC – Rancho Cucamonga

Service-Based Entrepreneur

  • Richard Balzer – IntelesysOne, Inc. – Ontario
  • Lisa Goodman – The Bra Lady – Upland
  • Connie Threlkel – Goodfaith Medical Transportation Co., Inc. – San Bernardino

Small Enterprise

  • Troy McSwain II – McSwain Enterprises – Rancho Cucamonga
  • Terry Oelrich – Reverse Control, Inc. – Highland
  • Denise Wilson – Desert Jet – Thermal

Social Entrepreneur

  • Josiah Bruny – Music Changing Lives – Moreno Valley
  • Kim Carter – Time for Change Foundation – San Bernardino
  • Bill Clarke – Technical Employment Training, Inc. – San Bernardino
  • Gina Elise – Pin-Ups For Vets – Rancho Cucamonga

The 10th Annual Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards program is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at the Ontario Convention Center. The gala includes a cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment and awards.