Ernst & Young honours Pacific finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012

Awards shine the spotlight on Canadian entrepreneurs' ability to create sustainable growth - and jobs

VANCOUVER, July 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Ernst & Young is proud to announce the finalists in this year's Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Awards and once again shine the spotlight on game-changing entrepreneurs who continue to drive sustainable growth and job creation across the country.

"This year's Pacific Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists are true leaders in their fields and champions in their communities," says Ron Voyer, Pacific Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. "At Ernst & Young we're proud to recognize the contributions of these business leaders in Canada and around the world."

According to the recent Ernst & Young report, Global job hot spots: help wanted, entrepreneurs expanded jobs in Canada — and globally — by 16% in 2011 and still show signs of growth.

"Not only are entrepreneurs an engine of job creation, our survey results reveal that the majority of these business leaders also actively support community services, and 25% have created or funded an educational program," says Voyer. "And what's really impressive is how we're seeing more and more new and up-and-coming players enter the market and make these contributions."

These statistics combined are proof points that show how important it is for all stakeholders to support entrepreneurship in Canada and abroad.

"It's time to step up to the plate and do our part in helping to create a thriving — and sustainable — entrepreneurial environment," says Voyer. "Because when we put the pieces in place for our entrepreneurs to flourish, Canada reaps the benefits."

Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates the contribution and spirit of entrepreneurs everywhere. The Canadian program is in its 19th year of honouring the country's most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award finalists are chosen based on their vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility.

The Pacific winners will be announced at a banquet on October 4, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national gala held in Toronto on January 16, 2013.

For more information on Global job hot spots: help wanted, click here.

The 2012 Pacific finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:

Business-to-business products and services

Randol Bartsch
Ecotex Healthcare Linen Services
Provides laundry and linen management services to hospitals, ambulatory care centres and medical facilities

Ashley Cooper
Paladin Security Group Ltd.
A leading security company, with services and superior expertise that span all types of protection

Carl Ward
Ward's Hydraulic Services Ltd.
Installs and maintains fire suppression systems and provides repairs for hydraulics systems for mobile heavy equipment, improving safety and minimizing downtime for oilsands, mining and forestry operators

Business-to-consumer products and services

Bob Rennie
Rennie Marketing Systems
A leading condominium sales and marketing force in North America

Devina Zalesky
AllWest Insurance Services Ltd.
Provides coverage to clients for all of their insurance needs, focusing not only on auto insurance but also on home, business, life and travel needs

Sylvie Rochette
Victorian Epicure Inc.
Designs, develops, manufactures and sells premium spice blends, spices, food products and cookware employing a direct sales model, with consultants throughout Canada

Emerging entrepreneur

Greg Blake, Andre Kroecher
Daiya Foods Inc.
Manufactures, markets and distributes non-dairy, allergen-free cheese alternatives

Heikal Gani, Kyle Vucko
Indochino Apparel Inc.
A leader in customer online menswear

Amir Adnani
Uranium Energy Corp.
A uranium production, development and exploration company operating North America's newest emerging uranium mine

Information technology

Kenshi Arasaki, Wilkins Chung, Eric Diep
A Thinking Ape Technologies
A technology startup focused on changing the way people socialize and play on mobile

Donovan Jones
CounterPath Corporation
Builds softphone solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and OEMs to integrate voice, video, presence and IM into their VoIP offerings and extend functionality across fixed and mobile networks

Syed Hasan
ResponseTek Networks Corp.
A leader in enterprise customer experience management software solutions delivering a unified view of the customer across multiple channels


Richard Eppich
Ebco Group of Companies
Provides manufacturing, fabrication and precision sheet metal services

Brian Mullins, Corin Mullins
HapiFoods Group Inc.
Creates gluten-free, vegan, certified organic breakfast cereals

John Bacher, Steven Gula, Paul Jean
NII Northern International Inc.
Designs and manufactures patented flameless candles and decorative garden lighting

Media and entertainment

Sean Heather
Heather Hospitality Group
Operates nine of Vancouver's most unique restaurants and cafes in the downtown eastside

Ryan Holmes
HootSuite Media, Inc.
Helps teams engage with audiences and analyze campaigns across multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages from one secure web-based dashboard

Greg Holmes
Image Engine Design Inc.
Provides a full suite of value-added visual effects solutions to filmmakers and other digital entertainment providers

Mining and metals

Clynton Nauman
Alexco Resource Corp.
Owns and operates Canada's only operating primary silver mine

Darren Pylot
Capstone Mining Corp.
A base metals mining company with two producing copper mines

Frederick Davidson
Energold Drilling Corp.
The largest frontier specialty contract commodity drilling company in the world operating across metals, energy and manufacturing

Real estate/construction

Ted Pickell
Arctic Construction Ltd.
Provides a full range of services to the oil and gas industry, from resource site development and civil construction, to mine and energy facility commissioning and land reclamation

Philip Langridge
Churchill International Property Corporation
Owns, operates, develops and sells real estate investments

Robert Lashin
Houle Electric Limited
Provides electrical contracting services

Special citation — Social entrepreneur

This special citation is a unique category among the awards. It's given in recognition of an entrepreneur whose achievements have driven large-scale social change and improved people's lives or quality of life.

Michael Fergusson
Ayogo Games Inc.
Creates games that nurture human connection, motivate, educate, and promote health and wellness

About Entrepreneur of The Year
Entrepreneur Of The Year honours the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The 2012 Pacific judging panel consisted of Peter Barnes, Founding Shareholder, DeepGreen Resources; Ryan Beedie, President, The Beedie Group; Jim Case, CEO, Travelers Financial Group; Wanda Costuros, Corporate Director; Amar Doman, Chairman and CEO, CanWel Building Materials; Mary Jordan, Corporate Director and Chair, Vancouver Airport Authority; Catherine Osler, President, TEC Canada; Chad Wasilenkoff, CEO, Fortress Paper.

For more information on the program, FAQs, and key dates, please visit

Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada: #EOYCanada, #EOYPacific.

This year's national program sponsors are National Post, La Presse and RDI.

About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Services Practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Entrepreneurial Services Practice guides Canadian entrepreneurs by delivering integrated services tailored to their goals and needs at every stage of the business lifecycle. We are the world's leader in advising, guiding and recognizing the entrepreneurs who propel the economy - and community - forward.

For more information, please visit

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of 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 further information:

Sarah Shields
604 648 3607

Julie Fournier 
514 874 4308

Jennifer Nascimben
416 943 2487

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