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Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year background and history

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The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) award honors entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hard work and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures. The yearlong program culminates each November with the national awards ceremony hosted by Jay Leno in Palm Springs, Calif. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program, founded and produced by Ernst & Young, originated in 1986 in Milwaukee, Wis., and is now celebrating its 22nd year of recognizing successful entrepreneurs.

As a result of its success, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has expanded to more than 50 countries and over 135 cities around the world. The program in the United States has grown from the one program in 1986 to 26 programs this year. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award has become the mark of world-class individuals leading world-class companies. Each year approximately 1,400 people attend the national awards in Palm Springs.

A Who's Who of America's business

The program is well known for identifying growing entrepreneurial businesses before they become household names. In San Diego, past national winners include:

¥ Irwin Jacobs, Qualcomm

¥ Bill Otterson, UCSD/CONNECT

¥ Peter Johnson, Agouron Pharmaceuticals

¥ George De Vries, American Specialty Healthcare Systems

¥ Michael Gallegos, American Property Management Corp.

¥ Peter Farrell, ResMed

¥ Walter Zable, Cubic Corp.

How it works

To be eligible to receive an award, the nominee must be an owner/manager of a private or public company who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company and an active member of top management. The nominee's company must be at least two years old.

Independent judging panels from each award area select approximately five to eight Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners in several industry categories, which could include Communications, Distribution/Manufacturing/Security, Energy & Related Services, Financial Services, Health Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Media & Entertainment, Real Estate, Hospitality &Construction, Services and Technology.

General awards

General awards at the regional level may also include:

¥ Master Entrepreneur Of The Year

¥ Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year

¥ Lifetime Achievement Award

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year national awards

All Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year regional award winners are eligible for the national awards. The national award winners are selected in general and industry categories by an independent national judging panel. From the national category winners, the overall National Entrepreneur Of The Year is chosen.

National finalists and winners in all categories will be announced at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala in Palm Springs on Nov. 15. In addition, all of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year national award winners and national finalists will be featured in the annual issue of Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year magazine, as well as other local and national media vehicles.

World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award

The current EOY country winners from around the world convened in Monte Carlo on May 31 for the eighth annual World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Gala. All of the country winners are inducted into the World Entrepreneur Of The Year World Academy. Following the induction ceremony, this year's World Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner was announced. Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil and the national winner from Canada, was named the 2007 World Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner.

EOY programs take place in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China-Mainland, China-Hong Kong/Macau, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.

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