Press release
09 May 2023  | San Diego, CA, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023 Pacific Southwest Finalists

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Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates ambitious entrepreneurs who are building bolder futures

SAN DIEGO, May 5, 2023 – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023 Pacific Southwest program. The Pacific Southwest program celebrates entrepreneurs from California (San Diego & Orange County), Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. Now in its 37th year, Entrepreneur Of The Year is the preeminent competitive business awards for transformative entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all.

These entrepreneurs were selected as finalists by an independent panel of judges. The candidates were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.

The 2023 Pacific Southwest finalists are:

Chance Mims | Academy Securities | San Diego, California

Quyen Nguyen | Alume Biosciences | San Diego, California

John Shen | American Lending Center Holdings Inc. | Irvine, California

Jimmy Whalen | Arbitech, LLC | Irvine, California

Gary Moore, Ryan Moore, Jeff Moore and Scott Moore | ATI Restoration | Anaheim, California

John Beaver | Biolase, Inc. | Foothill Ranch, California

Chris Loeffler | Caliber | Scottsdale, Arizona

Dirk Wray | Camston Wrather | Carlsbad, California

Shahab Elmi | Cymbiotika LLC | San Diego, California

Alexi Venneri | Digital Air Strike | Scottsdale, Arizona

Mark Schouten | Diversified Roofing | Phoenix, Arizona

Sean Lupton-Smith | Electric Bike Co. | Costa Mesa, California

Tom Miller | Entos Inc | La Jolla, California

Kathey Wagner | EPS Group, Inc. | Mesa, Arizona

David Moatazedi | Evolus | Newport Beach, California

Michelle Heeb | Forward Tilt | Scottsdale, Arizona

Scott Shainman | Fusion Care Group | La Mesa, California

Maher Albitar | Genomic Testing Cooperative | Irvine, California

Vicki Mayo | Global Market Innovators (GMI) | Phoenix, Arizona

David Wachs | Handwrytten | Tempe, Arizona

Maritza Diaz | ITJ USA, Inc | Rancho Santa Fe, California

David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim | Ka'ena Corporation | Costa Mesa, California

Ahad Khan | Kajabi LLC | Irvine, California

John Ho | Landsea Homes | Newport Beach, California

Kevin Lind | Longboard Pharmaceuticals | La Jolla, California

Donny Salazar | MasonHub |Rancho Cucamonga, California

Russ Garcia, Chris Giovanniello and Chris Keimel | Menlo Microsystems, Inc. | Irvine, California

Jeff Spight | MIND 24-7 | Scottsdale, Arizona

Steve Zhou | Moov Technologies, Inc. | Tempe, Arizona

Chris Karkenny | NVISION Eye Center | Aliso Viejo, California

Kentaro Kawamori | Persefoni | Tempe, Arizona

Chuck Casano | Pitaya Foods | San Diego, California

Jack Kennedy | Platform Science | San Diego, California

Mark McKenna | Prometheus Biosciences | La Jolla, California

Douglas Bryant | QuidelOrtho Corporation |San Diego, California

Brad Hillier | Re-Bath | Phoenix, Arizona

Greg Flesher | Reneo Pharmaceuticals | Irvine, California

Stephanie Venn Watson and Eric Venn Watson | Seraphina Therapeutics | San Diego, California

Lucas Haldeman | SmartRent | Scottsdale, Arizona

Anthony Margaraci | Trinity Packaging Supply | Newport Beach, California

Cody Barbo | Trust & Will | San Diego, California

Simer Mayo | Valor Global | Phoenix, Arizona

Ville Houttu | Vincit USA | Irvine, California

“This year’s finalists are remarkable and inspiring entrepreneurs who have created positive impact across their industries and communities,” said Jon Smith, Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific Southwest Program Director and Partner at EY. “They have been carefully selected by our independent panel of judges, and we are thrilled to recognize them for their notable contributions and commitment to their companies, customers and communities.”

Regional award winners will be announced on June 16, 2023 during a special celebration. The winners will then be considered by the National judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual 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 World Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in June 2024.  

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized more than 11,000 entrepreneurs throughout the US since its inception in 1986, and it has grown to recognize business leaders across 145 cities in over 60 countries around the world.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, N.A.; SAP America; and the Kauffman Foundation. In the Pacific Southwest, sponsors also include platinum sponsors: Cresa and Marsh McLennan Agency; gold sponsors: Big Picture, Cooley (San Diego market), Stradling (Orange County market), and Tangram (Orange County market); and silver sponsor: DLA Piper (Arizona market).

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 Award winners go on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® title. Visit

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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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