Ernst & Young honours Prairies finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011
(Calgary, 7 July 2011) 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 unique ability to turn ideas into market-leading companies. But they don’t grow by standing still – they take risks, innovate, and invest,” says David Boomer, Prairies Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. “With no limit to what Canadian entrepreneurs can accomplish in today’s global marketplace, now is the time to work together to create a business environment where entrepreneurs can thrive.”
In a new global survey of entrepreneurs – Nature or nurture? Decoding the DNA of the entrepreneur – 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.
Boomer 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.
“By showing tremendous focus and strength of character, entrepreneurs are able to turn challenges into opportunities and take their businesses to the next level. Even the financial crisis wasn’t a deterrent for many,” says Boomer. “Now it’s up to governments and corporations to support our next generation of entrepreneurs by working together to address some of these challenges.”
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. Boomer says that’s a positive step in the right direction.
“Keeping in mind the lessons learned from leaner times, today’s entrepreneurs are getting back to business and building on their accomplishments. With the right corporate and community support, there’s no doubt that Canadian entrepreneurs will continue to lead the way in the months and years ahead,” says Boomer.
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 Prairies winners will be announced at a banquet on October 18, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet held in Toronto on
The 2011 Prairies finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:
Business-to-business products and services
John Binder │Calgary
Avmax Group Inc.
A world leader in a full spectrum of aviation support services and resources.
Austin Tran │ Edmonton
Full-service print shop also offering graphic design, with locations from Vancouver to Saskatoon. Its equipment ranges from digital printers and offset presses to a full-service bindery department.
Ross Glen │ Calgary
RGO Office Products
A diversified and complete office solutions organization that offers office furniture, flooring, window coverings and technical equipment. Its services range from design and move management to rentals and warehousing.
Dale Ginn │ Winnipeg
San Gold Corp.
A gold exploration and mining company.
Business-to-consumer products and services
Gordon Reykdal │ Edmonton
Cash Store Financial
Top provider of alternative financial products and services, with 580 branches under the Cash Store and Instaloans brands. It offers a range of financial services, including bank accounts. The company trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
Ken Fisher, Jason Volk │ Red Deer County
Chatters Canada Ltd.
A franchisor and privately owned 100% Canadian company, and the largest provider of beauty products in Canada. An industry leader, its 95 salons span seven provinces, with a mix of corporate and franchise locations.
Craig Gattinger, Ron Lowe │ Calgary
A provider of integrated assessment, physiotherapy, rehabilitation and occupational health services.
Manjit Minhas, Ravinder Minhas │ Calgary
Minhas Craft Brewery
Creates, manufactures, markets and distributes a variety of beers, coolers, spirits and liquors in five provinces and 31 US states.
Cleantech and environmental services
Perry Gerwing │ Calgary
Earthmaster Environmental Strategies Inc.
Environmental consulting firm providing quality service to the upstream oil and gas industry, including effective and practical solutions to both domestic and international environmental concerns.
Russ Hebblethwaite │ Calgary
Enviro Vault Canada Ltd.
Dedicated to improving performance and safety, and reducing the environmental impact of oil and gas operations.
Audrey Mascarenhas │ Calgary
Questor Technology Inc.
An international environmental clean air technology oilfield service company specializing in providing sustainable custom incineration solutions to eliminate flared gas and utilize waste energy.
George Cantalini │ Edmonton
Beaverbrook Group of Companies
Two related businesses: Beaverbrook purchases raw land and develops it into residential communities. Dolce Vita designs and builds homes ranging from entry-level products to estate homes.
Tom Redl │Edmonton
Has provided construction services across Canada since 1980. The company offers construction, design and development expertise from concept to commissioning of a project.
Thomas Fath │ Edmonton
The Fath Group
Provides a wide range of services, including paving, milling, road reclamation, material sales, equipment rentals, camp services, industrial catering, street sweeping and snow removal.
Rod Taverner │ Edmonton
Rolling Mix Concrete (Edmonton) Ltd. Group of Companies
A family-owned business providing leadership and innovation in the production of ready-mixed concrete and related services throughout Alberta.
Jennifer Broe │ Edmonton
Baby Gourmet Foods Inc.
Organic baby food company that makes the very best-tasting organic baby food on the market.
Lance Schafer │ Winnipeg
A member of the Point of Impact Technologies group of companies, all of which focus on internet marketing.
Khaled Shariff │ Winnipeg
Project Whitecard Inc.
A leader in using best-of-class video game and augmented reality technologies to create revolutionary learning applications and fun, engaging, sophisticated synthetic environments reflecting inventive, innovative leadership.
