Ernst & Young celebrates Prairies finalists for 2009 Entrepreneur Of The Year(R)

    Firm says today's entrepreneurs are tomorrow's market leaders

    CALGARY, July 7 /CNW/ - Entrepreneurial-minded companies are growing with
incredible speed and quickly entering into the ranks of the world's largest
corporations, Ernst & Young said today when unveiling this year's finalists
for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.
    "Our Prairies finalists this year have accomplished a huge feat - growing
their businesses, creating new jobs and building their communities - all
despite a turbulent economy," says David Boomer, Director of Ernst & Young
Entrepreneur Of The Year for the Prairies region.
    Historically, economists, academics and industry leaders have agreed that
recessions foster the innovative thinking synonymous with entrepreneurship. As
referenced in Ernst & Young's latest white paper, Entrepreneurship and
innovation, many of today's most recognizable brands were actually born during
recessions. Many of these so-called "downturn babies" now have market
capitalizations in the hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars.
    "There's no question that innovation stimulates economic growth, and it's
become clear that now is the time to capitalize on entrepreneurial thinking,"
says Boomer. "Those entrepreneurs who seize opportunities can ignite a spark,
and help propel our economy forward."
    A recent Ernst & Young survey, Seizing opportunities, shows many
entrepreneurs already have the right idea. Ninety-three percent of respondents
said that, despite the economic downturn, they are broadening their customer
base and entering new markets.
    "It's reassuring to see that many of our Prairies entrepreneurs are
already looking ahead and moving forward," Boomer says. "No matter how big or
small your company, you should never lose your entrepreneurial focus. By
building the right corporate culture, even large corporations can think
outside the box and drive new ways of doing business."
    The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards recognize the spirit and contribution
of entrepreneurs here and around the world. The Canadian program is in its
16th year of honouring the country's most impressive entrepreneurs from all
areas of business.
    The Prairies winners will be announced at a banquet in Calgary on October
15, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet
held in Vancouver on November 24.

    The 2009 Prairies finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year are:

    Business-to-business products and services

    John Wilson
    H. Wilson Industries Ltd. | Fort McMurray, Alberta
    Construction company that provides municipal paving and surface, sewer
    and water, excavation, site grading, sand and gravel, concrete works, and
    snow-clearing services.

    Wade Miller
    Pinnacle Staffing Solutions | Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Fast-growing North American executive and professional search firm.

    Randy Gee
    Randy Gee Holdings | Calgary, Alberta
    Owns or partially owns businesses that serve unique needs of the oilfield
    services industry, particularly in the Fort St. John region, including
    airline charter, platform piles, tool rentals, real estate and

    Business-to-consumer products and services

    David Farran
    Associate Veterinary Clinics Ltd. | Calgary, Alberta
    Owns and operates chain of small animal veterinary clinics and hospitals.

    Bryan King
    High Speed Crow Inc. | East Selkirk, Manitoba
    Wireless broadband internet service provider in rural Manitoba.

    Minh Ngo
    Memory Express Computer Products Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    Computer and electronics retailer catering to both consumer and corporate

    Robert Brissette
    Petland 1009833 Alberta Ltd. | Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Retailer of pets and pet supplies and franchising Petland stores.


    Mark Montemurro
    Alter NRG Corp. | Calgary, Alberta
    Delivers clean, efficient alternative energy solutions that are
    environmentally sustainable and economically viable.

    Christianne Carin
    EarthRenew Organics Ltd. | Calgary, Alberta
    Develops, patents and commercializes technologies for electricity
    generation, heat processing, fertilizer manufacture, water desalination
    and water treatment for mine tailings and industrial lagoons.

    Evan Chrapko, Shane Chrapko
    Highmark Renewables Research L.P. | Edmonton, Alberta
    Transforms residues from agriculture and food processing into valuable
    renewable energy and other renewable products.

    Jode Himann
    Nemalux LED Lighting Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    Develops LED lighting products designed for areas where water, vibration,
    maintenance, temperature or other hazardous environments negatively
    affect conventional illumination.


