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Event honors Inland Empire entrepreneurs and innovators

UC Riverside Center for Social Innovation
TruEvolution CEO Gabe Maldonaldo being awarded the Innovator of the Year award during the 2022 Homecoming for Innovators in the Inland Empire award ceremony.

On Thursday, the Inland Empire Innovation Ecosystem group hosted an awards ceremony honoring local entrepreneurs and innovators.

The award ceremony was called the 'Homecoming for Innovators in the Inland Empire.' "This event is part of a larger effort we're doing in partnership with organizations like the UC Riverside Center for Social Innovation, the University of La Verne, and Blended Impact to highlight all the remarkable innovations and entrepreneurship in this region," said University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman.

The ceremony had seven different categories and fifteen different honorees. One of those recipients was Sigma Beta Xi CEO Corey Jackson, who received the Innovator of Distinction award. "It's such an honor to be recognized; you know myself and our leadership are just a bunch of Rialto kids with a dream," Jackson said.

Jackson's non-profit provides services such as their Breath I.E., asthma program, and mentorship for Inland Empire youth and families. "It is our responsibility to make sure that we are a critical part of the communities that we serve, to help stabilize families and their children, and then get them on track to be able to thrive," Jackson said.

Other recipients included non-profit CEO Gabe Maldonado of TruEvolution and Rakalya Simpson and Dar'rell Jones of the BLU Educational Foundation.

Complete list of award recipients:

Excellence in Public and Private Partnership
Chuy Flores - Estolano Advisors

Excellence in Innovation for Mission-Driven Enterprises
Gabriel Maldonaldo - Tru Evolution

Innovator of Distinction
Erica Beal - AVIVV
Corey Jackson - Sigma Beta Xi

Excellence in Innovation in Excelorators and Incobators
Scott Agajanian - Murrieta Innovation Center

Excellence in Technology Innovation
Shailendra Singh - FarmSense
Leslie Hickle - FarmSense
Mohammed Kuku - Pantri
Joshua Morales - StarNav LLC

Next-Gen Innovator
Zubin Carvalho - SoCal Face Shields for Frontline Workers
Tenzing Carvalho - SoCal Face Shields for Frontline Workers

Excellence in Social Social Innovation
Ashley Hill - Magdalena’s Daughters
Dar'rell Jones - BLU Educational Foundation
Rakayla Simpson - BLU Educational Foundation
Suzie Gomez - Inland Empire Community Collaborative

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.