The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards have recognized innovative business leaders in the country for more than 25 years.
This month 22 business leaders in western Pennsylvania will be honored as finalists, entrepreneurs who have excelled (or have helped companies to excel) in the areas of innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
The companies include a wide range of industries that are both high-growth and at least three-years-old.
This year's awards ceremony will honor Rich Lunak, CEO of Innovations Works, with a special "Supporter of Entrepreneurship" Entrepreneur of the Year award for his work in providing business expertise, seed capital and other resources to high potential, technology startups in the region.
The awards ceremony is held annually in June in more than 140 cities and 50 countries around the world. Winners on the regional level move on to the national level in Palm Springs, Calif., and lucky national finalists head to the international level held in Monaco.
Jim Mascaro of Pittsburgh-based Mascaro Construction was one of 10 recognized in the national level in 2004.
"In the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia program, our finalists represent over $350 million in revenues and have over 11,000 employees," says Kevin Pickels, program director for the western Pennsylvania and West Virginia region. "They are the drivers of the regional economy."
Under Rich’s leadership, IW has become the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in this region, and one of the most active in the country. It is only fitting that Rich be recognized for his entrepreneurial skills, Pickels adds.
This year's Pittsburgh finalists include an illustrious list of individuals from a wide range of sectors: Grant Oliphant, The Pittsburgh Foundation; Don E. Charlton, The Resumator; Rob Daley and Henry Thorne, 4moms; Jay F. Whitacre, Aquion Energy; Patrick Daly, Cohera Medical; Melvin E. Clark and H. Rochelle Stachel, HRV Conformance Verification Associates; Doug Engfer, invivodata; Dennis Oates, Universal Stainless & Alloy Products and Charles Sanders, Urban Lending Solutions.
Winners will be announced at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh Hotel on June 22nd. Tickets are available for $200 each.
Source: Kevin Pickels and Melissa Unger, E&Y