‘I will remain unstoppable’: Switchpoint executive director tapped as Utah social entrepreneur of the year

ST. GEORGE — Carol Hollowell, the executive director of the nonprofit Switchpoint Community Resource Center in St. George, has been named one of EY’s 2020 Entrepreneurs of the Year for the Utah Region.

Carol Hollowell EY 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year Utah Region Award Winner. | Photo courtesy of the Switchpoint Community Resource Center, St. George News

EY, a London-based multinational professional services network, announced the winners of its 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year award last Tuesday. Hollowell was one of 23 nominees for the award in the Utah Region announced in July.

“The award recognizes those entrepreneurial leaders who are excelling in overcoming adversity; financial performance; societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company; innovation; and talent management,” a press release from Switchpoint stated, adding that the EY award program is “widely considered one of the most prestigious business awards programs in the U.S.”

The nominees for the award were spread across various subcategories, with Hollowell taking the 2020 award for “social entrepreneur,” which focused on what the nominees had done to change lives and the impact they in the community.

“I really think Switchpoint has done that,” Hollowell previously told St. George News.

The award was announced through the program’s virtual awards gala, hosted by Deborah Norville, anchor of Inside Edition, on Tuesday, according to the press release.

“I am extremely honored to be included among the outstanding innovative entrepreneurs in the Utah Region,” Hollowell said in the press release. “It is gratifying to see those serving homeless and disadvantaged populations being recognized and valued. Humanity is where it is at for me and I will remain unstoppable in those endeavors.”

Carol Hollowell celebrates winning EY’s 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Utah Region in the social impact category at Zion Brewery’s Fire Station 2, St. George, Utah, Oct. 6, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Switchpoint Community Resource Center, St. George News

Hollowell, friends and members of the Switchpoint staff met at Zion Brewery’s Fire Station 2 in St. George to watch the virtual gala where Hollowell’s name announced as one of the winners.

“People are noticing that humanity is the way to go,” Hollowell said when asked what the award meant to her. “So it’s not always about money. It’s about: ‘who do we help?’ and ‘how do we do it?’”

Hollowell’s response was shared in a video posted to Facebook that was taken just after it was announced she has won in the social entrepreneur subcategory.

While what Switchpoint did wasn’t about money, always having more money to fund the community resource center’s services helped too.

“We are so happy and proud of our CEO,” David Dangerfield, chairman of Switchpoint’s board of directors, said in the video.

Switchpoint was started in fall 2014 by Hollowell and two other women with the support of the city of St George. Its goal has been to better serve those experiencing homelessness while also helping them find ways to become self-sufficient.

Since its opening, Switchpoint has grown to include a 24/7 shelter with case management and 84 beds, a food pantry, soup kitchen, transitional housing, recovery treatment center and clinical mental health therapy services.

Macro-enterprises, such as a thrift store, dog and cat daycare facility and more recently a small engine repair shop, were added to bring in revenue to support Switchpoint’s operations and provide job shadowing and training for clients.

The Switchpoint Community Resource Center, St. George, Utah, Sept. 27, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Switchpoint will be launching another business venture soon with the groundbreaking of a 24-hour child daycare facility in St. George set for next Wednesday.

Like other nonprofits and organizations that rely on donations and volunteers to help serve those in-need, Switchpoint has seen a dip in both due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers in particular, have dropped by 90% due to virus worries.

Measures have been taken to protect volunteers, residents and staff against the spread of the virus, Morgan Barrick, Switchpoint’s volunteer manager, previously told St. George News, and encourages volunteers to come back and keep helping the community through Switchpoint’s efforts.

Now in its 34th year, EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards in November.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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