Press release

14 Sep 2020 Irvine, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Pacific Southwest - Orange County Award Finalists

Celebrating the unstoppable entrepreneurs whose ambitions transform our world

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Celebrating the unstoppable entrepreneurs whose ambitions transform our world

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Pacific Southwest - Orange County Award. Now in its 34th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors successful business leaders whose ambitions deliver innovation, growth and prosperity as they build and sustain groundbreaking companies that transform our world. These nine business leaders were selected as finalists by a panel of independent judges.

Award winners will be announced during a special virtual event on October 6, 2020 and will join the ranks of a lifelong community of esteemed Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni from around the world. This year, unstoppable entrepreneurs who have provided extraordinary support to their communities, employees and others during the COVID-19 crisis will also be recognized for their courage, resilience and ingenuity.

The 2020 Pacific Southwest - Orange County finalists are:

  • Raymond Cohen, CEO | Axonics | Irvine, CA
  • Kelly Ireland, CEO | CB Technologies Inc. | Orange, CA
  • Brian Niccol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer | Chipotle Mexican Grill | Newport Beach, CA
  • Ike Kavas, Founder, CEO and Chief Productivity Officer | Ephesoft | Irvine, CA
  • Laureen Asseo, CEO | Fresh N Lean | Anaheim, CA
  • John Pham, Co-Founder and CEO | Inbrace | Irvine, CA
  • Dave Van Meter, President and CEO | Ivantis, Inc. | Irvine, CA
  • Joel Stensby, President | KPRS Construction Services, Inc. | Brea, CA
  • Fadi Cheikha, CEO | US Alliance Group | Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. Finalists were evaluated based on six criteria, including overcoming adversity; financial performance; societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company; innovation; and talent management. Since its launch, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries throughout the world.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Orange County and our finalists are a true example of grit, persistence and innovation. We applaud each and every one of them for the impact they are making in our communities, creating jobs and bringing prosperity to Orange County,” said Jon Smith, Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific Southwest - Orange County Program Co-Director.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, to be announced in November during a virtual awards gala. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2021.

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners become lifetime members of a global, multi-industry community of award winners, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.

For more information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific Southwest - Orange County program, please visit EY.com/US/EOY/OC.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Kauffman Foundation.

The Pacific Southwest - Orange County sponsors also include Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth (Platinum Sponsor), Tangram (Gold Sponsor) and Cresa (Silver Sponsor).

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. Winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title. ey.com/us/eoy

About EY Private

As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private professionals possess the experience and passion to support private businesses and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private teams offer distinct insights born from the long EY history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private enterprises including private capital managers and investors and the portfolio businesses they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs. Visit ey.com/private

About EY

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