Press release

7 Oct 2020 Irvine, US

EY Announces Winners for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Pacific Southwest — Orange County Award

EY builds on three decades of honoring unstoppable entrepreneurs in Orange County

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Related topics Entrepreneur Unstoppables

EY builds on three decades of honoring unstoppable entrepreneurs in Orange County

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) is pleased to announce the winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® Pacific SouthwestOrange County Award. Entrepreneur Of The Year® is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. This group of unstoppable entrepreneurial leaders transforming our world was selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous award winners, leading CEOs, investors and other regional business leaders. Pacific Southwest Orange County award winners were unveiled during the program’s first-ever virtual awards gala, hosted by Deborah Norville, anchor of Inside Edition, on October 6, 2020.

“We are delighted and honored to celebrate some of Orange County’s most successful entrepreneurs who exemplify the true definition of ambition, grit and persistence. Their positive impact on the growth of our local economy, creating jobs and giving back to their communities is truly impressive,” said Nitai Pathak, Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific Southwest — Orange County Program Co-Director. “We look forward to welcoming them into our esteemed community of global alumni and serving as a resource as they continue to make a positive impact in the world.”

The winners for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 Pacific Southwest — Orange County Award are:

  • Raymond Cohen, CEO | Axonics | Irvine, CA
  • Brian Niccol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer | Chipotle Mexican Grill | Newport Beach, CA
  • Laureen Asseo, CEO | Fresh N Lean | Anaheim, CA
  • Dave Van Meter, President and CEO | Ivantis, Inc. | Irvine, CA
  • Joel Stensby, President | KPRS Construction Services, Inc. | Brea, CA

Nominees 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.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 National Awards, to be announced Thursday, November 19, during a virtual awards gala. The awards are the culminating event of this year’s virtual Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. 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 entrepreneurs, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of program alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources. Since 1986, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized more than 10,000 US executives.

To learn more about the Pacific Southwest—Orange County program, please visit Join the conversation on social media using #EOYOC and #EOYUS.


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

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.

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