Press release

7 Jun 2021 Irvine, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Pacific Southwest — Orange County Finalists

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Pacific Southwest — Orange County Award.

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Related topics Entrepreneur Unstoppables

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Pacific Southwest — Orange County Award. Now in its 35th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors audacious business leaders whose ambition, courage and ingenuity help catapult us from now to next and beyond. These eleven entrepreneurs were selected as finalists by a panel of independent judges.

Award winners will be announced during a special virtual celebration on August 5, 2021 and will join the ranks of a lifelong community of esteemed Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni from around the world.

The 2021 Pacific Southwest - Orange County finalists are:

  • Joshua Kreitzer, CEO | Channel Bakers | Anaheim, CA
  • Anderee Berengian, CEO | Cie Digital | Irvine, CA
  • Scott Saunders, Founder and CEO | Happy Money | Tustin, CA
  • Tony Stahl, Co-CEO | KOS | Anaheim, CA
  • Maryam Rofougaran, CEO and Reza Rofougaran, Co-Founder and CTO | Movandi | Irvine, CA
  • Donald DiCostanzo, Founder and CEO | Pedego | Fountain Valley, CA
  • Deepak Garg, Founder and CEO | Smart Energy Water | Irvine, CA
  • Kurt Busch, CEO  | Syntiant  | Irvine, CA
  • Fadi Cheikha, CEO  | US Alliance Group  | Rancho Santa Margarita
  • Mark Williams, CEO and President  | ZO Skin Health  | Irvine, 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: entrepreneurial leadership; talent management; degree of difficulty; financial performance; societal impact and building a values-based company; and originality, innovation and future plans. Since its launch, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries throughout the world.

“This year’s finalists are the next class in a long line of unstoppable visionaries,” said Innocent Shumba, US-West EY Private Leader. “They have been carefully selected by our independent panel of judges for their unwavering commitment to their companies, customers and communities in a year of unprecedented change. We are thrilled to share their inspiring stories this year.”

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, to be announced in November at the Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings 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 2022.

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners have 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.

Pacific Southwest — Orange County Region Focus

Each year, EY US showcases successful entrepreneurs from 20 regional competitions across the United States. In 2020, five entrepreneurs leading companies from the Pacific Southwest — Orange County were selected as Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners.

For information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific Southwest — Orange County program, please visit


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

In the Pacific Southwest — Orange County Region, sponsors also include Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth (Premium Sponsor), Lockton Insurance Brokers, LLC (Premium Sponsor), Tangram (Supporting Sponsor) and Cresa (Supporting 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. National Overall winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title.

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

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