We are proud to present the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2005 awards program in San Diego. This year's finalists are a remarkable group of men and women whose stories demonstrate what can be accomplished by individuals who believe in themselves and in their dreams. Although these outstanding businesspeople come from a diverse range of fields, they share a common trait: a relentless drive for improvement. They were not satisfied with the status quo. While they may have respected tradition, they recognized it as a starting point, not an end.
To do what has never been done, to create what has never existed, requires conviction, creativity and courage. In business, innovators are called entrepreneurs, and the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program celebrates their achievements.
The drive and ingenuity of entrepreneurs puts them ahead of the curve. Their leadership inspires others to follow. Their vision helps shape new industries. Their countless contributions create stronger communities and bolster our economy. It's these entrepreneurs who turn the seemingly impossible into a reality. And we have all benefited.
Tonight we applaud this entrepreneurial spirit and recognize an important milestone. In the company of family, friends and colleagues, we add these entrepreneurs' names to an impressive roster of past Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists. For 19 years, our finalists have represented the leaders and visionaries of San Diego. Tonight's finalists exemplify those qualities and raise the bar for programs to follow.