Coral Springs Businesswoman’s Pitch Wins $15K Prize

Coral Springs Businesswoman Wins $15K Prize For Pitch

Ivelices Thomas, owner of HR & Beyond based in Coral Springs, and Lisa Shim, BankUnited senior executive vice president and head of consumer and small business banking.

By Kevin Deutsch

A business pitch by a Coral Springs entrepreneur earned her the $15,000 grand prize at a summit celebrating South Florida businesswomen.

Ivelices Thomas, the owner of  HR & Beyond, made the winning pitch at the second annual BankUnited Small Business Big Dreams Women in Business Summit, BankUnited announced Thursday.

Thomas and two runners-up were selected from a competitive pool of more than 80 applicants, all vying for cash grants to help grow their women-owned small businesses.

Ten South Florida women business owners advanced to the semi-finals, with three finalists chosen to compete in the final, live round of the contest.

With both capital and industry prestige on the line, Thomas’ pitch won the day.

“With the help of the Bank United pitch competition prize money, I will now be able to invest in our technology,” said Thomas, who formed HR & Beyond to provide expert, cost-effective HR solutions and support for small businesses. “For us, that means implementing a fully integrated system/software that securely manages our customer communications and records and also streamlines our processes.”

Thomas said the benefits of her experience at the summit went well beyond winning the grant money.

“Beyond winning and the undeniable value it will add to my business’ growth potential, the encouragement and support I received from the community of women small business owners and women business leaders that either attended or competed in the event, was just as valuable as any cash prize.”

Lisa Shim, BankUnited senior executive vice president and head of consumer and small business banking, congratulated Thomas for her award-winning pitch, as well as for her accomplishments as a business owner “who has found a way to solve a critical need for other small business owners.”

“All of us at BankUnited are proud of Ivelices and her achievements to date, and we look forward to hearing how our contestants’ businesses continue to grow and thrive,” Shim said.

The second-place finishers were Dr. Angie Mason and Dr. Tyre Patterson, co-owners of Dynamic Duo, a concierge-style outpatient clinic providing physical and occupational therapy services in West Palm Beach.

The entrepreneurs shared a $5,000 prize.

Xenia Marcinko, a director, and producer who owns The Magus Films, based in Miami, took home the third-place prize of $2,500.

Marcinko’s direction and production work have been recognized by the Mofilm Festival in Sao Paulo and with multiple Anda awards, according to BankUnited.

Among other highlights, the summit featured a panel discussion that included Leigh-Ann Buchanan, president of Aire Ventures; Nicole Milnthorpe, CFO of Smokey Bones; and Arilee Ortiz, president of Concierge Title Agency.

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Author Profile

Kevin Deutsch

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.

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