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Dr. Alan Ulsifer of FYidoctors named 2012 Prairies Entrepreneur Of The Year - EY - Canada

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EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ - News release

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Dr. Alan Ulsifer of FYidoctors named 2012 Prairies Entrepreneur Of The Year

EY recognizes local game-changing entrepreneurs’ leadership and innovation

(Calgary, 12 October 2012) Dr. Alan Ulsifer, President and Chief Executive Officer of FYidoctors — Canada’s largest independent eye care product and service provider — is this year’s Prairies EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winner.

“Entrepreneur Of The Year is all about celebrating local leaders whose drive and determination has made a lasting impact on Canadian business,” says Rob Jolley, Prairies Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. “Alan’s visionary leadership has single-handily changed the face of the Canadian optometry industry.”

Alan began his entrepreneurial career with one optometry practice in Grand Prairie in 1994 before pursuing his vision of merging practices and integrating health care, retail and manufacturing into a single entity — the first of its kind. FYidoctors now spans 102 locations across Canada.

“Innovation is a way of life for leading entrepreneurs,” says Jolley. “It’s what sparked Alan’s vision for FYidoctors, and it continues to play a key role in the company’s success today.”

But 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.

“Great businesses are founded on more than just good ideas,” says Jolley. “It takes dedicated leadership and a strong vision to create something truly game changing. That’s exactly what Alan and this year’s winners have done.”

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 Prairies Awards:

Business-to-business products and services

Angela Santiago
The Little Potato Company Ltd. | Edmonton
A leading brand in the creamer potato market sold through major retailers and foodservice companies across North America.

Business-to-consumer products and services

Dr. Alan Ulsifer
FYidoctors | Calgary
The first and only eye care company to merge full scope optometric practices into a single entity.


Dan Balaban
Greengate Power Corporation | Calgary
Develops quality wind energy projects across Alberta.

Emerging entrepreneur

Lyle Michaluk and Cliff Wiebe
Poseidon Concepts Corp. | Calgary
Provides safe, innovative fluid-handling solutions to the oil and natural gas sectors across North America.

Energy – privately held

Lance Torgerson
Noralta Lodge Ltd. | Nisku
Provides remote workforce accommodation services to the Canadian oilsands industry.

Energy – publicly traded

Don Caron
Bri-Chem Corp. | Edmonton
A leading distributor, blender and manufacturer of drilling fluids and steel pipe.


Henry Friesen
Convey-All Industries Inc. | Winkler
Manufactures conveyors and equipment for the grain-handling and oilfield industry.

Professional and investment services

David Cronin and Chris Izquierdo
DevFacto Technologies Inc. | Edmonton
A software consulting company specializing in systems integration and solutions for construction and energy verticals.

Real estate and construction

Wayne Chiu 
Trico Homes | Calgary
Provides meaningful product choices for single- and multi-family homes.


Marcos Lopez
Solium Capital | Calgary
A leading global provider of web-based stock plan administration technology and services.

What’s next?
As the Prairies region’s 2012 Entrepreneur Of The Year, Alan will join Pacific regional winner, Ashley Cooper, Paladin Security, Ontario regional winner John A. McCluskey, Alamos Gold Inc., and the other overall award winners from the Quebec and the Atlantic regions, 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 Prairies judging panel consisted of Mike Duff, 2006 Prairies Entrepreneur Of The Year professional/financial services category winner, President and CEO, Design Group Staffing; Tony Franceschini, retired President and CEO, Stantec Inc.; Linda Hohol, Corporate Director; Curt Vossen, President, Richardson International; Kelley Smith, Vice President, Corporate Development, Viterra; and Stephanie Yong, Director, W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

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, #EOYPrairies

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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