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

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

MONTRÉAL, 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.

"It's important to highlight all the potential our entrepreneurs harness and share with our markets and communities," explains Francois Dufresne, Partner at Ernst & Young and Québec Director of Entrepreneur of the Year. "Rewarding successful entrepreneurs means recognizing not only their contribution to the economy, but the well-being of our society as well."

According to the recent Ernst & Young report, Global job hot spots: help wanted, entrepreneurs expanded jobs in Canada — and globally — by 16% in 2011. As well, 57% actively support community services and 25% have created or funded educational programs.

Dufresne believes these statistics are proof points that show how important it is for all stakeholders to support entrepreneurship. "Shining the spotlight on entrepreneurs is one way we can help do that — but in and of itself, it's not enough. Helping entrepreneurs get the support they need is critical to their success and the viability of a true entrepreneurial culture," says Dufresne.

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 Québec winners will be announced at a banquet on 25 October, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national gala in Toronto on 16 January, 2013.

The 2012 Québec finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:

Business-to-business products and services

Georges Karam
Atelka inc.
Headquartered in Montréal, managing client contact centres founded in 2003 and specializing in technical solutions for call centres as well as technical and billing support

Matthieu Laroche and Jonathan Quevillon
Cartouches certifiées
Specializing in printing products sales, this company offers a full range of high-quality ink cartridges, from original to reused products

Pierre Monet
Malaga inc.
Canadian firm that is one of the few producers of tungsten ore in the Americas owning one of the world's rare tungsten mines in operation: Peru's Pasto Bueno mine

Frédéric Mimeault
Promotions Universelles Inc.
Manufacturer and distributor of promotional products and corporate apparel, this company reinvents the promotional product market through various services under the same roof, in Boucherville

Business-to-consumer products and services

Guy Bessette and Manon Duplantie
Fix Auto
National automobile body shop franchiser specializing in post-collision serving predominantly the insurance industry and consisting of 313 body shops all maintaining the same standards of quality, ethics and performance

Philip Allen Issenman
I-D Foods Corporation
For more than 63 years, national distributor of imported and specialty food products representing over 65 major suppliers servicing over 1,500 skus across over 10,000 retail outlets

Jonathan Poulin
Luxury Retreats Inc.
World leader in luxury villa rentals, marketing over 1,800 villas in 55 regions through several popular websites, including

Technology and communications

Sanjay Bakshani and Vicken Kanadjian
Cesium Telecom, Inc.
One of North America's leading distributors of wireless products, introducing the latest technology from the world's top manufacturers

Frédéric Boulanger
Macadamian Technologies Inc.
Global UI design and software innovation studio providing a complete range of product strategy, user experience design and software engineering services

Alain-Jacques Simard
Designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art optical components and modules for high-speed fiber-optic transmission networks, fiber lasers and optical sensing applications


Sylvain Boucher
Designer and manufacturer of intelligent specialty orthotics for the muskoskeletal system. This business also developed Québec's largest network of orthotists: La Clinique du Pied Équilibre and Orthoconcept.

Michel Gendreau
Garaga inc.
Leader in the garage door manufacturing sector in Canada and the seventh largest manufacturer in North America, Garaga also manufactures hardware systems adapted to its doors and distributes door openers.

Roger Richmond-Smith
Smardt Chiller Group Inc
Manufacturer of revolutionary high-efficiency oil-free centrifugal chillers, from 60-1200 ton capacities, which enable large cooling systems to save 30-50% of their energy consumption

Emerging entrepreneur

Derek Massad
Ben & Florentine Restaurants Inc.
Restaurant franchising specializing in the full service breakfast and lunch industry

Marc Bourbonnais
Modus FX, Inc.
Company headquartered in Ste-Thérèse creating visual effects and offering quality digital postproduction services to film and television industries around the world

Martin-Luc Archambault
Social search engine indexing both public and privately shared content from your social networks, and letting you find recommendations from your friends when you need them

Clothing, accessories and fashion

Yona Shtern and Robert Gold
Beyond the Rack Enterprises Inc.
North America's premier online shopping club offering its members the most sought-after designer brand apparel, accessories, beauty, consumer electronics, and home decor products

Diane Lanctôt
Lanctôt Ltée
Distributor and manufacturer of leading sports brands such as NIVO and VUARNET (sports apparel) and DR (hockey). Activities are divided into five divisions: Ski, Outdoor, Optical, Team Sports and Apparel.

