Press release

Ernst & Young LLP announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® semifinalists in San Diego

San Diego, CA, 1 April, 2013

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Ernst & Young LLP today announced the semifinalists for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award in the San Diego region. The awards program recognizes high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

These 28 semifinalists were selected from nearly 60 nominations by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 13, 2013 at the Hyatt Aventine, La Jolla, CA.

  • Kim Reed Perell, CEO – Adconion Direct, San Diego, CA
  • Bruce McFarland, Founder/President – American Wave Machines, Inc., Solana Beach, CA
  • John Crisafulli, President – Behind the Scenes Catering & Events, San Diego, CA
  • Theodore Schroeder, President & CEO – Cadence Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, CA
  • Raj Lahoti, Co-Founder & CEO –, San Diego, CA
  • Tom Tullie, CEO & Chairman of the Board – ecoATM, San Diego, CA
  • John Kontopuls, President & CEO – ELITE, San Diego, CA
  • Laurent Desclos, CEO – Ethertronics, San Diego, CA
  • Jeffery Sears, CEO – Fixtures Living, San Diego, CA
  • Christophe Schilling, CEO and Co-Founder – Genomatica, San Diego, CA
  • Keith Esshaki, CEO – GTC Systems Inc., San Diego, CA
  • Gregory Frost, President & CEO – Halozyme Therapeutics, San Diego, CA
  • Kian Saneii, CEO – Independa, Inc., La Jolla, CA
  • John Yi, Founder/Chairman/CEO – KES Inc., San Diego, CA
  • Gary Rayner, CEO – LifeProof, San Diego, CA
  • Robert Feeney, CEO and Founder – MedVantx, San Diego, CA
  • Michel Kripalani, President – Oceanhouse Media, Inc., Encinitas, CA
  • James Cable, CEO – Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., San Diego, CA
  • Tony Moran, CEO – Rapid Product Development Group, Inc., Escondido, CA
  • Reid Carr, CEO & President – Red Door Interactive, San Diego, CA
  • Gerald Proehl, President & CEO – Santarus, Inc., San Diego, CA
  • Jeff Martin, President & CEO – Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, San Diego, CA
  • Eric Basu, Founder/CEO – Sentek Global, San Diego, CA
  • Mary Fisher, CEO – SkinMedica, Carlsbad, CA
  • Daniel Sullivan, President – Sullivan Solar Power, San Diego, CA
  • Kelly Grismer, President – The Wheat Group Inc., San Diego, CA
  • Thomas Kenney, President / Gregory Hallinan, Co-Founder/CMO – Verve Mobile, Carlsbad, CA
  • Andrew Zanelli, CEO – Visual Communications Company, LLC, Poway, CA

Now in its 27th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has expanded globally to recognize company builders in over 140 cities and in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners go on to compete at the national level. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 16, 2013. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In San Diego, local sponsors include: Marsh Insurance, Union Bank, Cox Business, The Daily Transcript, and Scherzer.

About EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year®
EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award recognizes the significant contributions of entrepreneurs who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.

About Ernst & Young LLP’s Strategic Growth Markets practice
Ernst & Young LLP’s Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at, or follow news on Twitter at EY_Growth.

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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EY refers to the global organization of member firms of EY Global Limed, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. This release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited serving clients in the U.S.