Larry Puddister, Executive Chairman of Pennecon (left), joined by Gina Kinsman, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Atlantic Program Director (right), is this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Atlantic winner.
Larry’s entrepreneurial journey started at the age of 12 in his hometown of Bay Bulls, Newfoundland and Labrador, cutting out cod tongues to sell to the local grocery store for some extra money. From these humble beginnings, Larry later found success as a project manager in the engineering sector and then began his own business: Northland Contracting.
Northland went on to merge with Pennecon in 2005. Larry’s enthusiasm, courageousness and tenacity set the pace for Pennecon and lifted the company to new heights. Starting as a small paving company some 40 years ago, it has since evolved into a multi-disciplined organization employing over 2,000 people across six Canadian provinces.
“Under Larry’s leadership, Pennecon experienced many years of growth through savvy business decisions and strategic acquisitions,” says Gina Kinsman, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Atlantic Program Director. “But like many companies, success didn’t come in a straight line for Larry. Whether it’s difficult weather conditions, tight deadlines, red tape or unforeseen circumstances, working in the construction industry hasn’t always been easy. Yet, Larry has developed a culture where innovation is a seamless aspect in the way they do business to help mitigate issues and overcome challenges.”
This has helped pushed the company to achieve significant growth, even in times of uncertainty. Pennecon has seen geographic expansion, organic growth and diversification of the company’s service offerings to include heavy civil, industrial, services and maintenance, and marine.
“More than just business, Larry understands the importance of maintaining a corporate culture that motivates, nurtures and rewards,” says Kinsman. “His leadership has allowed Pennecon to build a reputation and brand that are sought after by many of the largest construction and engineering companies around the world. We’re proud to recognize his achievements.”
Also recognized at the gala was Brendan Paddick of Columbus Capital Corporation with a Special Citation Award for Master Entrepreneur for his success and innovation in the telecommunications sector, and leadership and support in the Atlantic business community.
As the Atlantic region’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019, Larry will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Pacific, Prairies, Ontario and Québec regions for the national honour of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Canada, to be presented at a gala celebration on 28 November 2019 in Toronto. In June 2020, Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 50 country recipients for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.
Follow @EYCanada and #EOYAtlantic on Twitter for the latest event updates. Visit ey.com/ca/EOY for more program details and a complete list of category finalists and gala dates in other regions.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Atlantic category award recipients:
Pennecon | St. John’s
Consumer Products & Retail
Action Car & Truck Accessories Inc. | Moncton
Backman Vidcom | Halifax
Health & Wellness
Nova Leap Health Corp. | Halifax
Archway Insurance | Amherst
Gina McFetridge, Michael Stack
Real Estate & Construction
Progress Homes Inc. and Chancellor Park Inc. | St. John’s
Proposify | Halifax
Kevin Springer, Kyle Racki
Special Citation: Master Entrepreneur
Columbus Capital Corporation
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About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries. ey.com/ca/EOY
The 2019 Atlantic independent judging panel consists of Andrea Feunekes, CEO, President and Co-Founder, Remsoft Inc.; Douglas Hall, Director (retired), Pattern Energy Group Inc.; Ed Barrett, President, Barrett Corporation; Kent Scales, CEO, Scales Group of Companies; Nora Duke, Executive Vice President, Fortis Inc.; and Toon Nagtegaal, Founder and Owner, THENEXTPHASE.
This year's program national sponsors are The Globe and Mail Inc., ICI RDI, The TMX Group, Air Canada, Media One Creative and The Printing House Limited. Atlantic regional sponsor is Atlantic Business Magazine.
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