Jennifer Smurr, the model-turned-baker who founded the uber-popular Born & Bread Bakehouse, was honored Tuesday night as David Lyons Entrepreneur of the Year at Catapult Lakeland‘s first Lakeland Entrepreneur Awards.

The award was presented in front of 400 people attending a Lakeland Economic Development Council dinner at Haus 820. Other award winners were:

Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist currently at Canva and previously at Apple, spoke about “The Art of the Start 2.0,” at the ceremony.

Among his messages: Get your organization’s reason for being down to two or three words and be specific about your market. Also: Get feedback about your ideas from women. Why? “Men want to kill things.”

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is given to someone who “has been a member or is a current member of Catapult. They successfully manage a business while demonstrating a strong entrepreneurial mindset through their creative approaches, willingness to take risks, passion, and perseverance.”

Below are the other nominees in each category.

David Lyons Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Chris McArthur of Black & Brew, Patriot Coffee and A Cow Named Moo
  • Grant and Marissa Nieddu of State of the Spark
  • Laura Helm of Ashton Events, Haus 820 and The Collective
  • Robyn Wilson of The Poor Porker

People’s Choice

  • Jenna Cherry of Twenty Seven
  • Kirstin Czernek and Ruthie Tait of The Balance Culture

Entrepreneur Champion

  • Andy McEntire of Indie Atlantic Films and Concord Coffee
  • Dick Pellegrini of Pilgrim Associates
  • Gregory Fancelli of Prestige Worldwide Group
  • Nicole Travis of, city of Lakeland Community and Economic Development director

Catapulter of the Year

  • Jonathan Sierra of Sierra Creative
  • Jordan Arbuckle of Smart Inbound Marketing, Conquer Today and Lakeland Lancers Rugby
  • Naomi Vacaro of Naomi Lynn Photography and Wholehearted


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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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