Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: B.C.’s winners

The annual Ernst & Young list of B.C.'s brightest business visionaries finds a fresh crop of leaders building empires in everything from renewable energy to venture capital to social enterprise

Credit: All photography by Adam Blasberg

British Columbia is home to a wealth of business talent, but the leaders and innovators you’re about to meet belong to a select group. For the 24th year, BCBusiness joins forces with Ernst & Young (EY) to celebrate the province’s top entrepreneurs. The Pacific Region judges for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program have chosen the best and brightest from a wide variety of industries. We’re pleased to honour 38 exceptional women and men, among them the winners in nine categories, the overall Pacific Region winner and the recipients of a special citation for social entrepreneurship.



Rob McCurdy (Pacific Region Overall Winner)
CEO, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.

Zak El-Ramly
President and CEO, ZE PowerGroup Inc.

Jamil Murji
President and CEO, Inter-Urban Delivery Service




Aamir Baig + Fraser Hall + Andy Prochazka + Sam Prochazka
Co-founder/Director/CEO + Co-Founder/Director + Co-Founder + Co-Founder/Director, Article.com

Brian Paes-Braga
CEO, Lithium X Energy Corp.

Matt Leslie + Kevin Pederson + Mitch Evanecz
Co-Founder + Co-Founder + Director of Operations, West Coast Canning



Janet LePage
CEO, Western Wealth Capital XVI LP

Garett Wall
President and CEO, Centra Construction Group Ltd.

Jonathan Friesen
CEO, Mission Group Enterprises Ltd.





Gary Shokar
President, AvenEx Coating Technologies Inc.

Ankit Sharma
CEO, Kitply Industries

Stephen Lawson
President, Tag Hardware Systems Ltd.



Scott Phillips
President and CEO, StarFish medical

Michael Plotnikoff + Michael Priest
CEO + Chief commercial officer, Lite Access Technologies Inc.

Ryan Peterson + Trent Shumay
CEO + President and CTO, Finger Food Studios



Jack Newton
CEO, Clio

Morgan Carey
CEO, Real Estate Webmasters/Carey Group of Companies

Rick Perreault
CEO and Co-Founder, Unbounce



Nolan Watson
President and CEO, Sandstorm Gold Ltd.

Manny Padda
Managing Partner, New Avenue Capital

Catherine Dorazio + Jeff Guise + Corey MacEachern
Managing Director, Business Development + Managing Director, Chief Investment
Officer + Managing Director, Business Management and Operations, Connor, Clark & Lunn Private Capital Ltd.



Hamed Shahbazi
CEO, Tio Networks Corp.

Dave Feller
Founder and CEO, Mogo Finance Technology Inc.

Michael Wendland
President and Founder, Refresh Financial Inc.



William Lamb
President and CEO, Lucara Diamond Corp.

Steve de Jong
CEO, President and Director, Integra Gold Corp.

Leigh Curyer
President and CEO, NexGen Energy Ltd.



Madeleine Shaw + Suzanne Siemens  
Creative Director +CEO, Lunapads International Products Ltd.


How the Winners Were Chosen

The EY Entrepreneur of the Year is an annual global awards program administered by Ernst & Young (EY). Canada’s Pacific Region competition is overseen by the Ernst & Young LLP Vancouver office, which selects judges from among business leaders and past EOY winners. Judges look for a number of factors, including vision, leadership, financial performance and social responsibility. The Pacific Region winner is among five regional winners for Canada’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year; the Canadian winner advances to an annual competition for World Entrepreneur of the Year from among 60 country winners, held each year in Monte Carlo. Details of the nomination process and judging criteria are available online.
Nominations are accepted year-round.