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Zable wins Entrepreneur of the Year award

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Ernst & Young named Cubic Corp. (Amex: CUB) Chairman and CEO Walter Zable its Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 national award winner in the category of Distribution/Manufacturing/Security.

Ernst & Young's awards program recognizes the contributions of business leaders and founders who build and sustain "growing, dynamic businesses."

Zable, who at 91 is one of the oldest CEOs of any American company, is being recognized for founding and continuing to lead Cubic, a world leader in defense and transportation system technologies. Zable was honored as the national winner in the Distribution/Manufacturing/Security category at a gala in Palm Springs.

Awards were given in 10 additional categories. An independent panel of judges selected all Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year winners from approximately 300 regional award recipients.

"For the past two decades, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year awards have been honoring and recognizing the hard work, perseverance and ingenuity of the men and women who keep our economy vibrant by developing new products and services, creating jobs and supporting their communities -- and generally making the world a better place," said Phil Anderson, America's director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program.

Cubic, founded in 1951, has two primary business segments: Cubic Transportation Systems designs, manufactures and integrates automatic fare-collection systems for public transit projects all over the world; Cubic Defense Applications provides realistic live-combat training systems for military forces as well as virtual training systems, engineering and technical support, tactical battlefield systems and communications electronics.

In a recent interview with The Daily Transcript, Zable credited Cubic's longevity -- and his lengthy tenure as its leader -- with the company's diligence in staying on top of new innovations.

"You have to understand the technology and you have to have managers that understand," he said in a September interview. "That's a big problem, finding new managers. You can't create experience. The older you get, the more you know."

Zable's fascination with how things work started early. At age 10, he built his first crystal radio set as a student in Boston Public Schools. He later played professional football for the Richmond Arrows before turning to engineering and dedicating himself to discovery. With $5,000 and $20 worth of test equipment, he founded Cubic in 1951.

Among his early successes at Cubic were precision distance-measuring equipment and aerial photomapping systems. Over the years, Cubic's broad technological contributions have ranged from the nation's first electronic stadium scoreboard to a satellite surveying system that was the predecessor of today's global positioning system technology.

Cubic boasts annual revenues of $800 million and operates in 84 locations worldwide.

The Entrepreneur of the Year awards program was created and is produced in the United States by Ernst & Young LLP. The awards have expanded from a single program in 1986 to 26 regions in the United States and 39 countries worldwide.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year national program. To be considered for the prestigious award, candidates must be an owner or manager of a private or public company who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company and still active in top-level management.

An independent panel of judges consisting of business leaders and past Entrepreneur of the Year winners selects the finalists and award recipients. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program is nationally sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Send comments or questions to elizabeth.malloy@sddt.com.

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