Breakfast of Champions® began its 2014 series with success stories from local honorees who are considered to be a “Children’s Champion” and who bring true meaning to the
term “good sport.” During part II of this IV part series, The Centre Club and its Executive
Women’s Council will be honoring Anna Hopen and Marielis Rivera.
In 2009, Anna Hopen conceived a competition for young inventors, Innovations Express,
with the first competition held in 2010. Ten competitors out of the 79 entries competed in
this “Shark-Tank” style event, and several of the young inventors have since received patents
from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Marielis Rivera, Esq., with Fernandez Florida Law, PA, is very active in the community. She
serves on the Board of Directors of Voices for Children, which provides support to abused,
abandoned and neglected children in Hillsborough County. She also serves as a Guardian
ad Litem, where she provides a voice in court for these children.
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Finalist judge from the United States Patent & Trademark Office and former federal trademark examining attorney Joyce Ward gave out the 2014 Outback Steakhouse Top Trademark Award to Hannah Fowler for her BRITE NIGHT™ trademark. Hannah also won a $100 gift card to Outback Steakhouse. Hannah invented a mat that lights up in the dark when stepped on. The competition committee particularly thanks Kelly Lefferts at Bloomin’ Brands for her long-time support of this award.
HSN’s Bill Green, a 4-time host of the USF Young Innovator Competition surprised the competitors and their families with gifts ranging from a laptop computer to sunglasses with build-in video cameras.
Congratulations to Holly Wintrip and Kim Tomko at Canterbury School of Florida for having the highest number of semi-finalist winners.
All 500+ inventors will receive a day pass to Tampa’s award-winning Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). The top 50 semi-finalists will receive one-of-a-kind medals of innovation from the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (USF NAI). The top 10 finalists will receive special finalist medals and annual family passes to MOSI along with a chance to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes on February 11.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s announcement of the top 10 finalists selected by USF NAI.