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Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards open for nominations

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The San Diego office of Ernst & Young LLP announced on Monday the opening of the nomination period for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010 Awards in San Diego.

The deadline for applications is March 19, with the awards ceremony scheduled for June 9 at Hyatt Regency La Jolla.

The awards, now in its 24th year, is recognized as a prestigious business award program in the country. Award winners are selected by a panel of independent judges, including local business owners, many who have won in the past, as well as area leaders from civic organizations and academic institutions.

“Ernst & Young has recognized leading entrepreneurs for their contributions to society for nearly a quarter of a century,” said Dan Kleeburg, director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program for San Diego. “These entrepreneurs create jobs, bolster the economy, drive innovation and revitalize their communities. We are proud to support them.”

Last year, seven entrepreneurs in six categories from San Diego were selected as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners from more than 100 nominations. Past award winners in San Diego have included Aelxis Lukianov of Nuvasive, Ernest Rady of American Assets, Les Cross of DJO, Jeffrey McCain of McCain Inc., Jeff Goldberg and Tanner Haigwood of CaliBamboo, Jose Luis Leparte of PriceSmart, and Polina Braunstein of Quake Global.

“This program honors the outstanding entrepreneurial minds in our local area,” said Dan Kleeburg. “Entrepreneurs are nominated and evaluated by those in the region, bringing regional business, academic and community leaders together to celebrate achievements that make a real difference.”

Regional award winners are nominated for the national Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. Additionally, venture-backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year award regionally are also eligible for the Venture Capital Award of Excellence on a national level.

All honorees are invited to the national Entrepreneur Of The Year gala, hosted by Jay Leno, on Nov. 13 in Palm Springs. The gala is the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

To be eligible for consideration, the nominee must be primarily responsible for the recent performance of a company and an active member of top management. Additionally, the nominee's company must be at least three years old.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards is nationally sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Local sponsors include MARSH, Union Bank, Cox Business, Foundation for Enterprise Development, The Daily Transcript and Scherzer International.

For more information and nomination forms contact: Irene M. Veca, Program Manager, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year San Diego Awards, at 858-535-7383 or Irene.Veca@ey.com. Information is also available at www.ey.com/us/eoy.

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