World Entrepreneur Of The Year
Speakers and contributors
Group Vice Chairman
CLS Communication AG
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2007 Switzerland
Doris has led CLS as Group CFO for 16 years and was recently named Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. The firm's core business is writing, editing and translating. It also has a terminology department that assists clients with creating their own corporate dictionaries and organizing their linguistic assets.
Under Doris' leadership, CLS has evolved from a translation department of a major bank into a full-service provider of language services with 600 employees and 5,000 external partners.
Doris is a certified translator and holds an Executive MBA from the University of St. Gallen. For several years, she has been a Member of the Board of the Switzerland Global Enterprise. In 2007, she was the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in recognition of her entrepreneurial achievements. Prior to CLS, she held executive positions in the translation departments of two major banks and worked as a language technology consultant.
Darko Budeč, M. Sc. E. E.
Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Serbia
Darko is the founder and CEO of BUCK, a company engaged in industrial design and production of luminaire products and lamps. The company operates in line with global quality standards and exports its products to 24 countries worldwide.
Based on the idea that good light can have a positive effect on human well-being, BUCK is a clear example of the merits of a thoroughly thought-out strategy and patience in the market. When creating his company, Darko had the vision of combining his two passions: engineering and light. He later added a third passion: industrial design.
Darko, winner of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in Serbia in 2012, has an innate ability to inspire and lead in good and less than good times. He appreciates his team members, understands the needs and aspirations of his employees and supports them in achieving their balance between work and leisure time.
Sir Alex Ferguson
Manager, Manchester United football club (1986-2013)
Record-breaking coach lauded as the most successful manager in British football history
First coach to win the Premiership title, FA Cup and European Cup in the same season
Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired in 2013 as manager of Manchester United, is regarded as one of the most admired and respected managers in the history of football. Sir Alex won 38 trophies in 26 years. For his approach, ideals and accomplishments he was awarded the rank of Knight Bachelor.
He developed a leadership philosophy that was studied by Harvard Business School. The consistent success Sir Alex produced was the driving force that resulted in Manchester becoming the most valuable sports franchise in the world. The growing commercialization of football attracted wealthy investors, allowing teams to outspend Manchester. However, Sir Alex’s formula for talent development, organizational management and motivation and his unwavering goal of ‘‘building a club rather than a team’’ enabled Manchester to achieve record-breaking results.
Sir Alex was respected by his players because he supported their development and fiercely protected them. He expected the highest-caliber performance and personal discipline and traded or benched players who didn’t live up to expectations. This approach to talent management and his famous youth program produced some of the most decorated players in history.
Sir Alex remains on Manchester United’s Board. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the Manchester Metropolitan University. He received an Honorary master’s in 1998. Sir Alex has written two books, the second of which was released in 2013.
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, especially in the markets 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 established a de facto standard of the high-speed serial interface. Furthermore, Dr. Iizuka, accompanied with several semiconductor entrepreneurs, established the Japan Semiconductor Venture Association (JASVA).
Dr. Iizuka was the 2001 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in Japan and has also served as a judge. He earned his PhD from the University of Tokyo.
Founder and Owner
International Beverages Consultancy (IBC) Group
Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Jordan
Akram has built a business empire that provides infrastructure support to the food and beverage industry. His companies undertake a range of activities including the installation of bottle-filling lines at beverage plants, carbon dioxide production and the blowing of polyethylene terephthalate, a product used to make bottles. The group was founded in 2000 with an investment of only US$7000. Today, it is worth approximately US$58M with a dominant market share in the Middle East and North Africa and employs over 300 highly skilled engineers.
Akram invests over US$2m annually in building the capacity of fresh graduates and underprivileged students in Jordan and other countries with high unemployment rates. He also serves on the board of Oasis 500, a Jordanian seed investment and development company that supports entrepreneurs by providing them with investment, training and mentoring.
Co-Founder & CEO
Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 US
David is the co-founder and CEO of Bionic, an enterprise social innovation platform. He is an entrepreneur with a wide range of marketing and technology expertise focused on social, mobile, and search advertising and product development.
Prior to Bionic, David served as the co-founder and CEO of Clickable, an online advertising software as a service. Prior to Clickable, David co-founded SmartRay Network, a mobile advertising pioneer, and Net-X, a web-authoring platform.
David is an active angel investor through his fund, Alt Option Return, and serves on the National Board of the Smithsonian. He received the EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM Award and ID Magazine's International Design Award in 2008.
He is the creator and co-author of the two-time New York Times bestselling book, The Intellectual Devotional. His latest book, The Startup Playbook, was released in January 2013.
David is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
S&B Industrial Minerals SA
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 has served as Chairman of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, 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 received his MBA from INSEAD in France.
