Dr. Sarah Otterstrom Named Nonprofit Winner at 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards

From left to right, Paso Pacifico Founder and Executive Director Dr. Sarah Otterstrom, Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation Board Members Caroline MacDougall and Darya Bronston, and SOE Foundation CEO and Board Chair Cathy Feldman at the May 4th Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. (Linda Blue Photography)

As an Ashoka Fellow, conservation scientist, and nonprofit founder, Dr. Sarah Otterstrom is no stranger to entrepreneurship.

Paso Pacifico Founder and Executive Director Dr. Sarah Otterstrom won the 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Nonprofit Award at the annual event on Friday, May 4. The 33 finalists, along with family, friends, sponsors, and supporters, celebrated their outstanding achievements at an evening reception at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. Finalists represented a variety of professional categories, including Green and Social Entrepreneurship, Health and Wellness, Media and Communications, Science and Technology, and others.

Dr. Otterstrom founded Ventura-based Paso Pacifico in 2005, and leads a team of 40 between their offices in Ventura and Nicaragua. The Paso Pacifico team works with local communities, landowners, and partner organizations to restore and protect wildlife habitats. They continually find new and innovative solutions to solve the biggest problems facing endangered wildlife.

“Being in that room surrounded by accomplished women was really inspiring,” said Dr. Otterstrom. “There are so many women driving positive change in our communities across a wide variety of industries, and I’m proud to now be associated with all 33 of the 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards finalists. Thank you to the team at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation for this tremendous honor.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Otterstrom and Paso Pacifico were presented with the No Boundaries Award at the Pacific Coast Business Times’ Central Coast Innovation Awards for their innovative work combating illegal sea turtle egg poaching.

The complete list of 2018 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards finalists can be found at soefoundation.org/2018/04/2018-finalists.

Funds raised by the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation provide financial support and scholarships for the winners of the Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge, an annual business plan and pitch competition for Santa Barbara County student entrepreneurs.

About Paso Pacifico

The mission of Paso Pacifico is to restore and protect the Pacific Slope ecosystems of Mesoamerica. These habitats include the endangered dry tropical forest, mangrove wetlands, and eastern Pacific coral reefs. By working with local communities, landowners, and partner organizations, Paso Pacifico restores and protects the habitats that form building blocks for wildlife corridors. Paso Pacifico also lends its expertise to help migratory wildlife on the Central Coast of California, including threatened migratory birds and whales that overwinter in Mesoamerica. Through its high-impact programs, Paso Pacifico has established itself as one of the world’s leading biodiversity conservation organizations.

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