Caroline Néron
Néron Inc.
In 2004, actress and singer Caroline Néron founded this company. She creates high-quality jewelry using mainly SWAROVSKI crystals, sold under the brand name Bijoux Caroline Néron inc.

Media and entertainment

Louis-Philippe Noël
Leader in Canadian hotel in-room entertainment solutions developing innovative, simple solutions adapted to the needs of hotels and their guests

Sylvain Labarre
Labarre Gauthier inc. (lg2)
Advertising agency with offices in Montréal and Québec City that stands out by thinking like a brand and acting like a retailer

Ashkan Karbasfrooshan
Les Productions WatchMojo
Original video programming on the people, places and trends that viewers are passionate about (automotive, business, education, fashion, film, food, health, music, parenting, sports, science, technology, travel, etc.)

Service business

Firoz Patel
Simplifying instant transactions between individuals and online businesses and quickly becoming one of the world's leading online payment platforms

Gaétan Migneault and Julie Bergevin
Groupe Adèle inc.
Québec's largest residential cleaning network offering high-quality services, tremendous reliability, and competitive pricing in Québec, Ontario, and soon in Paris

André Rochette
Les Services énergétiques Ecosystem
Providing energy services in Québec, Ontario and the United States and working to modernize infrastructure with self-financed energy efficiency projects

Information technology

Dax Dasilva
Combines point-of-sale and back-office management on LightSpeed for Mac, interactive selling on iPad and mobile, a fully integrated eCommerce solution, and a scalable platform that is multi-user, multi-store

Daniel Handfield
MédiaMed Technologies Inc.
Delivering IT solutions in the Québec healthcare sector for over 10 years and currently supporting healthcare network managers and nursing staff in more than 50 healthcare facilities

Lorne Novolker
Prospero Learning Solutions Inc.
Award-winning provider of custom training solutions that blend the best in educational technologies and traditional learning strategies to produce interactive, engaging and customized solutions

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.

Sandrine Faust
Allô prof
Allô prof is a non-profit organization which supports staying in school and academic success by providing free help with homework to Québec students and parents by telephone and over the internet, from elementary through secondary school.

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

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 Québec judging panel consisted of Isabelle Bettez, President and CEO, 8D Technologies inc; Étienne Borgeat, CEO, PCO Innovation, 2010 winner, Business-to-business products and services category; Jean Cloutier, Vice-president, Operations and Finance, Outdoor Gear Canada (OGC), 2010 winner, Manufacturing; Nathalie Marcoux, Vice-president, Finance, Capinabel Inc.; Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder and Senior Partner, Cycle Capital Management; Guy Michaud, President, DirectLab Inc., 2010 winner, Health Sciences; Pascal Pilon, President and CEO, Averna, 2009 winner, Technology; Alexandre Taillefer, Partner, XPND Capital; and Étienne Veilleux, President and CEO, Distech Controls Inc., 2010 winner, Cleantech.

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

Follow us on Twitter at @EYCanada: #EOYCanada, #EOYQuebec

This year's national program sponsors are National Post, La Presse and RDI. In Québec, Entrepreneur Of The Year is sponsored by Fonds de Solidarité FTQ.

About Ernst & Young LLP'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:

Julie Fournier 
514 874 4308 

Sarah Shields 
604 648 3607 

Jennifer Nascimben 
416 943 2487

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