One of the region’s leading catering firms and a longtime advocate for female entrepreneurs were honored at the annual Small Business Awards at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on June 13.
The program is co-sponsored by the Los Angeles District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Centers, owned by John W. Zaruka and his family won the Jeffrey-Butland Family-owned Business of the Year Awards. Zaruka was honored for building a Ventura County-based company that topped $20 million in revenue in 2011.
From a single location in Ventura it now operates 16 centers in northern and southern California. The company recently helped raise $25,000 for FoodShare of Ventura County through a fundraiser.
Women’s Economic Ventures, a nonprofit that offers microfinance loans and education to small businesses in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, won the Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award. The organization was cited for its efforts to help more than 1,000 clients each year get the coaching and training they need to start their own businesses or improve existing companies.
This is the 10th year that WEV has been funded, at least in part, by the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. WEV also received a special community impact award presented by title sponsor Wells Fargo.