Murad Al-Katib of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. is Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2016 National award winner

Al-Katib will compete for the world title in Monaco next June

TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - Murad Al-Katib, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. (AGT Foods) (TSE: AGT) – one of the world's largest suppliers of pulses, or legume seeds, in the world – is this year's Canadian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

"Murad's entrepreneurial spirit has had an impact that stretches way beyond his company and his employees," says François Tellier, EY partner and National Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director. "His work has created a far-reaching ripple effect that has revived the pulse industry and made a big impact on Saskatchewan's economy at the same time. What Murad has been able to achieve in a relatively short time is nothing short of inspiring." 

The independent panel of judges was impressed with Murad's perseverance and passion for his business. AGT Foods started production in 2003, when Murad learned of how many pulses were grown in the province of Saskatchewan. Slowly, he expanded his business to the best pulse growing regions in the US, Turkey, Australia, China and South Africa. The company went public in 2007 and, because of the increased demand for the products, AGT Foods now ships to more than 120 countries around the world.

Since the company's inception, the idea of giving back to the communities where AGT Foods operates has been embedded in the company's DNA. AGT Foods continuously works to bring food to those who need it internationally and in Canada.

"We're honoured to award Murad the title of Canadian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016," says Tellier. "And we're excited to have him represent Canada in Monaco next June, alongside impressive entrepreneurs from around the world."

Murad accepted the award at a black-tie ceremony in Toronto last night. The event marked the culmination of five regional galas that drew more than 5,000 attendees nationwide. Regional winners Murad competed against are:

Atlantic: David Ford and Andrew Steeves of BioScript Pharmacy Ltd.
Quebec: Gilbert Rozon of Just for Laughs
Ontario: Steven K. Hudson of Element Financial Corporation (TSX: EFN) (TSX:ECN)
Pacific: Dr. Allen Eaves of STEMCELL Technologies Inc.

Across Canada, there were 201 finalists, 66 award winners, 3 Family Business of Excellence recipients, and 3 Social Entrepreneur Special Citation recipients. The 201 finalists employ more than 41,000 people in Canada and have combined revenues of over $16 billion.

Next up, Murad will compete with more than 50 other country winners for EY's World Entrepreneur Of The Year award in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on 8-12 June, 2016.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Special Citations awarded

The national judges awarded five entrepreneurs, who were regional category winners from across Canada, for their outstanding work with reference to specific attributes, including leadership, growth, disruption, and marketing excellence. The full list of special citation award recipients is below.

Entrepreneurial Winning Women

The gala also honoured the three Canadian women in the 2016 class of Entrepreneurial Winning Women, including:

The program acts as an accelerator to help successful women entrepreneurs gain knowhow, mentorship and resources to grow their business, access capital, and develop the networks necessary to become a formidable force in their industries.

More information

Follow @EYCanada and #EOYNational on Twitter for the latest event updates. Visit ey.com/ca/eoy for more program details and a complete list of finalists and winners. 

The nominations for next year's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program are open now. To find out more, visit ey.com/ca/eoy

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 national special citation award recipients:

Quebec

David Cape
Groupe Marcelle | Special citation for Multi-generational Leadership
www.groupemarcelle.com
@MarcelleTweete
A Canadian leader in the research, development, production and marketing of cosmetic and skincare products.

Sébastien Moreau
Rodeo FX | Special citation for Global Industry Leadership
www.rodeofx.com
@FXRodeo
Provides award-winning, world-class visual effects services to clients in cinema, television and advertising.

Ontario

Carinne Chambers
Diva International Inc. | Special citation for Industry Disruptor
www.divacup.com
@TheDivaCup
Designs and manufactures The DivaCup, a renowned healthy, sustainable feminine hygiene product.

Prairies

Dan Sly
Right Choice Camps & Catering Ltd.| Special citation for Growth Leader
www.rightchoicecamps.ca
Right Choice Camps & Catering Ltd. offers turnkey remote modular workforce accommodations including catering and housekeeping to the resource and remote industries within Western Canada.

Pacific

Elana Rosenfeld
Kicking Horse Coffee | Special citation for Marketing and Branding Excellence
www.kickinghorsecoffee.com
@KckngHrseCoffee
Organic fair trade coffee roaster, offering the best coffees from exotic destinations around the world, roasted in the freshest air with precision equipment.

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, EY 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 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

The 2016 national independent judging panel consists of Ben Cowan-Dewar, Managing Director, Cabot Links Venture Inc. and Entrepreneur Of The Year Hospitality and Tourism 2014, Atlantic region; Anne Darche, President, Pertinence Inc.; Michael Donovan, Executive Chairman, DHX Media and Entrepreneur Of The Year Canada 2015; Jon Hantho, Principal, Janus Advisory Services, Entrepreneur Of The Year Services 2012, Ontario region, National Entrepreneur Of The Year Entrepreneurial Leadership Special Citation; Linda Hasenfratz, Chief Executive Officer, Linamar Corporation, Entrepreneur Of The Year Canada 2014; Ashif Mawji, President, Trust Science and Entrepreneur Of The Year Young Entrepreneur 2002, Prairies region; Lisa Shields, Founder and CEO FI.SPAN, and Entrepreneur Of The Year Innovative Technology 2015, Pacific Region; and Geoff Smith, Chief Executive Officer, EllisDon Corporation and Entrepreneur Of The Year Canada 2013.

This year's program national sponsors are TEC Canada, La Presse, RDI, The TMX Group, The Globe and Mail Inc., Merrill Corporation, Kira Talent, Air Canada, The Printing House Limited and BNN.

About EY World Entrepreneur Of The YearTM
EY World 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 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. For more than 150 years in Canada, we've delivered the insights and quality services that help build trust and confidence in capital markets here 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.

For more information about the program, FAQs and key dates, please visit ey.com/ca/EOY.
Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada, #EOY

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: about this press release, gala information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Sasha Anopina, sasha.anopina@ca.ey.com, 416 943 2637; Julie Fournier, julie.fournier@ca.ey.com, 514 874 4308; Leigh Kjekstad, leigh.kjekstad@ca.ey.com, 604 648 3807

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