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Patrick O'Callaghan of East Coast Catering Ltd. named 2012 Atlantic Entrepreneur Of The Year - EY - Canada

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EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ - News release

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Patrick O'Callaghan of East Coast Catering Ltd. named 2012 Atlantic Entrepreneur Of The Year

EY recognizes local game-changing entrepreneurs’ leadership and innovation

(Halifax, 19 October 2012) Patrick O'Callaghan, President and Chief Executive Officer of East Coast Catering Ltd. — a private company specializing in remote workforce catering and accommodations — is this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Atlantic winner.

“Our Entrepreneur Of The Year program was made for leaders like Patrick O’Callaghan,” says Lynn Healey, Atlantic Entrepreneurial Services Leader and regional Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. “From humble beginnings to great heights, Patrick’s story of success goes to show the power and potential of an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Patrick came to Newfoundland and Labrador in the late 1970s and quickly saw the potential to put his entrepreneurial vision, knowledge and skills into action. He founded East Coast Catering in 1984 and has since grown operations in seven Canadian provinces and Ireland, providing services to the oil and gas, marine, mining and industrial construction sectors.

“Patrick jumped head first into an industry rife with global competition. Where others might have seen obstacles, he saw an opportunity,” says Healey. “By building trusted relationships with existing and prospective customers and providing a full life cycle of top-quality, diversified services, he was able to carve out a niche for East Coast Catering.”

Innovation doesn’t happen randomly. EY’s recent report, Innovating for growth, finds that leading innovators take advantage of changes in their external environment, continually revamp their business models and innovate with an end goal in mind. More than anything, it takes a long-term view.

“Thinking outside the box is second nature to entrepreneurs,” says Healey. “But it takes dedicated leadership and a willingness to take risks to change the game — something Patrick, and each of this year’s Atlantic winners, has proven.”  

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year recognizes the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. The Canadian program is in its 19th year of honouring the country’s most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award winners are chosen based on a number of factors, including their vision, leadership, financial performance and social responsibility.

For more information on Innovating for growth,click here.

Category winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Atlantic Awards:

Business-to-business products and services

Patrick O’Callaghan
East Coast Catering Ltd. | St. John’s
Specializes in remote workforce catering and accommodations to the oil and gas, marine, mining and industrial construction sectors.

Business-to-consumer products and services

John Griffin and Peter Griffin
W.P. Griffin Incorporated | Elmsdale
A family-owned and -operated leading agri-business that produces, packages and markets healthy, easy-to-prepare meal choices.


Mario Allain
FundyPros Specialty Construction | Dieppe
Provides specialty construction products and services to the commercial and residential construction industry in New Brunswick.

Emerging entrepreneur

Barb Stegemann
The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. | Bedford
Sources fair-trade organic oils for fragrances from suppliers in Afghanistan and Haiti who provide seasonal employment to tribes and communities.

Hospitality and tourism

Dennis Campbell
Ambassatours Gray Line | Halifax
A group tour company operating in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Information technology

Emad Rizkalla
Bluedrop Performance Learning | St. John’s
A leader in advanced learning technologies for the workplace.


Jean-Claude Savoie
Groupe Savoie Inc. | Saint-Quentin
A leading producer of hardwood products, including pallets, hardwood flooring, cabinet and furniture components, quality hardwood lumber and pallet lumber.

Real estate

Louis Lawen
Dexel Developments Ltd. | Halifax
A mixed-use property developer focused primarily on residential apartments in the Halifax business district.

What’s next?
As the Atlantic region’s 2012 Entrepreneur Of The Year, Patrick will join Pacific regional winner Ashley Cooper, Paladin Security; Ontario regional winner John A. McCluskey, Alamos Gold Inc.; Prairies regional winner Dr. Alan Ulsifer, FYidoctors; and the other overall award winner from Quebec, who will be announced later this month, for the national honour of Canada’s Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012, to be presented at a gala celebration January 16, 2013, in Toronto. In June 2013, Canada’s Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 50 country recipients for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year®.

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 Atlantic judging panel consisted of Denis Connor, Past Chair, First Angel Network; Melinda Lee, Partner Frosting Cake and Event Design; Earl Ludlow, President and CEO, Newfoundland Power; Mike Mallory, New Brunswick Group Chair, TEC Group; Gerry Pond, Partner, Mariner Partners; Duncan Shaw, 2010 Atlantic Entrepreneur Of The Year, President, Mullache Corporation; and Jo Mark Zurel, President, Stonebridge Capital Inc.

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

For ticket information about the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Gala on January 16, 2013, please contact Katelyn Jarosz at 416 941 1810 or

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

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

About EY’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 EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 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.

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