Press release

EY announces Entrepreneur Of The Year™ semifinalists in Greater Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA, 10 April, 2013

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Ernst & Young LLP announced today the semi-finalists for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award in Greater Los Angeles. 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 semi-finalists were selected from nearly 60 nominations by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 18, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

Janice Bryant Howroyd, CEO,
The Act 1 Group – Torrance, CA

Asher Delug, Founder & CEO,
Airpush, Inc. – Los Angeles, CA

Ophir Marish, CEO,
BuQu Tech – Camarillo, CA

Dinesh Ravishanker, CEO & Co-Founder,
CallFire – Santa Monica, CA

Mel Elias, President & CEO,
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – Los Angeles, CA

Clarence Daniels Jr., Chairman & CEO,
Concession Management Services – Los Angeles, CA

Sam Naficy, President & CEO,
DTT – Los Angeles, CA

Jeff Stibel, Chairman & CEO,
Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. – Malibu, CA

Martha de la Torre and Joe Badame,
Co-Founders, El Clasificado – Norwalk, CA

Jamey Edwards, CEO,
Emergent Medical Associates – Manhattan Beach, CA

Dan Engel, CEO & Co-Founder,
FastSpring – Santa Barbara, CA

Helene An, Catherine An, Hannah An, Elizabeth An, Jacqueline An, Monique An, Executive Chef and Managing Partners,
House of An – Santa Monica, CA

Sean Kelly, Co-Founder & CEO,
HUMAN Healthy Vending – Culver City, CA

Alex Moradi, Founder & Managing Partner,
ICO Development – Los Angeles, CA

Ed Bagdasarian, President, Jim Freedman, Chairman, Mike Rosenberg, CEO,
Intrepid Investment Bankers LLC – Los Angeles, CA

Evan Spiridellis, Co-Founder and CEO, Gregg Spiridellis,
Co-Founder and Head Art Guy, JibJab Media – Venice, CA

Bob Sinnott, CEO,
Kayne Anderson Capital Partners – Los Angeles, CA

Tom Bernthal, Co-Founder & CEO, Gareth Schweitzer, Co-Founder and President,
Kelton – Culver City, CA

Bill McMorrow, Chairman & CEO,
Kennedy Wilson – Beverly Hills, CA

Allen DeBevoise, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder,
Machinima – West Hollywood, CA

Moctesuma Esparza, CEO,
Maya Cinemas North America, Inc – Los Angeles, CA

Demian Sellfors, CEO,
Media Temple – Culver City, CA

Rick Stollmeyer, CEO,
MINDBODY Inc. – San Luis Obispo, CA

Deborah Sweeney, CEO, – Calabasas, CA

Tim Cadogan, CEO,
OpenX – Pasadena, CA

Bertrand Seow, David Tam, and Thomas McErlane, Co-Founders,
Ratespecial Interactive – Pasadena, CA

Tony Safoian, CEO,
SADA Systems, Inc. – North Hollywood, CA

Loren Bendele, President & Co-Founder, – Los Angeles, CA

Walter Driver, CEO,
Scopely – Los Angeles, CA

David Hsu, CEO,
Solarmax Technology, Inc – Riverside, CA

Barry Caldwell, President & CEO,
STAAR Surgical Company – Monrovia, CA

Ken McBride, CEO, – El Segundo, CA

Jessica Firestone, President & CEO,
Tempest Telecom Solutions LLC – Santa Barbara, CA

Jeff Green, CEO & Founder,
The Trade Desk – Ventura, CA

Zack Zalon, Managing Partner,
Wilshire Axon – Los Angeles, CA

Douglas Merrill, Founder & CEO,
ZestFinance – Los Angeles, CA

Paddy Spence, Chairman & CEO,
Zevia LLC – Culver City, 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 Greater Los Angeles, local sponsors include:

Platinum sponsors

  • Marsh
  • Scherzer International
  • Smart Business
  • Union Bank

Silver sponsors

  • Acacia Wealth Advisors
  • Avison Young
  • Strategic Equity Group
  • The Big Picture

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.

For more information, please visit

EY refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, 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 news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a client-serving member firm of Ernst Young Global Limited operating in the US.