San Diego is fortunate to be home to some of the most innovative and exceptional entrepreneurs in the nation. Once a year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are held to pay tribute to these outstanding businesspeople, and to bring their amazing stories to the community so that others can learn and benefit from their experience and ingenuity. We at Ernst & Young sponsor these awards because of our conviction that entrepreneurs are, quite simply, the most important people in the world. Entrepreneurs are the front guard in society, leading by direction, by invention and by example. Without entrepreneurial thinking and those individuals who turn innovative thought into action, society would be sadly lacking in leadership, and there would be little progress, either technologically or in improving the standard of living for its members. Leadership is a quality, or collection of qualities, integral to entrepreneurship. The skills used in assembling a business enterprise, in guiding and motivating its workers, the vision that directs a company through an uncharted course, the strength that holds that course in the face of adversity: These are the hallmarks of a leader and of an entrepreneur. And somewhere along that arduous journey, entrepreneurs grow from leaders to legends. The Ernst & Young 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards celebrates the accomplishments of San Diego's premier entrepreneurs. Some have built their legends with a display of excellence over decades. Others have new stories, being told for the first time, but all are inspiring demonstrations of leadership at its finest. Congratulations!
John A. Belli