Catapult Lakeland hosted its 3rd Annual Lakeland Entrepreneur Awards last night. With a keynote address given by Jeff Vinik, the current owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the coworking space known for launching Lakeland’s startups honored local entrepreneurial movers and shakers in four categories.
Entrepreneur Champion — Chrisanne Long
This award goes to a person or company from the Lakeland community who has intentionally taken the time to invest in the development of entrepreneurs. They have provided mentorship, support, and guidance to entrepreneurs navigating a business start-up.
Other nominees: Todd Baylis, Wesley Beck + Larry Mitchell.
People’s Choice — Cory & Bobby Holton, Nautical Offroad
The People’s Choice Award winner is a Lakeland entrepreneur nominated by their community. Catapult conducted an open call, and five business owners emerged as finalists. Lakelanders voted to choose the 2022 awardee.
Other nominees: Prima Burney of Open Door Wellness, Dorcas Crumbley of Essential Catering Solutions, Christina Needham of Pressed LKLD + Jason Kellis, Corey Ripley, and Conn O’Leary of Cob & Pen
Catapulter of the Year — Rut Patel, Voyager Industries
This Catapult member is in their first few years of operating but has already experienced significant success. This person has proven to be a visionary and strategic leader in how they have started and begun to scale their business. They have demonstrated humility and willingness to learn that is inspiring to those around them.
Other nominees: Rima Shillinger of Vegetation Plant Food, Nathaniel Kendrick and Mike Mitchell of Mike and Mike Desserts + Taylor Ard of East of These.
David Lyons’ Entrepreneur of the Year — John Bucklew, The Joinery
This award goes to a previous or present Catapult Member who successfully manages a business and exhibits strong entrepreneurialism, creativity, innovation, passion, perseverance, and risk-taking. This person is a trailblazer in their field and is committed to pouring back into the Lakeland community.
Other nominees: Zach Eikenberry of Hook Security, and Wendy Johnson + AJ Jackson of Krazy Kombucha.