EY Begins Its 2014 Search for Florida's Most Innovative Entrepreneurs

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ernst & Young LLP is calling for nominations for the 28th Annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Yearawards, recognized as one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country. There is a firm deadline of Friday, March 14, 2014 for completed applications, with the Florida Awards ceremony scheduled for Thursday, June 12, 2014 at the Hilton Orlando.

"Entrepreneurs continue to be a driving force in leading the economic recovery. Their ability to see around corners and find new, better ways of doing things makes them an engine of growth," said Greg Rosica, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Florida program partner. "The search is on for new award recipients to build on the momentum from our 28-year history celebrating entrepreneurship."

Awards criteria

Nominees should have a history of creating a successful business that demonstrates vision, leadership, strength of character and social responsibility. Award recipients are selected in a number of industry categories by a panel of independent regional judges, including previous winners of the award, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders. Entrepreneurs may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers or other business leaders.

To qualify, an entrepreneur must be the founder or an executive who organizes, manages and assumes the risk of a business early in its life cycle or during its growth. Self-nominations are encouraged, and there is no fee. The deadline for 2014 applications is Friday, March 14. Entrepreneurs eligible for consideration include not only company founders, but also leaders of multi-generation family businesses and transformational public and private company CEOs. Additionally, the nominee's company must have been in business at least two years. Information is available at www.ey.com/us/eoy. For information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Florida please visit www.ey.com/us/florida_eoy. To nominate a candidate, please visit the secure application site: https://EOY-Nomination.ey.com.

2013 Florida award recipients

Each year, EY showcases successful entrepreneurs from more than 150 cities in 60 countries. In 2013, nine entrepreneurs leading companies from Florida were selected as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award recipients. These are:

Central Florida:

  • Health Care category – Mark Montgomery, president and chief executive officer, Axium Healthcare Pharmacy, Inc., Lake Mary

South Florida:

  • Emerging category – Naomi Whittel, chief executive officer and founder, Reserveage Organics, Boca Raton
  • Hospitality category – John Kunkel, chief executive officer and founder, 50 Eggs, Inc., Miami
  • Services category – Philip Anson, Jr., chief executive officer, STS Holdings., Inc., Jensen Beach

West Central Florida:

  • Distribution and Manufacturing category- R. Charles Murray, chief executive officer, PPi Technologies Group/Redi-2-DrinQ Group, Sarasota
  • Family Business category – Wayne Johnson, chief executive officer, Accuform Manufacturing, Inc., Brooksville
  • Financial Services category – Trevor Burgess, chief executive officer, C1 Bank, Saint Petersburg
  • Retail and Consumer Products category – Norbert P. Donelly, chairman, Tervis, North Venice
  • Technology category – Dan Doyle, Jr., president and chief executive officer, DEX Imaging, Tampa

A look at some of these companies, and more than 650 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 finalists, reveals how they are surpassing benchmarks for high impact entrepreneurship by a large margin. They particularly excel in the areas of revenue growth, with median sales growth of more than 30 percent per year in each of the last two years, and growth in average headcount of more than 30 percent over the same period.

2014 awards schedule

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Program honors entrepreneurs regionally in June. All regional honorees are then invited to the national Entrepreneur Of The Year gala, hosted by Jay Leno, on Nov.15, 2014 in Palm Springs, Calif. The gala is the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. For more information on the EY Strategic Growth Forum, please visit www.ey.com/us/sgf.

The overall U.S. winner will compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year title in Monaco in June 2015.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP Americas and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Florida platinum sponsors are Fifth Third Bank, Holland & Knight, Tribridge and Vaco; silver sponsors RFB Communications Group and Scherzer International and media sponsor Smart Business Network.

Contact information

For more information and nomination forms, contact Beverly Eha, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program manager, at beverly.eha@ey.com.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year

EY 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 150 cities in more than 60 countries.

About EY's Strategic Growth Markets practice

EY's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practices guide leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACT: Suzie Boland RFB Communications Group 813-259-0345 sboland@rfbcommunications.comSource:Ernst & Young LLP