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2015 Judging panel


The success of the program relies on the efforts of our independent panel of judges. These past Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners and civic and community leaders devote significant effort to review and deliberate the merits of each nominee. We deeply appreciate their dedication to this process.


Andy Laats, Founder & Executive Chairman
Consumer Products Winner: 2005

Ernest Rady, Founder & Executive Chairman
American Assets Trust
Board Chairman, Insurance Co. of the West
Lifetime Achievement Award: 2009
  (Insurance Co. of the West)

National Winner: 2009 (Financial Services)
San Diego Judge: 2010-12, 2014
National Judge: 2010-12

Gerry Proehl, Board Member
Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Tenax Therapeutics, Sophiris, Patara Pharma, Kinetek Sports
Former CEO, Santarus, Inc.
Life Sciences Winner: 2013
San Diego Judge: 2014

Greg Lucier, Chairman & Interim CEO
NuVasive, Inc.
Master Entrepreneur Award: 2011 (Life Technologies)
San Diego Judge: 2004-2005

John Sarkisian, Founder & Vice Chairman
Board Member, BrightScope
Consumer Products Winner: 1999 (Oscar’s)

Les Cross, Chairman
Alphatec Spine
Master Entrepreneur Award: 2009 (DJO Inc.)
San Diego Judge: 2013-14

Mike Grey, Chairman & CEO
Reneo Pharmaceuticals
Venture Partner, Pappas Ventures
Emerging Winner: 2014 (Lumena Pharma.)

Quinn Li,VP & Managing Director


Karin Eastham, Board Member
Illumina, Geron, Morphosys AG, Veracyte
AltheaDx, San Diego Symphony
Orange County Judge: 2014
National Judge: 2009

Kathleen Sellick, Former CEO
Rady Children's Hospital
Social Responsibility Winner: 2014

Scott Dennis, Co-founder & CEO
D&K Engineering
Business Services Winner: 2012
San Diego Judge: 2013-14

Ted Schroeder, Board Member
Cidara Therapeutics, Hyperion Therapeutics, Sharp Healthcare Foundation
Former CEO & Co-founder, Cadence Pharmaceuticals
Chairman, Biocom
Life Science Winner: 2014

Tom Gildred, Co-founder & CEO
Emerald Textiles;
Board Chair, FMT Consultants;
Board Member, Gildred Development Co.
Emerging Business Winner: 2012
National Finalist: 2012, 2014
San Diego Judge: 2013-14