Bumper crop of entrepreneurs to take part in 15th year of iconic business awards

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Monday 18th May 2015 - EY today announced the 100 entrepreneurs from across the nation who are in the running to be crowned the 2015 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM.

EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader for Oceania, Bryan Zekulich, said this year’s nominee field includes some of Australia’s best entrepreneurial businesses across a diverse range of fields including property, fitness, technology, food and beverage, kids’ toys, health and education.

“In our 15th anniversary year of celebrating the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Australia, it’s inspiring to see such an abundance of talented and successful homegrown entrepreneurs making a significant difference to the local and global economy,” Mr Zekulich said.

“At EY, we believe the new wave of Australian businesses is critical to the next generation of job seekers and to maintaining our nation’s high standard of living. The Federal Treasurer has also recognised the significant value entrepreneurs bring to the economy and, through the recent budget initiatives, is helping promote further innovation and enabling more people to chase their business dreams.”

“Recognising and promoting success stories is another way we can encourage future entrepreneurs and EY is proud to have now celebrated 15 years of entrepreneurial excellence in Australia.”

“Each of the nominees in this year’s program has the courage and conviction to make their business dreams a reality and, in the process, they are helping build a better working world by creating new jobs, driving innovation and productivity, boosting the economy and inspiring others.”

“Being selected to take part in the Entrepreneur Of The Year program is a significant achievement and we congratulate all of this year’s nominees on reaching this milestone. We look forward to following their progress through the regional and national awards, and to crowning one of them as our 15th Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year later this year.”

Adam Bennett, Group Executive Business & Private Banking, Commonwealth Bank, said that entrepreneurs are a critical part of the Australian economy and we are proud to be the principal sponsor of a program that recognises the exceptional standard of entrepreneurial achievement in Australia.

“Australia continues to be fertile ground for outstanding and diverse entrepreneurial talent, and this year’s nominees are a world-class representation of business leadership,” Mr Bennett said.

“At the Commonwealth Bank, innovation is part of our DNA and we are honoured to be associated with some of Australia’s top business innovators, who continue to inspire and motivate others in their pursuit of high calibre enterprise.”

“I would like to congratulate all the nominees and wish them the best in their pursuit of this accolade.”

The nominees will first vie for regional honours at award ceremonies across the country during July and August, with the regional category winners going on to compete at the national awards ceremony in Sydney in October. The overall Australian winner will then continue on in the global program, travelling to Monte Carlo in June 2016 to compete against other national winners from more than 60 countries for the chance to be crowned the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™.

Nominees are assessed by a panel of independent judges, including previous Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners and other successful Australian business leaders according to six core criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, personal integrity and influence, financial performance, strategic direction, and national and global impact.

A full list of regional nominees in the 2015 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards is below.  Additional information, including biographies for each of the nominees, is available at www.ey.com/au/eoy.

Central Region (SA & NT) nominees

  • Kylie Bishop – LBW Environmental Projects
  • Tony Ceravolo and Joe Ceravolo – Ceravolo Orchards Pty Ltd
  • Chris Christopher – Sunfresh Salads Pty Ltd
  • John Eastwood – U-Store-It Pty Ltd
  • Phil Harris - Harris Real Estate
  • Kayla Itsines and Tobias Pearce – The Bikini Body Training Company
  • Kelly Keates – Zonge Engineering and Research Organization (Australia) Pty Ltd
  • Kivi Kuet Vi Lay – Lay Group
  • Andrew Nunn – JBS&G
  • Toby Strong – PODiSTA
  • Sheree Sullivan and Saul Sullivan – Udder Delights Group & Cheese Cellar
  • Paul Vinton – Vintek
  • Jim Whalley – Nova Systems

Central Region award recipients

  • Social entrepreneur – Dr James Muecke – Sight For All
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Peter Hurley – Hurley Hotel Group

The Central Region awards ceremony will be held in Adelaide on Thursday, 16 July 2015.

Eastern Region (NSW & ACT) nominees

  • Jeff Board – JAX Quickfit Franchising Systems Pty Ltd
  • Greg Boorer – Canberra Data Centres
  • Paul Chan – Pureprofile
  • Evan Clark – ClickView
  • Marc De Stoop – Climatech Group
  • Aurora Fonte – Assetlink
  • Michael Frizell – Pet Circle
  • Rodney Grunseit – Sunshades Eyewear Pty Ltd
  • Jason Gunn – Oliver’s Real Food
  • Stephane Ibos – Maestrano Pty Ltd
  • Connie Mckeage – OneVue
  • Hamish Petrie – Ingogo
  • Timothy Power – 3P Learning Limited
  • Nadia Taylor and Alf Taylor – TNA Australia Pty Ltd
  • Andy Taylor – Yatango
  • Dean Willemsen – Prime Build

Eastern Region award recipients

  • Listed award – James Spenceley – Vocus Communications Limited
  • Social entrepreneur – Robert de Castella AO MBE – Indigenous Marathon Project and SmartStart for Kids

The Eastern Region awards ceremony will be held in Sydney on Thursday, 13 August 2015.

