The winners for the Faith & Business Connection Awards have been awarded at the 7th Annual Faith Based Small Business Summit. The Faith & Business Connection award winners were selected in three categories, including the Character Building Award, the Faith Through Works Award, and the Faith Based Organization Development Award. Nominees were selected from business and faith-based leaders throughout the Inland Empire, along with members of the Faith Based Summit Planning Committee.
The Character Award is presented to the individual whose faith and values carry throughout his or her organization. The 2014 recipient of the Character Award is Linda Smith, the founder of Four D College in Colton. The award reflects the way Smith handles her company, employees, customers, vendors, suppliers and finances. Linda Smith and Four D College’s commitment to “Desire, Determination, Drive and Deliver,” characterizes how they do business and is the linchpin in how they connect Faith & Business in their character.
The Faith Through Works Award is bestowed on the individual who impacts the community through the organization’s work, which often goes over and beyond the call of duty to make a far-reaching impact to change lives. Because of the incredible contributions in the Faith Through Works Award category, two nominees were selected. First is Pastor Tommy Morrow and Mr. David Morrow from The Center for Learning and Unlimited Educational Success Charter School (CLUES).
Pastor Tommy and David Morrow’s work offering a safety net for students who have dropped out, or may be dropping out, of school was recognized in this category. County Board of Supervisor, Josie Gonzales said CLUES “…will be a bridge to narrow the achievement gap and better prepare the County’s at risk students to become high achieving, productive community members and future leaders.”
The second recipient of the Faith through Works Award is Joe Annunziato from Cerenzia Foods, Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga. Joe Annunziato and Cerezenia Foods, Inc. has donated millions of pounds of food to feed our communities. Pastor Gary Hornsby of River’s Edge Church in Rancho Cucamonga says, “Joe backs several ministries and is the evangelistic drive” of a major local church.
The Development Award is given to the non-profit organization that has made the connection between faith and business by providing training and development programs that build into people’s lives. Pastor Paul Scheumach from Crosslight Family Ministries and Forever Kids in Alta Loma is this year’s winner. Pastor Scheumach’s program with foster children and his partnership with a suitcase manufacturer is making a difference in the lives of forgotten children and young adults.
The winners of the Faith & Business Connection Awards are not driven by recognition, but they are driven by their faith, which propels them to serve.
The winners were all recognized during the recent Faith Based Small Business Summit in Riverside. A keynote address was delivered by Brad Hewitt, CEO, Thrivent Financial, where he discussed, “Connecting Faith & Finances for Good.”
Officials from local cities provided welcoming remarks, including Mayor Rusty Bailey of Riverside and Mayor Paul Leon of Ontario. Following the opening ceremony and comments from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Bryan Feller, Executive Director of the National Christian Foundation moderated a panel of local CEO’s entitled, “Your Journey to Winning Success – Connecting Faith & Business.”