    Carolyne McIntyre, Jodi Willoughby
    Crave Cookies and Cupcakes Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    Bakers of cookies, cakes and cupcakes from family recipes.

    Jean St-Onge
    Icon Stone & Tile Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    Natural stone fabrication and installation business that develops custom
    stone products, ceramic and porcelain tiles, faucets and sinks.

    Gord Leder
    Leder Steel Ltd. | Edmonton, Alberta
    Manufactures and assembles structural steel buildings.

    Linda Maslechko, Mona Rae Peterson
    Triple Flip Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    Designer and retailer of clothing for active pre-teen girls.

    Energy services

    Ron Carson
    Carson Energy Services Ltd. | Lampman, Saskatchewan
    Provider of pipeline and facilities construction and maintenance services
    to companies in the oil and gas industry in Saskatchewan, Alberta and

    Brent Erickson, Todd Guy, Brad Turnbull
    Independent Electric & Controls Ltd. | Drayton Valley, Alberta
    Electrical, instrumentation and automation contractor serving the oil and
    gas, mining, commercial and lumber industries.

    Ronald Shannon, Stephen Smith
    Strike Energy Services Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    Private, employee-owned company that provides pipeline and facility
    construction and maintenance, high-density polyethylene, electrical and
    instrumentation and fabrication services to the energy industry.

    David Tuccaro
    Tuccaro Group of Companies Inc. | Fort McMurray, Alberta
    Provides a wide range of services in support of the oilsands industry of
    northeastern Alberta.

    Energy technology

    Brian Taylor
    Detechtion Technologies | Calgary, Alberta
    Provider of compressor optimization and fleet management to the natural
    gas industry worldwide.

    Dwight Loree
    GASFRAC Energy Services Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    Technology well-fracturing company that has developed a proprietary new
    technology, the Vantage(TM) Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Fracturing

    Dan Themig
    Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    High-value provider of technology-based solutions to the oil and gas
    industry. Specializes in open-hole, HPHT, high-pressure retrievable
    packers, and specialty tools.


    Mogens Smed
    DIRTT Environmental Solutions Ltd. | Calgary, Alberta
    Manufactures movable walls that replace drywall and studs, and are
    reconfigurable for office changes.

    Judy Quigley, Ron Quigley
    Gunnar Manufacturing Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
    Manufacturer and distributor of commercial office furniture and movable

    Robert Bertram
    Ideal Products of Canada Ltd. | Edmonton, Alberta
    Manufacturer of metal jacketing products for industrial insulation.

    Russ A. Edwards
    WGI Westman Group Inc. | Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Operates manufacturing, sales and distribution facilities in 24 centres
    in Canada and the US, maintains dealer networks across North America, and
    has a worldwide customer base.

    Professional/financial services

    Michael Mezei
    Mawer Investment Management Ltd. | Calgary, Alberta
    Manager of investment portfolios for individual and institutional
    investors for more than three decades.

    Rick Skauge
    Olympia Trust Company Corporation | Calgary, Alberta
    Non-deposit-taking trust company that offers services in health care,
    registered plans, shareholder services and foreign exchange.

    Larry Shumka
    SCM Insurance Services | Edmonton, Alberta
    Canada's largest independent supplier of claims management services for
    the insurance industry.

    Charlie Spiring
    Wellington West Holdings Inc. | Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Provides full-service brokerage, financial planning, asset management and
    capital markets services.


    Kori Chilibeck
    Earth Water International Ltd. | Edmonton, Alberta
    Bottled-water company that gives 100% of net profits to the United
    Nations Refugee Agency to provide clean drinking water to refugees around
    the world.

    Glori Meldrum
    Little Warriors | Edmonton, Alberta
    National charitable organization focused on the education and prevention
    of child sexual abuse.

    Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is sponsored nationally by Global
Television Network, National Post, La Presse and RDI. Prairies region program
sponsors are the Calgary Herald and Business in Calgary.

    About Ernst & Young

    Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and
advisory services. Worldwide, our 135,000 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

For further information:

For further information: Brooke McLachlan,,
(604) 899-3597; Amanda Olliver,, (416) 943-7121;
Marie-Eve Graniero,, (514) 874-4313

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