Northern Region (QLD) nominees

  • Carl Amor – Aqualuma LED Lighting
  • Michael Bell and Nic Blair – Search Factory
  • Stephen Donnelly – Blue Ribbon Group
  • Greg Dower and Darren Stewart – my FootDr podiatry centres
  • Kate Farrar – QEnergy
  • Mark Fletcher and Paul Jones – Cohort Solutions
  • James Freestun – Solutions Group of Companies
  • Marlies Hobbs – Paleo Café
  • Mark James – The GJI Group
  • Dwayne Martens – Amazonia
  • Fred Mohammed – Crane Trucks R Us Pty Ltd
  • Dr Mark Perissinotto – VetShopAustralia
  • Dean Robertson – Mexia
  • Robert Rowe – Tú Projects Pty Ltd
  • Katie Schloman – Miktysh
  • Sarah Timmerman – Beginning Boutique
  • Michael Trusler – PlantMiner
  • Paul Woosley – Australian Prime Fibre
  • Peter Wyatt – Record Holdings

Northern Region award recipients

  • Listed award – Mark Sowerby – Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited
  • Social entrepreneur – Juliette Wright – GIVIT Listed Ltd
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – John Van Lieshout – Unison Projects

The Northern Region awards ceremony will be held in Brisbane on Thursday, 30 July 2015.

Southern Region (VIC & TAS) nominees

  • Nicki Bowers – Kloud Solutions
  • Suren Chandrajit – LEDified
  • Daniel Flynn – Thankyou
  • Josiah Humphrey and Mark McDonald – Appster
  • Tolga Kumova – Syrah Resources Limited
  • Craig McDonald – MailGuard Pty Ltd
  • Dr Kia Pajouhesh – Smile Solutions
  • Michael Schreiber – Strike Entertainment
  • Manny Stul – Moose Enterprise Holdings & Controlled Entities
  • Cyan Ta’eed and Collis Ta’eed – Envato
  • Emma Welsh and Tom Griffith – Emma & Tom’s

Southern Region award recipients

  • Listed award – Andrew Sudholz – Japara Aged Care and Retirement
  • Social entrepreneur – Ian Carson – SecondBite
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Richard Smith – PFD Food Services 

The Southern Region awards ceremony will be held in Melbourne on Thursday, 6 August 2015.

Western Region (WA) nominees

  • Matthew Allen – Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd
  • Russell Baskerville – Empired Limited
  • Paul Bitdorf – Nicheliving
  • Maurice Brand – Liquefied Natural Gas Limited
  • Damian Collins – Momentum Wealth
  • Suzanne Daubney – Bannister Downs Dairy
  • Ayman Haydar – Haydar Pty Ltd
  • Scott Houston – Executive Risk Solutions
  • Torsten Ketelsen – GMA Garnet Group
  • Lauren Knee – Silk Hospitality
  • Veronica Macpherson – MACRO Realty Developments
  • Rick Musarra – CraneCorp Australia Pty Ltd
  • Petra Nelson – Bright People Technologies Pty Ltd
  • Savvas Papadopoulos – Aerison Pty Ltd
  • Prof Tim St Pierre – Resonance Health Limited
  • Dr Marcus Tan – HealthEngine
  • Craig Thompson – Sea Corporation Pty Ltd
  • Benjamin Trinh – Life Ready Health Group

Western Region award recipients

  • Listed award – Peter Botten – Oil Search
  • Social entrepreneur – Lockie Cooke – ICEA Foundation
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Dale Alcock – ABN Group

The Western Region awards ceremony will be held in Perth on Thursday, 23 July 2015.



About EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognising them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

The Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program, launched in 2001, is conducted in five regions culminating in the national awards. The program honours entrepreneurs whose ingenuity and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures. Entrepreneur Of The Year’s primary objective is to identify, acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contribution entrepreneurs make to the Australian business community and economy.

The Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year program now has alumni of over 1,400 entrepreneurs who have participated in the program. Since the program’s inception more than 15,000 people have attended Entrepreneur Of The Year events and award ceremonies in Australia.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young Australia, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.

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