World Entrepreneur Of The Year
Just Energy Group Inc.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2003 Canada
Rebecca is a founder and the current Executive Chair of Just Energy Group, a Toronto-based marketer of deregulated electricity and natural gas. Just Energy currently supplies more than 2 million customers across Canada, the US and the UK.
Rebecca has been involved in the sale of deregulated natural gas and electricity for the past 25 years. She founded Just Energy in 1997 with the intention of building a substantial company that could go public, which Just Energy did in 2001.
Rebecca was named Canada’s top woman CEO for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 by Profit magazine. She received the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2003 Canada Award, and dhe won the International Horatio Alger Award in 2009.
She is Vice Chair of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto, where she founded the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis Research. She sits on the Board of Canadian Pacific Railway and is involved in several charities.
Blue Tree Hotels
CEO, Chieko leads Blue Tree with a blend of education, commitment and entrepreneurial spirit. The chain has 24 hotels in Brazil, and her commitment is to be the most renowned Brazilian hotel operator, acknowledged by its high quality and own style in hotel management and services.
Chieko participates in a number of notable organizations, including the Latin America Entrepreneur Council, the Entrepreneur Leader Group, LIDE Woman and the Brazilian Academy of Events. She holds a Chair at the Brazilian Academy of Marketing and is currently serving as Vice President to the Management Council of the São Paulo Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Chieko works for the development of economic and cultural relations between Brazil, Japan and Latin America, and she actively participates in philanthropic and social-related activities. She earned her Law degree from the University of São Paulo and has taken courses in Administration at the University of Sofia and in Hotel Management at Cornell University.
Chief Executive Officer
Rovio Entertainment Ltd.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Finland
Mikael is the CEO of Rovio Entertainment Ltd., an entertainment media company and creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise.
Under Mikael’s leadership, Rovio Entertainment has transformed from a game studio and development partner into a world leader with the No. 1 title in mobile gaming. Angry Birds quickly became an international sensation, and the Angry Birds franchise has blossomed into a series of games while expanding rapidly in entertainment, publishing and licensing to become a beloved international brand. Rovio has grown alongside Angry Birds, and the multifaceted entertainment house, which currently employs about 800 professionals across around the world.
Mikael holds a bachelor’s degree in Management from the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. He is committed to an entrepreneurial spirit and pursuing education. The company regularly brings new talent to the field through training programs, partly in cooperation with universities.
Dr. Tetsuya Iizuka
Founder and Chairman of the Board
THine Electronics, Inc.
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2001 Japan
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2002-2008, 2012-2013 Japan Judge
Dr. Iizuka is the founder and Chairman of the Board of THine Electronics, the global leader in high-speed serial interface and provider of mixed-signal LSI for flat panel displays and smartphones. The company is also a leader in high-speed interfaces, particularly in the market of pixel data transmission.
Dr. Iizuka started the company to create a public entity where talented team members could find enormous opportunities to achieve their goals. In 2001, THine Electronics became a public company.
Dr. Iizuka has led every strategic project to develop a new product, and he established a de facto standard of the high-speed serial interface. In addition, he and several semiconductor entrepreneurs established the Japan Semiconductor Venture Association JASVA).
Dr. Iizuka was the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2001 Japan Award winner, and he has also served as a judge. He earned his PhD from the University of Tokyo.
Founder, USA Network
Chairman and CEO, Koplovitz & Company
Chairman and Co-founder, Springboard Enterprises
Kay is the founder of USA Network, the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Networks International. She created the business model for cable networks by introducing the concept of two revenue streams: licensing and advertising. She led the company and served as Chairperson and CEO until the company was sold for US$4.5b in 1998.
Kay is currently Chairman and Co-founder of Springboard Enterprises, the premier platform where entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts meet to build great women-led businesses by providing education, resources, coaches and support for high-growth companies seeking equity capital for expansion. Since its inception in 2000, Springboard has raised more than US$6.2b and created over 20,000 jobs.
She is the author of Bold Women, Big Ideas and speaks on the topics of women’s leadership in areas such as entrepreneurship, board diversity and media. Kay earned her master’s degree in Communications from Michigan State University and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin.