Zsolt E. Lavotha
Chairman and President
Monaco Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (MVCA)
Zsolt Lavotha has over 30 years of experience in the global biotech and pharmaceutical industry. His diverse and proven background includes R&D, sales and marketing, human resources, manufacturing, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, senior executive positions, and other business operational matters.
Zsolt’s vast experience ranges from large corporate environments to start-up companies. He spent most of his career at Pfizer & Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, where he held increasingly senior roles and responsibilities, including heading all subsidiary operations in his territory, leading multiple manufacturing operations, and the planning and execution of several significant acquisitions. Later in his career, he was responsible for building two start-up companies within the “specialty-pharma” sector and took one of those companies public (ORX-OMX/NASDAQ).
Zsolt earned his BS degree from Uppsala University and graduated from the Senior Executive Business Education Program at Columbia University. He serves as a mentor at The International University of Monaco (IUM) and has been decorated by Prince Albert II with the “l’Ordre de Saint-Charles.”
Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Argentina
Martín is the CEO of Globant, an innovative multinational software products company he founded with three friends. Prior to his current role he worked in the technology industry for more than 18 years in a variety of leadership positions. As CEO, Martín drove the company from a small start-up to a global organization with presence in the US, UK, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Argentina. It employs over 2,800 professionals worldwide.
Martín, who has a passion to inspire future entrepreneurs, was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2005, won a Konex Award as one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of 2008 and was recognized with the EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM Award in 2013. Further, he was awarded with the Security Award as one of the most distinguished Businessmen of the year in 2009. Martín holds a degree in Electronic Engineering from La Plata University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from CEMA University.
Tan Sri A K Nathan
Group Managing Director
Eversendai Corporation Bhd
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 Malaysia
Tan is the Group Managing Director for Eversendai Corporation, a leading integrated structural steel turnkey contractor with facilities in Malaysia, UAE and Qatar.
Through perseverance and discipline, Tan has tackled the intricacies of the construction business, bringing it to a higher level with his innovative construction methodologies. He brought Eversendai to where it is today – a company with over 10,000 staffers in 11 countries – by delivering projects on a timely basis with an emphasis on quality and safety. He takes pride in fulfilling his commitment to clients and employees and being able to provide a platform for people to grow and attain success in life.
Under his leadership, Eversendai has successfully completed the steelwork for some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Through his leadership and vision, he was recognized as the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 Malaysia Award winner.
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 degree from University College Dublin and an MBA from Boston College.
Dr. Ruth Oltjer
Owner & CEO
Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Estonia
Dr. Oltjer is the owner and CEO of Chemi-Pharm AS, one of the fastest growing disinfection agent and cleaning product production companies in the world. The company specializes in establishing proper disinfection systems in countries where MRSA Infection Index is the highest in an effort to eradicate one of most deadly bacteria in the world.
An important role in the company’s success story has been played by its R&D department and close co-operation with many global universities and science centers. Today, more than half of Chemi Pharm’s turnover is generated by export. Its main export markets are the EU, former Soviet Republics, Russia and Asia.
Dr. Oltjer has turned a small, family-owned Estonian business into a fast-expanding chemical company, which applies green manufacturing processes and develops exceptionally user-friendly and environmentally safe disinfection products.
She was named EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM 2012 for Estonia.
Founder & Non-Executive Director
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Australia
Anthony followed his entrepreneurial spirit and founded McMillan Shakespeare, a growing company that provides remuneration, asset management and finance services to public and private organizations in Australia and New Zealand.
Anthony recognized early on that providing Australian employees with a combination of cash/salary and a range of benefits could create significant commercial benefits to thousands of Australian businesses and their employees. He built a business that combines salary packaging services with vehicle leasing and fleet management, financing, insurance and other related services. McMillan Shakespeare currently holds 60% of the Australian market and is one of Australia’s top 150 securities-exchange-listed companies.
Through Anthony’s pioneering spirit and persistence, he was able to facilitate and create new markets for the provision of non-cash remuneration benefits for working-class employees. He was the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2012 Australia Award winner.
Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Poland
In 1991, Ewald Raben, CEO of Raben Group, opened a branch of his family company in Poland with only 12 employees. Today, the Polish branch is the HQ of the multinational logistics operator, with 4,500 employees in Poland and 7,500 in Europe. The Group has over 130 terminals and distribution centers, on approximately 1m sq. ft. of warehouse space, currently servicing multiple markets throughout the European region.
Ewald has always stood for meeting the needs of the most demanding logistics customers. He learned the details of the business by working at every level, including driving trucks and picking up pallets. Ewald believes that quality services require state-of-the-art tools, and the Group has been optimizing their technical solutions in order to change the face of modern logistics into customer-friendly, IT-based service.
