This group of outstanding entrepreneurs was selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous winners of the award, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders. The winners will be revealed at a gala event on June 23, 2011 at The InterContinental Hotel Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia.
“These finalists create jobs in our area, encouraging community development and innovation in our broader economy,” says Joseph King, Entrepreneur Of The Year Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee Program Director. “No matter who wins on June 23 we know one thing for sure – Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee is enriched by every one of these finalists.”
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee finalists are:
• John Baumstark, Founding Chairman and CEO, Suniva, Inc.
• Samuel Beall, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Ruby Tuesday Inc.
• Michael Cote, Chairman and CEO, SecureWorks
• William Grana, CEO and President, PureSafety
• Nancy Juneau, CEO, Juneau Construction Company
• Dr. Keith Kantor, CEO, Service Foods, Inc.
• Jo Kirchner, President and CEO, Primrose School Franchising Company
• John Monin, CEO, Vendormate, Inc.
• John Morgan, Chairman, President and CEO, Zep, Inc.
• David Murphy, President and CEO, Better World Books
• Donald Nickleson, CEO, Comprehensive Pharmacy Services
• Dr. Jay Yadav, Founder and CEO, CardioMEMS, Inc.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Program honors entrepreneurs regionally in June, leading up to the national awards in November. Additionally, venture-backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year Award regionally are also eligible for the Entrepreneur Of The Year Venture Capital Award of Excellence on a national level. The overall National US winner then moves on to compete for the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in June.
This year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program celebrates its 25th anniversary. The program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 140 cities and more than 50 countries throughout the world. Awards are given to entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
All regional honorees are invited to the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala, hosted by Jay Leno, on November 12, 2011, in Palm Springs, California. The gala is the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies, which will be held November 9–13, 2011.
Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as a national sponsor.
In Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee sponsors include King & Spalding, SAP, RR Donnelly, IndUs Entrepreneurs (TiE) and SolomonEdwards .
About Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in more than 50 countries.
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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a US client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.