Fresno Chamber Announces 2022 Entrepreneur Award Winners

Fresno, CA (January 6, 2022) – Today, the Fresno Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the Entrepreneur Awards for the Chamber’s Annual Valley Business Awards Broadcast, airing on February 24, 2022, on KSEE 24 at 7:00 p.m.  In addition to the 2022 Leon S. Peters Awards, which will be given to Thomas G. Richards of the Penstar Group, the four award winners will be recognized during the broadcast.

“Fresno would not be the incredible commercial center it is without the audacious appetite and innovative mentality of our local entrepreneurs,” said Scott Miller, President & CEO of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. “Putting a spotlight on individuals and businesses of this caliber is a valuable reminder of what our community is capable of, and the talent and hard-work that exists in our region.”

The Harold Zinkin Entrepreneur of the Year award goes to an established Fresno Area business that exhibits exceptional vision, innovation and leadership while contributing significantly to local commerce. This year’s winner is Darden Architects, a locally owned Architectural, Planning and Interior Design firm, has been engaging in major statewide projects while maintaining a significant presence in Fresno for the past 60 years. In addition to their wide-reaching developmental undertakings, this company has quietly made altruistic contributions of time, talent, and treasure to deserving organizations and causes to ensure local economic vitality.

The Community Champion of the Year goes to a business that exhibits an exceptional dedication to making the community better and going beyond average civic duty. This award will be presented to Kotman Technology, a locally owned technology company with a 98% retention rate that provides fully managed IT services, security solutions, and strategic technology consulting, playing a pivotal role in the success of many regional enterprises while also supporting local nonprofits through donations and technical services.

The Rising Star of the Year award goes to a growing local business that exhibits notable innovation with the ability to market their product and/or services beyond the valley, in turn helping to develop our region’s local economy, and a demonstrated commitment to community stewardship and involvement.  The 2022 winner is Windsong Productions, a full-service creative video production firm, who in 2019 was named one of the Inc. 5000, a list of the fastest growing private companies in the nation. With a client list that includes national customers like Burts Bees, NYX Professional Make-Up, and Michael’s, Windsong Productions is taking the Fresno name well beyond our city limits.

The winner of the Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award is the year is Melvin Velasquez of Get Served Transportation. Mr. Velasquez is a student at Fresno State who was inspired to develop a business designed to encourage physically challenged individuals to hire Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) either on the spot or in advance for support. Being a physically challenged individual himself, who is completely confined to a wheelchair, he initiated this business concept during his Junior Year in High School out of his desire to socialize and enjoy life like an able-bodied individual.

The awards will be presented to the recipients during the Valley Business Awards broadcast which will air on February 24, 2022, on KSEE 24 at 7:00 p.m. For questions about the event, please call Rebecca Johnson, Director of Development for the Fresno Chamber of commerce at (559) 495-4807.

The Fresno Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest business organizations in the Central Valley, with approximately 1,200 member businesses representing over 78,000 employees. The Chamber’s mission is to “promote and support the success of the regional business community thorough effective advocacy, education and relationship building.”