Dave Wilson earns top spot as Atlantic Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The
Year(R) - Canada's outstanding entrepreneurs propel economy forward

HALIFAX, Oct. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Dave Wilson, Chairman of one of Atlantic Canada's largest independent gas retailers - the Wilson Group of Companies - is this year's Atlantic Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award recipient.

"Given today's markets, companies that don't think ahead risk being eliminated by their competitors," says Joyce Hoeven, Partner and Atlantic Director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards. "Dave Wilson surpasses the competition because he anticipates future trends and responds quickly to changing consumer needs. This progressive attitude helped him expand on the success of a centuries-old family business."

A diversified organization with over 500 employees, the Wilson Group of Companies began as a mercantile trade business in the 1800s. Family descendants established Wilson Coal Co. in 1909. After Dave Wilson and his late brother G. Peter took over, they discontinued coal and focused on supplying fuel oil. This shift helped them avoid financial hardships as customers soon turned to oil to heat homes. Wilson Fuel Co. Ltd. is now the leading independent fuel oil supplier in Nova Scotia. In 1989, the company ventured successfully into the retail gasoline business. It currently distributes to 253 dealers in the Atlantic and runs 10 Wilsons Gas Stops.

"Dave Wilson always pursued ways to improve his business," states Hoeven. "He is constantly uncovering and seizing new opportunities. The fuel industry is a volatile business landscape, but Dave's forward-thinking spirit has kept his company thriving. His ingenious business approach will certainly influence future entrepreneurs."

Wilson has been recognized multiple times for his achievements in business and community engagement. In 2008, he was inducted into the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame along with his brother. He received the Canadian Commemorative Medal for Community Service for supporting organizations such as the Colchester YMCA, St. John's Anglican Church and King's-Edgehill School. The family also established the Wilson-Merriam Foundation to benefit the community.

    Category winners of the Atlantic Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year
    2009 Awards:

    Business-to-consumer products and services

    David Wilson
    Wilson Group of Companies - Truro, Nova Scotia

    Heating/cooling equipment manufacturer, distributor and installer, as well
as fuel marketer, ski hill operator.

    Business-to-business products and services

    Normand Caissie
    Imperial Manufacturing Group - Richibucto, New Brunswick

    Produces high-quality products while striving to be a low-cost producer in
the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and building products industries.

    Emerging entrepreneur

    George Donovan
    Gogii Games - Moncton, New Brunswick

    Casual games publisher/developer working with developers and IP owners to
help develop, distribute and license its IP or products to retail, online and
alternative channels worldwide.


    Steven Kelley
    Charlottetown Metal Products Ltd. - Winsloe, Prince Edward Island

    Designer and manufacturer of industrial stainless steel food-processing
equipment. Offers full in-house design with 3D CAD, complete custom
manufacturing and full-service installation and commissioning for the
shellfish, fruit and vegetable, and meat and poultry industries.

    Professional/financial services

    Rodney Colbourne, Steve Green, Steve MacDougall
    OTS Offshore Technologies Services Ltd. - Sydney, Nova Scotia

    Provider of commissioning and start-up services for the oil and gas

    Social entrepreneur

    Geoff Eaton
    Young Adult Cancer Canada - St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

    Leading advocacy and support organization for young adults dealing with

What's next?

As the Atlantic region's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009, Mr. Wilson will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Pacific, Prairies, Ontario and Québec regions for the national honour of Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009, to be presented at a gala celebration November 24, 2009, in Vancouver. In June 2010, Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 will move to the world stage to compete with 50 country recipients for the title of Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year(R). Canada's own Guy Laliberté from Cirque du Soleil was the recipient of the 2007 World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award.

About the awards program

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards honour the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. This year, the Canadian program is proudly celebrating 16 years of honouring Canada's outstanding entrepreneurs from all areas of business. For more information on the program, please visit ey.com/ca/eoy.

Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel, which is composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The members of the Atlantic region panel for 2009 were Mark Dobbin, President, Killick Capital; Dr. Colin Dodds, President and Vice Chancellor, Saint Mary's University; Kenneth Losier, District Director, Farm Credit Canada; Laura Quartermain, Chief Financial Officer, Canadian International Capital Incorporated; Kent Scales, Founder, Advantage Communications Incorporated.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is sponsored nationally by Global Television Network, National Post, La Presse and RDI.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 144,000 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 ey.com/ca.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: For further information: Marie-Ève Graniero, (514) 874-4313, marie-eve.graniero@ca.ey.com

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