Ernst & Young honours Pacific finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011

Firm calls on all stakeholders to help entrepreneurs drive economy

VANCOUVER, July 7, 2011 /CNW/ - Entrepreneurs are poised to drive the next major wave of economic growth, but the wider community must do more to support these creative-minded innovators, Ernst & Young said today when revealing this year's finalists for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®.

"Entrepreneurs have the ability to transform ideas into great businesses. And not just any business - businesses that drive economic growth," says Ron Voyer, Pacific Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. "Behind their success is an entrepreneurial mindset to innovate, create jobs, and invest in communities across the country."

In a new global survey of entrepreneurs - Nature or nurture? - Ernst & Young uncovered that funding, people and know-how were the biggest barriers to entrepreneurial success. Among the six out of 10 respondents who experienced obstacles in their ventures, 33% called lack of funding or finance their biggest stumbling block.

Voyer says that's only the first issue. Entrepreneurs need improved access to credit in addition to new educational opportunities and less red tape. He also underlined better leadership from Corporate Canada, which stands to gain by building an internal spirit of entrepreneurship — or intrapreneurship — into their business model to promote innovation, creativity and fresh thinking.

"Entrepreneurs challenge conventional thinking and spot opportunities where others see road blocks," says Voyer. "With a wealth of entrepreneurial potential waiting to be unleashed, stakeholders - from governments to businesses to academia - need to work together to create an ecosystem that enables entrepreneurs to thrive."

In April, an Ernst & Young/Financial Post survey found more than one-third of entrepreneur respondents were more optimistic about their company's' future prospects than they were just six months ago. Voyer says that's a positive step in the right direction.

"Taking lessons from the past into account, Canada's entrepreneurs are ready to continue building on their accomplishments and supporting our economy in the years ahead," says Voyer. "And with the right business and community support, there's no limit to what these entrepreneurs can accomplish."

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards recognize the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. The Canadian program is in its 18th year of honouring the country's most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award winners are chosen based on their vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility.

The Pacific winners will be announced at a banquet on October 5, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet held in Toronto on November 23.

The 2011 Pacific finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:

Business-to-business products and services

Darby Kreitz
Allnorth Consultants Limited l Prince George
Provides engineering and consulting services to clients in the mining, pulp and paper, chemical, oil and gas, marine, transportation, power and municipal sectors.

Ross Waters
C.G. Industrial Specialties Ltd. l Vancouver
Supplier of valves and controls.

Doug Morneau
Rhino Marketing Inc. l Port Coquitlam
A full-service marketing agency that knows business and how to connect clients with their customers online.

Business-to-consumer products and services

Gary Mauris
Dominion Lending Centres l Port Coquitlam
Canada's national mortgage and leasing company, with more than 2,000 members offering free expert advice across Canada.

Attila Koronczay, Boldijarre Koronczay
Éminence Organic Skin Care Inc. l Vancouver
An award-winning skin and body care provider distributing natural, organic and biodynamic products and services to the spa and wellness industry worldwide.

Kenneth Armstrong
Sussex Insurance Agency Incorporated l North Vancouver
A franchisor of insurance brokerages throughout British Columbia.

Cleantech/information technology

Alexander Fernandes
Avigilon Corporation l Vancouver
Designs, manufactures and markets award-winning high-definition surveillance solutions. Avigilon's solutions protect and monitor thousands of customer sites in more than 65 countries around the world.

Thomas Ligocki
Clevest Solutions Inc. l Richmond
The only complete, utility-focused, mobile workforce management solution with smart-grid mobile field operations capability. The number one fastest-growing high-tech company in BC.

Donald McInnes
Plutonic Power Corporation l Vancouver
Identifies, develops and operates clean power projects in a safe, reliable and efficient manner.


Glenn Fawcett
Black Hills Estate Winery l Oliver
Winery and vineyard.

Cynthia Enns, David Enns
Laughing Stock Vineyards Ltd. l Penticton

Vikram Vij
Vij's Restaurant Inc. l Vancouver
Fine, modern Indian cuisine. Vij's Rangoli is a casual modern Indian restaurant and retail store selling Vij's Insprired Indian Cuisine, a line of pre-packaged gourmet Indian meals.


