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Jeff Vinik delivers keynote address during Catapult’s 3rd annual Lakeland Entrepreneur Awards.

LAKELAND, FLA – Catapult held its 3rd annual Lakeland Entrepreneur Awards this past Wednesday, January 12, where it celebrated and honored Lakeland’s leading and emerging entrepreneurs.

The award ceremony, which is also Catapult’s annual fundraiser, took place at Haus 820 in downtown Lakeland and awarded nominees across four categories that demonstrate the spirit of the Lakeland business community. Following the awards presentation was a keynote presentation by Jeff Vinik, the current owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The four categories awarded throughout the night included Entrepreneur Champion, People’s Choice Award, Catapulter of the Year and The David Lyon’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Chrissanne Long of Maximize Digital Media won the Entrepreneur Champion Award, which recognizes a person or company from the Lakeland community who has intentionally taken the time to invest in the development of entrepreneurs.

Cory + Bobby Holton of Nautical Offroad won the People’s Choice Award, which is given to an entrepreneur in Lakeland nominated by their peers and community.

Rut Patel of Voyager won the Catapulter of the Year Award, which recognizes a current member of Catapult who has experienced significant success in their first few years of operating.

Jon Bucklew of The Joinery won the David Lyon’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which is awarded to a past or current member of Catapult who exhibits strong entrepreneurialism, creativity and innovation.

The event concluded with keynote speaker Jeff Vinik’s presentation on his journey as the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and his plans to continue supporting development in downtown Tampa.

The event sponsors included Bernie Little Distributors, AgAmerica Lending and Saddle Creek Logistics Services.

Catapult is a non-profit entrepreneur center located in the heart of downtown Lakeland helping businesses grow through space, education and resources.

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