He has always been there for his people, sharing Raben Group’s mission, vision and values. The Group’s CSR policy is about positive relations with the local community, the environment and the employees. Ewald has launched many campaigns and initiatives promoting road safety, importance of logistics and healthy lifestyle, including a calculator of greenhouse gases emission.
Mara Group & Mara Foundation
Ashish is a serial entrepreneur who founded his first business with a US$5,000 loan. Since then, he has driven the growth of the company 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, Ashish 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.
Dr. Alan Ulsifer
CEO, President and Chair
Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Canada
Dr. Ulsifer is the CEO, President and Chair of FYidoctors, a private, optometry-owned eyecare provider. At the time FYidoctors was formed, it was the largest merger in Canadian history (by number of companies), and now has over 200 locations across Canada.
After graduating from the University of Waterloo as an optometrist in 1990, Dr. Ulsifer became one of the founders and the Managing Partner of Northern Vision Centre, which developed into one of Canada’s largest independent optometric practices. While in this role he received multiple awards for academic and clinical achievement. While with FYidoctors, he received Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM Award in 2012.
Dr. Ulsifer has also been involved at the executive level in many volunteer organizations and has spoken in Canada and the US on many subjects. The most recent topic being, “The Future of Eyecare in Canada.”
Founder & CEO
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 US
World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013
Hamdi founded Chobani in 2005 and launched Chobani Greek Yogurt in 2007. Less than six years later, it has become the No.1-selling Greek Yogurt brand in the US with more than a billion dollars in annual sales – making Chobani one of the fastest-growing companies in history. For his impact, Hamdi was named the 2013 EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™.
Hamdi, a Kurdish immigrant, grew up in eastern Turkey, helping with his family’s farm and feta cheese business. In 1994, he moved to study business in the US and during that time he decided to start a small cheese company in Central New York. Later, with the help of a Small Business Administration loan, he purchased a plant and officially started Chobani.
Hamdi is a passionate philanthropist, pledging to give 10% of profits to charity through Chobani’s charitable arm, the Chobani Foundation, which distributes grants to grassroots organizations all over the world. He remains dedicated to empowering individuals to reach their full potential. He is committed to making good food accessible to more people, and to strengthening US manufacturing in small towns.
For his leadership and career achievements, Hamdi has received numerous awards, including the Small Business Association’s Entrepreneurial Success Award. He was also inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement. Hamdi sits on the Advisory Boards of the Pathfinder Village, American Turkish Council and Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and is a Vice Chair of the Corporate Fund Board of the Kennedy Center.
The Art of Vision
Internationally recognized artist
Number 1 best selling author
Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized graffiti artist, No. 1 best-selling author, speed painter and entrepreneur. Erik redefines the term “keynote speaker” by showcasing his creativity and motivation. Pulling from his history as both a businessman and an artist, he has grown to become one of the most sought-after corporate speakers. Erik’s on-stage speed painting seamlessly becomes a visual metaphor to the core of his message: encouraging organizations toward profitability through innovations and superior levels of performance.
Erik’s best-selling business book, Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius, was hailed by Forbes Magazine as “THE blueprint to actionable creativity” and by Fast Company magazine as “provocative with a purpose.”
Erik’s understanding of vision was originally born in the school of disappointment. After an eight-year career as a partner in a corporate firm, he became frustrated by the lack of innovative thought and corresponding profits he saw in business. So he set out to challenge companies to change their way of thinking, while simultaneously pursuing his own individual passions by combining business and art. He rediscovered his love for art and now plays in the business world by working through his art. This blending of the two is his effort to help the business community “create a vision to create disruptive strategies.”
Erik attended the University of San Diego, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business.
Professor Muhammad Yunus
Nobel Peace Prize recipient 2006
Professor Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006, is the founder of Grameen Bank and more than 50 other companies. For his constant innovation and enterprise, FORTUNE magazine named him “one of 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time.”
Professor Yunus received the Fulbright Scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, and he earned his PhD in Economics. He joined the University of Chittagong’s Department of Economics as its Chairman and later started to experiment with providing collateral-free loans to the poor. The project was called the Grameen Bank Project and later became a full-fledged bank for providing loans to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh. Today, Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women, and disburses over US$1.5b each year.
Professor Yunus’ concept of social business, which he introduced into the economic framework, is defined as a non-dividend company dedicated to solving social problems, such as health care, education, sanitation, water pollution, unemployment and environmental degradation. His microcredit idea has spread to almost all the countries of the world, including the industrialized countries of the West.
Professor Yunus is one of the seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. Other notable awards he has been awarded include the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the World Food Prize and the International Simon Bolivar Prize.
Professor Yunus is the author of several books, most recently Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs.
More to be announced so check back soon.