Murad Al-Katib of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Prairies 2016

Annual awards gala celebrates outstanding local entrepreneurs

CALGARY, Oct. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Murad Al-Katib, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., one of the world's largest suppliers of pulses, or legume seeds, in the world is this year's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies winner.

"Many Canadians are surprised to hear that this country is such a huge exporter of lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas," says Rob Jolley, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Director. "Well we are – and much of that business comes from AGT Food and Ingredients. AGT now handles about a quarter of the global supply of pulses -- growing many of their crops right in Saskatchewan."

AGT Food and Ingredients started production in 2003 when Al-Katib learned of how many pulses were grown in the province of Saskatchewan. Slowly, he expanded his businesses 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.

"Al-Katib's realization of how well lentils grow in Saskatchewan was well-timed with changes in the agriculture industry," says Jolley. "Many producers now use pulse crops to diversify crop rotations and increase the quality of soil. He had the business savvy, experience in the market and impeccable timing. That winning combination has made him an incredibly successful entrepreneur."

Based in Regina, AGT Food and Ingredients has been growing sustainably by about $300 million each year for the past five years. The company employs 2,000 full-time staff and have expanded into other food products, including pet food.

Special awards

The 13 October gala also honoured Robyn Henderson, CEO and Founder of The Uncomplicated Family, with the EY Special Citation Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Wheaton family of Edmonton with the EY Family Business Award of Excellence.

What's next?

As the Prairies region's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016, Al-Katib will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Pacific, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic regions for the national honour of Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016, to be presented at a gala celebration on 22 November 2016 in Toronto. In June 2017, Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 50 country recipients for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.

More information
Follow @EYCanada, #EOY and #EOYPrairies on Twitter for the latest event updates

Visit ey.com/ca/eoy for more program details and a complete list of category finalists and gala dates in the regions. 

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies 2016 category award recipients:

Automotive and Transportation

Vaughn Wyant
Wyant Group | Saskatoon
www.wyantgroup.com
Wyant Group represents a wide range of the world's foremost automotive brands at dealerships across Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Business-to-business products and services

Murad Al-Katib
AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. (TSX: AGT) | Regina
www.agtfoods.com 
AGT is a supplier of pulses, staple foods and food ingredients from the best pulse growing regions in Canada, the United States, Turkey, Australia, China and South Africa, shipping products to over 120 countries around the world.

Business-to-consumer products and services

Henri Rodier
Coventry Homes | Edmonton
www.coventry-homes.com
Coventry Homes builds single-family and multi-family homes in the Edmonton area with a commitment to quality craftsmanship and customer service.

Cleantech and Environmental

Daniel Bulat, Ted Hart and Terence Trefiak
Envirotech, Envirosoft, and TARGET Emission Services Inc. | Calgary
www.envirotecheng.com, www.envirosoft.com, www.targetemission.com
The Group of Companies specialize in providing web-based emissions management software, fugitive emissions detection services and environmental consulting expertise to a broad range of sectors, with particular focus on the Oil & Gas and Petrochemical industries.

Emerging Entrepreneur

Dan Sly
Right Choice Camps & Catering Ltd.| Edmonton
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.

Energy

Mike Miller
Tundra Process Solutions Ltd. | Calgary
www.tundrasolutions.ca
Tundra provides a variety of solutions for industrial, light industrial and commercial process applications in the oil & gas industry by supplying the equipment, full facility and in house custom solutions to any application.

Health and Wellness

Louis Stack
Fitter International Inc. (Fitterfirst) | Calgary
www.fitter1.com
Fitter International Inc. designs, manufactures and distributes products that help people from elite athletes to seniors to children, encouraging them to stay mobile, healthy and active at work and play. Products include everything from home gym equipment to products as a solution to the sedentary work day.

Manufacturing

Kristi Cawthorn
Startec Compression & Process Ltd. | Calgary
www.startec.ca
Startec designs, builds and maintains the mission critical compression and refrigeration systems that drive production for industrial and recreational refrigeration in the oil and gas industry.

Real Estate and Construction

Paul Douglas
PCL Construction | Edmonton
www.pcl.com
PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and in Australia that has diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets.

Technology and Communications

James Giesbrecht, Rick Kuffel, Trevor Maguire and Rudi Wierckx
RTDS Technologies Inc. | Winnipeg
www.rtds.com
RTDS Technologies Inc. provides Real Time Digital Simulators (RTDS®) and simulation services, a specialized computer hardware and software to the electrical power industry.

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 60 countries.

The 2016 Prairies independent judging panel consists of Anita Wortzman, CEO, Acumen Corporate Development Inc.; Ashif Mawji, President and CEO, Trust Science; Prabha Mitchell, CEO, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.; Roy Ben-Dor, Principal, Warburg Pincus; Steve King, President and CEO, Alaris Royalty Corp.; Allison Grafton, President, Rockwood Custom Homes Inc.; and Dale Wishewan, President and CEO, Booster Juice.

EY is a proud sponsor of Next Canada.

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 and The Printing House Limited. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies program is a proud supporter of Zone Startups Calgary.

About EY's Growth Markets Network
EY's worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we've helped many of the world's most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early-stage venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed.

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

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