S&B Industrial Minerals SA
Chairman of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Greece 2008 and 2011 Judging Panel
Ulysses is the Chairman of S&B, a company that has a “market-to-mine” approach. It focuses on understanding the customers’ needs (the “market”) and developing and transforming natural resources (the “mine”) into industrial solutions. He has held several leadership positions with the company and has been the Chairman for 14 years.
Ulysses is a key figure in Greece’s entrepreneurial community, and he has served as Chairman of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises and as Vice President of Business Europe and of Hellenic Exchanges Holdings. He has been honored with the Kouros Award of Entrepreneurship by the President of the Hellenic Republic and was appointed a Grand Commander of the Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of Portugal.
Ulysses, who was twice recognized among Europe’s 500 Dynamic Entrepreneurs, completed his studies in Mining Engineering in Austria and the UK, and he received his MBA from INSEAD in France.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 1998 Ireland
Denis is the Chairman and principal shareholder of the privately owned Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing cellular companies in the world. Denis founded Digicel in 2001, when the company launched a GSM cellular phone service in the Caribbean. Since then, Digicel Group has extended its operations to 32 markets with almost 12 million subscribers.
He is one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors. He also founded Communicorp Group, which owns and manages a portfolio of media and broadcasting-related companies in Ireland, Bulgaria and Latvia.
Outside of his extensive business interests, Denis chaired the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland – the first time the Summer Games were staged outside the US. He is a Director on the US Board of Concern Worldwide and a member of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
Denis holds a BA from University College Dublin and an MBA from Boston College.
Liew Kee Sin
Chairman, Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd.
Former President and CEO, S P Setia Berhad
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year for Malaysia in 2011
Liew, Chairman of Battersea Project Holding, began his career with a merchant bank in 1981. After five years in the banking industry, he took the entrepreneurial path by developing his first residential project in Kuala Lumpur. In 1996, he successfully engineered a reverse takeover of S P Setia Berhad, which he led for 18 years, until 2014. During his tenure, S P Setia grew from a small two-project company into an internationally recognized property player with more than 40 projects in six countries.
Among his more notable achievements was leading a Malaysian consortium to successfully acquire UK’s Battersea Power Station. In early 2013, the first phase of the project was launched to a near sold-out reception, a mere four months after the completion of site acquisition.
Liew, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year for Malaysia in 2011, has been recognized by many organizations for his success as a leader and entrepreneur. Among his accolades was the Lifetime Achievement Award for Property and Philanthropic Leadership from the World Chinese Economic Forum in 2012. In 2013, he was also recognized as Malaysia’s Outstanding CEO for demonstrating exemplary leadership in building businesses and creating value, by the country’s leading business publication, The Edge, through its Billion Ringgit Club awards.
Underpinning all of this is Liew’s belief in excellence, team spirit and commitment to drive community enrichment to make a real difference in people’s lives — a goal he continues to regard as the biggest joy of entrepreneurship.
Ashish is a serial entrepreneur who founded his first business with a US$5,000 loan. Since then, he has driven the growth of Mara from a small IT business in Uganda to a globally recognized multi-sector investment group. Today, it employs over 8,000 people across 19 African countries in sectors spanning IT services, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture.
Ashish continues to drive the business development and strategy of Mara. In 2012, he was appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in recognition of his success and leadership in driving social and economic change in Africa. Ashish is also a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Africa.
Ashish advises several heads of state in Sub-Saharan Africa and is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young entrepreneurs. In 2009, he founded the Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy.
Chairman and Managing Director
Hong Kong Maxim’s Group
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 China - Hong Kong
Michael is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of Hong Kong Maxim’s Group, Hong Kong’s largest food and beverage corporation and restaurant chain operating company.
Michael has been a force behind the transformation of Maxim’s from a core business of Chinese restaurants, fast food outlets and bakery shops to a diversified catering company that also includes Asian and European restaurants, coffee shops, Japanese chain restaurants and institutional catering. Hong Kong Maxim’s Group now operates 840 outlets serving more than 600,000 people every day in Hong Kong, China and Vietnam, and it provides air catering services at 11 airports in China through joint ventures.
Michael’s intuition and passion for the industry helped him to establish a new line of contemporary restaurants called m.a.x. concepts, including Café Landmark, Thai Basil and simplylife. Apart from developing its own brands, Maxim’s is also the licensee of Starbucks Coffee and Genki Sushi.