In today’s competitive online landscape, customers demand innovation, creativity and remarkable experiences beyond the scope of traditional marketing tactics that may have worked in the past. Every day, entrepreneurs and small business owners are finding innovative and unconventional ways to meet the needs of their market.

In this year’s Modern ONTRApreneur Awards, we found five entrepreneurs who have taken this spirit of innovation to the next level.

People can say that they’re an entrepreneur, but to be a truly successful Modern ONTRApreneur you have to be dedicated, passionate, driven and willing to grind harder than anyone else.

We searched worldwide to find five businesses owners who excel in one or all of the main pillars of entrepreneurship: Publishing, Marketing, Selling and Organization. This year’s Modern ONTRApreneur Awards finalists are coming from all over the globe to share their entrepreneurial journeys and accept their awards onstage at ONTRApalooza 2016 : THE Modern Marketing Summit.

Check out our Finalists (in no particular order):

Rob Malicki, Founder, The Global Society

The Global Society provides engaging resources and connections for people who have either previously embarked on overseas study or are current international university students. Founder Rob Malicki was inspired to create a network of like-minded students and professionals, and has expanded The Global Society through partnerships with 10 Universities. Rob brought together a community of thousands of members who are about to study internationally and works with multiple partners and organizations to provide his members with a wide range of travel benefits and resources.

Cecilia & Jason Hilkey, co-Founders, Happily Family

After having two beautiful children, Cecilia and Jason Hilkey were in love with parenting, but they also realized how overwhelming and challenging parenting could be. They were balancing two successful careers, two children, and a marriage while simultaneously trying to absorb as much research and parenting information as they could. After leaving their careers to start teaching full time at their children’s school, they discovered that their feelings of “parenting overwhelm” were not just unique to them. Cecilia and Jason launched their parent education website, Happily Family, to help serve a larger community of parents. The two-parent team has a mission to teach parents how to connect with their children, meet their emotional needs and create a lasting partnership.

James Taylor, CEO,

For the first 10 years of James Taylor’s job as a manager and marketer to multiple Grammy award winning artists, it was his responsibility to help make other people famous. Then he realized that rather than helping the rich get richer, his passions lay in helping the public develop and market their own creative ideas. is dedicated to helping people and organizations become more creative through his courses, worldwide retreats, memberhsip sites and coaching programs. He has launched over 25 online subscription-based music schools and produces exclusive four-day retreats throughout the globe, the last of which sold out in 45 seconds.

Kristen Noel, Editor-In-Chief, Best Self Magazine

Kristen Noel thought that she had a perfect life, until a series of life-altering events showed her that she had not been living anywhere near her “best self.” Through her own journey of healing and self-exploration, she realized a desire to help others pick themselves up and reclaim their vibrancy no matter what they had experienced. Best Self Magazine showcases and celebrates the powerful work of voices in the realm of self-empowerment and personal development. The magazine is a subscription-based, digital publication created for iPad and mobile devices and has expanded from these platforms to include newsletters and affiliate partnerships. Best Self Magazine envisions becoming a leading global resource for self-empowerment.  

Amy Isabella Chalker, Owner, Isabella Gourmet Foods

Isabella Gourmet Foods is an artisan grocery store that promotes regionally grown and produced small-batch food products from the California coast. As a Registered Dietician and Licensed Massage Therapist, Amy Isabella Chalker wants to help her community understand how eating and shopping locally can not only improve an individual’s overall health and well-being, but it can also help improve local economies. Isabella Gourmet Foods has been named among Expedia’s “Best Places in Santa Barbara to Visit for Summer Solstice” and strives to give a home to vendors who rely on the store to gain footing in their fields.


About Tatiana Doscher
Campaign Strategist Tatiana Doscher is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a dual B.A. in Communication and Global Studies. After working with several small and local businesses, Tatiana joined Ontraport’s Marketing team. She loves running, hiking and enjoying Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches.