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E&Y names six winners of the Entrepreneur of the Year award

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Ice chips flew when chainsaw-wielding women in heels opened Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 awards Thursday in San Diego with the sculpting of the E&Y logo out of ice blocks.

The six individual winners of the Entrepreneur of the Year awards all had one thing in common -- they said they couldn’t have gotten where they were without their team.

Kim Reed Perell, CEO of Adconion Direct, won the Entrepreneur of the Year award for business services.

“Great people make great companies. I believe that with every part of my being,” Perell said. “It’s amazing what we have done together. … My father is an amazing entrepreneur and my inspiration. I truly won the parent lottery.”

The winner of the medical products and services Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Mary Fisher, CEO of SkinMedica. Gerald Proehl won the life sciences Entrepreneur of the Year award. Proehl is the president and CEO of Santarus Inc. (Nasdaq: SNTS).

Tom Tullie took home the Entrepreneur of the Year award in the technology category. Tullie is the CEO and chairman at ecoATM.

“I would like to define a successful entrepreneur as a leader of a team of passionate, entrepreneurial thinking individuals, who are single-minded in their quest for achievement,” Tullie said.

The consumer products and services Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Gary Rayner, CEO of LifeProof.

Gary Rayner, CEO of LifeProof. Courtesy photo

“LifeProof is the story of persistence. This is our second time here at the Ernst & Young event,” Rayner said.

He thanked the San Diego community, which he says fosters and encourages entrepreneurship in many ways.

“While leadership matters, this really is a team effort and I’m so proud to be part of this team. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a great city to raise a great company,” Rayner said.

He also thanked OtterBox for acquiring his company three weeks ago.

The family business Entrepreneur of the Year award went to The Wheat Group Inc. Brothers Kelly, Chad and Brian Grismer accepted the award

“There’s three of us stooges together. So, my brother Kelly, my older brother Brian is the chief creative officer, creative genius. The 'a-ha moment' there is that as long as we stick together, we’re bound to be successful at some point and realize that no one of us will be as successful as the group of us,” CEO Chad Grismer said in a video presentation.

The six winners will go on to compete for the national Entrepreneur of the Year award in Palm Springs in November.

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