From Artists to Entrepreneurs, The NEXTies Event Celebrates the Best of Santa Cruz

This year's winners are Ann Hazels,John Felt,Burn Hot Sauce,Mike Holt,Non-Profit Gravity Water Kim Garcia,Ryan J Foley, Jesse Daniel, Chip, Jeremy Almond, Rachel Mitchell, Upcycled Skate Art,Santa Cruz Heritage Food Project, Steeped Coffee, YaDoggie, Jennalee Dehlan.

The NEXTTies event is tonight and for the ninth year, it will do what it does best, celebrate Santa Cruz, its people, its raw talent, its entrepreneurial spirit, its wave riders and most of all its positive energy.

If you are looking for music, food, drinks and plenty of inspiration, without a doubt in my mind, the event to attend this weekend is The NEXTies event organized by Event Santa Cruz under the leadership of Matthew Swinnerton. Returning to the Rio on Friday, March 23th at 6 PM, this year NEXTties is once again beaming with talents from multitude home fronts. Sixteen remarkable individuals will be recognized this year, from artists to entrepreneurs, athletes, food gurus and community builders.

Matthew Swinnerton

For a second year, the event host is actress and singer Danielle Crook joined by local comedian DNA. The food catered by Santa Cruz Food Lounge vendors with drinks provided by New Bohemia Brewing and Venus Spirits. Other vendors to thank include Areperia 831, Jesika Cooks, My Moms Mole and more.

Musical guests are Jesse Daniel who won Musician of the Year, Kat Factor, Katie Ekin and Henry Chadwick.

And the winners are

Artist of the Year

Ann Hazels

Ann Hazels accepting her Award.

This year, the Artist of the Year award is going to remarkable Ann Hazels, a ceramist and installation artist and the Director of Radius Gallery at the Tannery Arts Center. At the Tannery, Ann can be seen giving tours to school children and is known not only for her colorful work but the inspiration and encouragement she provides other artists.

Innovator of the year

John Felts – NEXTTies 2018

John Felts

John Felts is CEO of the startup Cruz Foam. The startup plans to eliminate plastic waste in the ocean with a sustainable and biodegradable foam replacement for petroleum-based foams by transforming chitin, a biopolymer found in shrimp shells, into structural foams with an environmentally friendly process. Felts told the audience, “that as a surfer and someone as all of you residents of Santa Cruz, the ocean means a great deal to me, to us. We have to protect it for now and for tomorrow.”

Foodie of the year

Burn Hot Sauce

Feel the burn with Burn Hot Sauce, has what could be called a cult following among foodies. Burn Hot Sauce are organic, fermented hot sauces, curry powders and pickles made locally by Amanda Pargh and Chase Atkins.

Musician of the year

Jesse Daniel and Band.

Jesse Daniel 

Jesse Daniel is a native of Ben Lamond, CA. He told The Scope Weekly when asked what this Award meant to him, “That it is especially a great honor because it has been given to me by my community, where I’m from and the support means a lot to me. I see it as a turning point in my career of things to come.” And we couldn’t agree with him more. Daniel has a full-length album coming this May 2018. We’re looking forward to it.

TECHie of the year

Jeremy Almo

Jeremy Almo is the CEO and founder of PayStand, Scott Valley startup whose mission is to transform the process ofB2B payments with Blockchain, and SaaS technologies.

Here is the schedule NEXTties

5:30: Doors open

6:50: Video Intro / 10 minutes

7:00: Awards start

Jesse Daniel Song (Full band)

Host intro (DNA and Danielle Crook)

Artist of the year – Ann Hazels

Innovator of the year – John Felts

Foodie of the year – Burn Hot Sauce

Athlete of the year – Mike Holt

Kat Factor Song

Kat Factor Song

Non-Profit of the year – Gravity Water

Under 18 person of the year – Kim Garcia

Wildcard – Ryan J Foley

Musician of the year – Jesse Daniel

James Durbin video

Give Back person of the year – Chip

TECHie of the year – Jeremy Almond

Mentor of the year – Rachel Mitchell

Green Business of the year – Upcycled Skate Art

Writer of the year – Santa Cruz Heritage Food Project

Innovative Business of the Year – Steeped Coffee

New Business of the year – YaDoggie

Entrepreneur of the year – Jennalee Dehlan from Yoso Wellness Spa, Dahlen’s work aims to treat her clients with a holistic, clinical approach to healthy skin and a healthy body based on healing treatment in a setting conducive to peace and relaxation.

Jesse Daniel, Henry Chadwick, and friends close out the night with three songs.

Honorees categories included:

Entrepreneur of the year – Jennalee Dehlan
Musician of the year – Jesse Daniel
Artist of the year – Ann Hazels
Writer of the year – Santa Cruz Heritage Food Project
Give Back person of the year – Chip
Foodie of the year – Burn Hot Sauce
New Business of the year – YaDoggie
Athlete of the year – Mike Holt
Under 18 person of the year – Kim Garcia
Non-Profit of the year – Gravity Water
Mentor of the year – Rachel Mitchell
Innovative Business of the Year – Steeped Coffee
Innovator of the year – John Felts
TECHie of the year – Jeremy Almond
Green Business of the year – Upcycled Skate Art
Wildcard – Ryan Foley

Don’t miss it! There’s still time to buy your ticket or show up at the door. If it’s anything like last year, it will be a grand evening.

I love my Santa Cruz.

Photos credit: Anne Howard – The Scope Weekly


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