Energy development and production
Bruce Hong │ Calgary
Canada Capital Energy Corporation
A private energy company engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of oil and natural gas in Western Canada, particularly southeastern Saskatchewan.
Dan Balaban │ Calgary
Greengate Power Corporation
A company with nine wind projects under development totalling 1,550 MW across 200,000 acres of private land.
Glen Schmidt │ Calgary
Laricina Energy Ltd.
A privately held, Calgary-based responsible energy company that will contribute supply to the growing demand for crude oil through in situ oilsands development.
John Bobenic │ Calgary
Maxim Power Corp.
An independent power producer engaged in the acquisition, development, ownership and operation of power generation facilities.
Scott Douglas, John Forgeron, Phil Ness │ Calgary
Compass Compression Services Ltd.
A privately owned company specializing in engineering, design, packaging and servicing of reciprocating, rotary screw and rotary vane compression systems and equipment.
Zoran Bajic, Karl Gannon, Nik Grgic, David Wilson │ Edmonton
FourQuest Energy Inc.
Provides pre-commissioning, maintenance and shutdown service to the oil and gas industry. Services include nitrogen services, air services, oil flushing, fluid pumping, chemical cleaning, steam blowing and engineering consulting.
Peter Kiss │ Acheson
Morgan Construction and Environmental Ltd.
Serves the oil and gas industry as a heavy equiptment contractor in Western and Northern Canada.
Victor Budzinski │ Edmonton
Valard Construction Ltd.
One of Canada’s largest power line contractors. It offers construction services in overhead and underground transmission and distribution systems, substations, fibreoptics and substation and transmission foundations.
Tom Donaldson │ Calgary
Edo International Food Inc.
Quick-service restaurant concept designed to bring its unique Teppan-style cooking process of fresh, hot and delicious Japanese-style meals to Canadian consumers as an alternative to traditional North American fast food offerings.
John Day │ Jasper
Marmot Basin – Division of Rocky Mountain Skiing
Located in the breathtaking, vast and ruggedly mountainous landscape of Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Marmot Basin is a ski destination that inspires lasting memories.
Derek Doke │ Calgary
Original Joe’s Restaurant
Operator of a 39-store casual dining concept under the banner of Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar. Located in all four Western provinces, approximately one-third of its locations are franchised, with the remainder corporately or joint-venture owned.
James Cox │ Calgary
The Shooting Edge
Through high-quality equipment, systems and service, The Shooting Edge provides a “country club” experience with firearms for the general public, and specialty training and equipment for the professional user.
Mac Van Wielingen│ Calgary
ARC Financial Corp.
A leading private equity investment management company focused on the energy sector in Canada, with approximately $2.7 billion of captial under management.
Marshall Sadd │ Edmonton
Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers Ltd.
One of the largest independent insurance brokerages in Alberta, delivering commercial and personal insurance, and risk management services to a host of public, private and non-profit organizations.
Derek Bullen │ Calgary
S.i. Systems Ltd.
A leading provider of supplemental staffing services. It provides staffing augmentation, permanent placement services and contract admin to companies in need of information technology, accounting/finance and engineering resources.
Naseem Bashir │ Edmonton
Williams Engineering Canada Inc.
Consulting engineering services to buildings in the industrial, municipal, transportation and telecommunications sectors.
Art Price │ Calgary
Axia NetMedia Corporation
Sells Real Broadband™ and passive services on Next Generation Networks that have implemented the Axia NGN Solution, which has been implemented in Alberta, France, Singapore, Spain and Massachusetts.
Ecky Pilz │ Calgary
Care Factor – The Data Centre Company
A leading Canadian data centre solutions provider in data centre design, maintenance, relocation and co-location.
Morgan Arndt, Darren Sartison │ Calgary
Groundswell Group Inc.
An IT consulting firm that provides strategic and technical expertise around software integration.
Chris LaBossiere, Don Riep │ Edmonton
Yardstick Software Inc.
Provides services to help organizations shift certification and licensure programs online. Its software delivers online exams and training for certification and licensure, academic, government and large corporate clients.
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 Prairies region judging panel consisted of Jack Donald, president and CEO, Parkland Properties Ltd.; Mike Duff, president and CEO, Design Group Staffing Services Inc.; Kevin Wolfe, Richmond Equity Management Ltd.; Tony Franceschini, retired president and CEO, Stantec Inc.
For more information on the program, FAQs, and key dates please visit ey.com/ca/EOY.
This year’s national program sponsors are National Post, La Presse and RDI. Regional sponsors include Business in Calgary and Calgary Herald.
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 ey.com/ca/Entrepreneurs.
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.