Entrepreneur Nominations Open

January 23, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — Ernst & Young is seeking nominations for the third annual West Michigan Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) awards that recognize fast-growing businesses in the western half of the Lower Peninsula and Northwest Indiana.

The international annual awards program honors entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

This year’s West Michigan EOY awards banquet will be held Thursday evening, June 24, in the Ambassador Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.

Nominations are being sought in a number of industry categories, which in the past have included business and financial services, transportation, technology/communication, retail, real estate/construction, health sciences and manufacturing.

Nomination forms are available via the Ernst & Young Web site at www.ey.com/us/eoy or by calling (800) 755-AWARD.

Forms must be received by Friday, April 2.

To be eligible, an entrepreneur’s company must have been operating a minimum of two years.

Also eligible are owners and managers responsible for the growth and performance of privately held companies and founders of public companies active in top management.

Entrepreneurs can nominate themselves, or can be nominated by co-workers, suppliers or customers.

A lot of nominations have already been received, noted Ernst & Young spokeswoman Kristie Burns.

A panel of independent judges comprised of West Michigan business, academic and civic leaders will select award recipients.

Judges base their decisions on entrepreneurs’ demonstrated successes in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and growth in operations and staff, as well as on their business commitment and community involvement.

This year’s judges are:

  • Dan Barcheski, CEO of Axios Inc.

  • John Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Stryker Corp.

  • J.C. Huizenga, chairman and founder of National Heritage Academies

  • Birgit Klohs, president of The Right Place Inc.

  • Anne Schieber, business reporter and host of WOOD TV 8’s Market Watch

  • Patrick Thompson, CEO of Trans-Matic Manufacturing Co.

  • Fred P. Keller, chairman and CEO of Cascade Engineering

West Michigan award recipients will be eligible to compete in several national award categories, including the 2004 National Entrepreneur Of The Year award, which will be announced at the EOY International Conference Nov. 18-21 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Local sponsors this year are Fifth Third Bank, MARSH, Grand Valley State University’s Seidman School of Business, the Grand Rapids Business Journal and WGVU.

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