Press release
30 Apr 2024 

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Pacific Southwest Award Finalists

Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates ambitious entrepreneurs who are shaping the future

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Irvine, CA April 30, 2024 – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Pacific Southwest Award. The Pacific Southwest program celebrates entrepreneurs from California (San Diego & Orange County) Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. Now in its 38th year, Entrepreneur Of The Year is the preeminent competitive business award for audacious leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize industries and have a transformational impact on lives. Over the past four decades, the program has recognized the daring entrepreneurs with big ideas and bold actions that reshape our world.

These 47 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.

"This year's finalists are bold entrepreneurs creating a lasting impression in their industries and communities," said Kevin Mc Holland, Partner and Pacific Southwest – Arizona Program Co-Director. "Selected by an independent panel of judges, these trailblazers demonstrate unwavering dedication to their companies, customers and communities. We are delighted to recognize their successes."

Entrepreneur Of The Year honors many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage and entrepreneurial spirit. The program celebrates original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organization to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

The 2024 Pacific Southwest finalists are:

Rajeev Kapur | 1105 Media | Newport Beach, California

Heather Aiu and Rachael Leina'ala Soares | ALOHA Collection | Encinitas, California

Ming-I Huang | Aracari Biosciences, Inc. | Irvine, California

Joe Payne | Arcturus Therapeutics | San Diego, California

Nick Mansour | Arizona College of Nursing | Phoenix, Arizona

Ishan Patel | Audien Hearing | Scottsdale, Arizona

Rich Yang | Biolinq Incorporated | San Diego, California

Jake Brander | Brander Group Inc. | Scottsdale, Arizona

Doug Jackson | CALI | Encinitas, California

Arthur Kuan | CG Oncology, Inc. | Irvine, California

Zach Bradford | CleanSpark | Henderson, Nevada

Tim Mobley | Connext Global Solutions | Honolulu, Hawaii

Arvin Wijay | Consolidated Analytics | Santa Ana, California

Ed Evans | Consumer Cellular | Scottsdale, Arizona

Scott Struthers | Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | San Diego, California

Joshua Britton | Debut | San Diego, California

Russ Perry | Design Pickle | Scottsdale, Arizona

Joshua Church and Rob Church | Edge Theory Labs, Inc. | Carlsbad, California

Matt Thompson | Endologix LLC | Irvine, California

Hugh Lytle | Equality Health LLC | Scottsdale, Arizona

Sanjeev Aggarwal | Everspin Technologies | Chandler, Arizona

Christine Zack | Fiore Industries/Fiore Global Enterprises | Las Vegas, Nevada

Ron Dutt | Flux Power | Vista, California

Tej Patel | Fluxergy | Irvine, California

Christophe Schilling | Genomatica, Inc. | San Diego, California

Brian Rauso | Green Cheek Beer Co | Orange, California

Kevin Bassalleck | Gridworks, Inc. | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tom Miller | Iambic Therapeutics | San Diego, California

Jeffrey Janicik | Innoflight, LLC | San Diego, California

Steve Carroll and Steve Nicholson | Kelso Industries LLC | Phoenix, Arizona

Susan Kim | Kopari Beauty | La Jolla, California

Kevin Lind | Longboard Pharmaceuticals | La Jolla, California

Josh Hartmann | NexMetro Communities | Phoenix, Arizona

Chris Karkenny | NVISION Eye Centers | Aliso Viejo, California

Jennifer Barnes | Optima Office | San Diego, California

Todd Watts | PatientFi | Irvine, California

Don Steiner | Profit Recovery Partners | Santa Ana, California

Brandon Tseng and Ryan Tseng | Shield AI | San Diego, California

Josh Snow | Snow Cosmetics LLC | Phoenix, Arizona

Tammy Cooper | Technologent | Irvine, California

Brett Turner | Trovata | Solana Beach, California

Juliana Elstad | Vibrato Medical | Newport Beach, California

Louis Basile | Wildflower | Scottsdale, Arizona

Learn more about the finalists at

Regional award winners will be announced on June 7, 2024 during a special celebration. The winners will then be considered by the National independent panel of 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.

In addition to Entrepreneur Of The Year, EY US supports other entrepreneurs through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program and the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network to help connect women founders and Black and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs, respectively, with the resources, network and access needed to unlock their full potential.


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

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Founded in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year® has celebrated more than 11,000 ambitious visionaries who are leading successful, dynamic businesses in the US, and it has since expanded to nearly 80 countries and territories globally.

The US program consists of 17 regional programs whose panels of independent judges select the regional award winners every June. Those winners compete for national recognition at the Strategic Growth Forum® in November where National finalists and award winners are announced. The overall National winner represents the US at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® competition. Visit

About EY

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