Entrepreneur Of The Year Named

June 3, 2002
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Eleven business owners won special recognition at Michigan's 2001 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) awards ceremony held Thursday evening at the Ritz Carlton in Dearborn. Grand Rapids Business Journal is among the co-sponsors of the annual event.

The annual awards program, established by Ernst & Young in 1989, recognizes companies based on their growth in operations, number of employees, earnings and revenue, as well as their community involvement.
Awards were given in eight business categories. John "Jack" Krasula, chairman and CEO of Decision Consultants Inc. of Southfield, was one of two winners in the Technology Services category and was also named "Master Entrepreneur" of the year.

Krasula will be among 50 entrepreneurs who will be eligible for the National Entrepreneur Of The Year award. National-level finalists and award winners will be announced at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year International Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., on Nov. 17.

Other Michigan EOY winners were:
E-Business:
 Mark Campbell, chairman and CEO, StoneAge.com Inc., Troy
Financial Services:  
Rufus "Bud" Reitzel, CEO and founder, Asset Acceptance Corp., Warren
Life Sciences: 
John "Jack" Bell and Timothy Spiro, general partners, Premier Health Care Management Inc., Bloomfield Hills
Manufacturing:
Sidney Taylor, chairman and CEO, SET Steel Inc., Detroit
Retail/Distribution:
Larry Gaynor, president and CEO, The Nailco Group, Farmington Hills
Service:
Gary Gabel, president, Great Lakes Strategies LLC, Birmingham
Technology:
Rob Risser, CEO, and Steve Williamson, president and chief technology officer, Picometrix Inc., Ann Arbor
Technology Services:
Bhushan Kulkarni, president and CEO, GDI Infotech Inc., Ann Arbor.
National level finalists and award winners will be announced at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year International Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., on Nov. 17.
The six West Michigan entrepreneurs among the 42 finalists were:
Gerald Johnson, chairman and CEO, Mercantile Bank Corp., Grand Rapids
Benjamin Smith III, chairman and CEO, Macatawa Bank Corp., Holland
Pam Hassevoort, CEO, Foreway Transportation Inc., Coopersville
Kristian Skogen, president and CEO, Unlimited MedStaff of America Inc., Grand Rapids
Keith Brophy, president and CEO, SageStone Inc., Grand Rapids.
Christopher Davis, president and CEO, Trident Technology Inc., Grand Rapids
The EOY program is nationally sponsored by USA Today, CNN, the Nasdaq Stock Market and Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Local sponsors are Bowne, Comerica Bank, The Grand Rapids Business Journal, Marsh USA Inc. and WOOD 1300. 

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