As the 1st Annual Delaware Entrepreneurial Summit approaches, the Chamber of Commerce last week announced the winners of the David J. Freschman Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year Award.
The large number of applications received for both awards were narrowed down to the two winners that most demonstrated the characteristics sought by the selection committee.
David J. Freschman Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Alisa Morkides, Owner and Founder, Brew Ha Ha!
A fateful trip to Florence in the Spring of 1993 was the catalyst to the creation of one of Wilmington’s most beloved coffee hangouts. Educated as a chemist, and working in corporate management, Alisa never let go of her dream to start her own business. But it was while sipping another perfect cappuccino in a setting worthy of a Shakespearean drama that gave her the impetus to open Brew Ha Ha!, Wilmington’s first bona fide espresso café in a 750 square foot store front in Greenville, Delaware. Today, Brew Ha Ha! has grown to 10 coffee houses with sales of over $7 million, multiple awards, including Best Coffee in Delaware for over 22 years in a row. In 2015 Alisa started a second business, Brandywine Coffee Roasters, which sells coffee world wide.
Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year Award
Mark Olazagasti, Managing Partner, Info Solutions, LLC
As managing partner and founding member of Info Solutions LLC, Mark Olazagasti has helped create and build one of the area’s preeminent IT infrastructure consulting and managed services firm. As a first generation entrepreneur, Mark has taken the lessons he has learned from his more than 25 years of operations, personnel, and project management experience to help mentor local entrepreneurs and students. Mark serves on numerous boards and committees, and as a moderator at various business-related events. In addition, Mark has conducted over 25 Q&A sessions for hundreds of students at local educational institutions including Goldey-Beacom College, Wilmington University, Delaware Technical Community College, and the University of Delaware.
In 2015, Mark founded YourMoney101, a non-profit organization focused on providing financial wellness and mentoring services to individuals and to companies with less than 250 employees.