IRVINE, Calif., June 7, 2011 – Susan Johnson, founder and CEO of three thriving Orange County companies, received the 2011 California Small Business Association Award for the 70th Assembly District on June 6 at the 2011 California Small Business Day Awards in Sacramento. California State Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner (R-Irvine) selected Johnson.
California Small Business Day, first established in 2000, brings together senators and assembly members to honor the contributions of small business owners. Held this year at the Sacramento Convention Center, the gathering celebrated exemplary small business practices and provided recognition to entrepreneurs for outstanding contributions to California and their local communities.
“This recognition is truly an honor – for myself, as well as for our three companies,” said Johnson, a Newport Beach resident. “I appreciate Assemblyman Wagner’s recognition and also am very pleased to see the state legislature spotlight the important work small businesses are doing, as they represent the true business engine of California.”
Johnson founded her flagship company Susan’s Healthy Gourmet in 1996, acquired and grew LifeSpring Nutrition in 2003, and co-founded Xan Confections in 2009. All three companies enjoy economies of scale through common management, shared staffing and utilization of the commercial kitchen facility at the Irvine headquarters.
- Susan’s Healthy Gourmet has become well known for producing and delivering fresh, nutritious, calorie- and portion-controlled meals to homes and offices throughout Southern California;
- LifeSpring Nutrition, which focuses on frozen healthful meals for seniors and is broadening its market to younger audiences as well, was listed on Orange County Business Journal’s Fastest-Growing Companies list in 2009 and 2010;
- Xan Confections, with hand-crafted artisan chocolates that “tempt the tastebuds and satisfy the soul,” is known for its lifestyle chocolate collections that allow all chocolate lovers to indulge, including those on gluten-free and vegan diets.
Johnson’s recognition in Sacramento stems from her business acumen in simultaneously running three successful companies, her generous mentoring of emerging women business owners over many years and her extensive philanthropic and community involvement in Orange County.