Entrepreneur of the Year 2005

It’s one thing to conjure up a cool business concept. It’s another to convince investors, customers, employees and suppliers to back your plan, and then to execute it year after year with increasingly impressive results. The people you’ll read about on the following pages have not only done that, they’ve subjected their efforts to the scrutiny of a top accounting firm and a panel stocked with academic, legal and entrepreneurial all-stars. The winners and finalists in Ernst & Young’s program represent the best performers across the most critical sectors of our economy. Here are their stories … The small print The Entrepreneur of the Year program, sponsored by Ernst & Young, has been saluting entrepreneurs since its ­inception 12 years ago, in the fall of 1993. Pacific Canada, which includes B.C., Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, is one of five regions to participate in the cross-Canada event. Others ­include: the Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba); Ontario; Quebec; and Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland). Ernst & Young starts soliciting nominations each March. Entrepreneurs or their colleagues are invited to submit detailed information (including financial, for Ernst & Young’s eyes only) about themselves and their companies to eoy.ca. To be eligible, candidates must be owners/founders who are primarily responsible for the recent performance of a company, which is at least two years old or, if the company is publicly held, be active members of senior management. Nominations close in May, at which time the judges (see “How They Won,” p. 75) begin their work vetting the nominees and establishing the pertinent categories (technology, manufacturing, etc.) for that year. Once the judges have made their ­decisions, the finalists are ­notified by Ernst & Young in early July that they have made the cut. Out of the finalists, one will have been selected by the judges in each ­category as the Entrepreneur of the Year. And of those, one will be named Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year and will represent the Pacific region in the competition between the five ­regions for Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Related stories: Entrepreneur of the year 2005 - Natural resources Entrepreneur of the year 2005 - Health sciences Entrepreneur of the year 2005 - Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the year 2005 - Business-to-consumer products and services Entrepreneur of the year 2005 - Information technology Entrepreneur of the year 2005 - Business-to-business products and services Entrepreneur of the year 2005 - Emerging entrepreneur