Robert Little
FPI Fireplace Products International Ltd. l Delta
Strives to be a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hearth products.

Robert Meggy
Great Little Box Company Ltd. l Richmond
A one-stop packaging supplier, GLBC has everything under one roof, including corrugated boxes, point-of-purchase displays, folding cartons, rigid boxes and PVC packaging, protective packaging and pressure-sensitive labels.

Muhammad Amir
SPF Precut Lumber l Port Coquitlam
An award-winning exporter and remanufacturer of Canadian wood products, based in beautiful British Columbia since 1990, annually exporting approximately 155-million board feet to over 15 countries.

Mining and metals

John Greenslade
Baja Mining Corp. l Vancouver
Mining and metals company developing the Boleo copper-cobalt-zinc-manganese project in Mexico.

Keith Neumeyer
First Majestic Silver Corp. l Vancouver
Committed to building a senior silver-producing mining company based on an aggressive development and acquisition plan, with a focus on Mexico.

Mark O'Dea
Fronteer Gold Inc. l Vancouver
Mining and metals company.

Professional/financial services

Andrew Kemp
CMW Insurance Services Ltd. l Burnaby
A private insurance brokerage that provides corporate, specialty and personal insurance and specializes in sectors such as construction services, bonding, manufacturing, technology, hospitality and real estate.

John Nicola
Nicola Wealth Management Ltd. l Vancouver
A premier financial planning firm serving high-net-worth executives, business owners and incorporated individuals, offering a full-service, integrated approach to advice — from investments and insurance to estate planning and tax minimization.

Steve Evans, Darren Latoski
Sunstone Realty Advisors Inc. l Vancouver
Canada's only pure-play industrial real estate investment trust.

Real estate/construction

Darren Smaill
Affiliated Roofers Ltd. l Coquitlam
Roofing contractor, including siding, gutters, decking, waterproofing, painting, sheet metal and repair divisions.

John Tilstra
Centra Construction Group Ltd. l Langley
Construction company.

David Zerr
Mainroad Group l Surrey
Highway maintenance contractor.

Young entrepreneur

Joshua Huen
Dr. Battery l Richmond
Leading battery distributor serving North America with high-quality batteries, battery packs and AC adapters.

Jason Zanatta
Novo Textile Co. Ltd. l Surrey
A 17-year-old home textiles manufacturing company that distributes bedding accessories. The company's over 600 customers include national and regional retailers, the hospitality industry, and the design and upholstery industry.

Steve Curtis
ZAG Group l Vancouver
A multi-business conglomerate with investments in nutritional supplements, beverages, specialty spirits, marketing and finance.

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.

Diane Johnson
Descriptive Video Works Inc. l Vancouver
Canada's leading providers of described video narration of television and feature films to broadcasters and producers so that programming can be made accessible to blind and vision-impaired audiences.

About Entrepreneur of The Year
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards honour the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel, which is composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The 2011 Pacific region judging panel consisted of Bev Briscoe, president of Briscoe Management, Ltd.; Jim Case, CEO of Travelers Financial Group; Grant Weaver, partner at Bull, Houser and Tupper LLP; Amar Doman, chairman and CEO of Canwel Building Materials Ltd.; and Ryan Beedie, president of The Beedie Group.

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

This year's national program sponsors are National Post, La Presse and RDI. Pacific region sponsors include Canada Wide Media, the Vancouver Sun, Hunt Personnel/Temporarily Yours, the Royal Bank of Canada and patron sponsor the Four Seasons Hotel.

About Ernst & Young LLP's Entrepreneurial Services practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Entrepreneurial Services practice serves Canada's entrepreneurs by delivering integrated business advisory services in assurance, tax, transactions, and advisory services to help them drive growth and create value. Our team of professionals has a track record of focusing on the issues and needs of companies as they grow from early stage to become market leaders. Ernst & Young has long worked with and celebrated the achievements of Canadian men and women who create the products, services and jobs that propel Canada's economy and communities forward. For more information, please visit

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 141,000 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:

Brooke Morris 
604 899 3597  
Amanda Olliver 
416 943 7121   
Julie Fournier
514 874 4308


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