EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Greater Los Angeles Awards

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Business Services

WINNER

los_eoy_KenMcBrideKen McBride
Chairman and CEO
Stamps.com
www.stamps.com

 

For the past decade, Ken McBride’s company, Stamps.com, has pursued the mission of becoming the largest processor of postage in the United States. The company has been a leading pioneer of every major advance and product in the PC postage industry, while also providing incredible value and savings in using United States Postal Service products and services.
Stamps.com was the first ever USPS-licensed vendor to offer consumers the ability to print USPS-approved postage directly from their printers. This allows customers to print exact postage instead of making trips to the post office, saving time and money. Another innovation driven by McBride was Stamps.com’s launch of PhotoStamps, which for the first time allowed customers to turn digital photos, designs and images into valid U.S. postage.
In April of 1999, McBride joined Stamps.com as one of its first few employees before it launched its first product and first revenue. In doing so, he had the foresight to understand that the postage industry was ready for change, dominated by old-world companies with old-world technologies.
After Stamps.com veered off course under the previous leadership team, McBride constructed a solution for saving the company from liquidation, restructuring its operations and setting the business on a path to achieve substantial revenue growth. He implemented dramatic cost-cutting programs, including a substantial reduction in headcount, eliminated hugely expensive marketing commitments and increased the price of the Stamps.com service. He also introduced a new culture of disciplined focus on strategic market testing.
Named CEO of Stamps.com in August 2001 — and later chairman in 2012 — McBride has built a successful company with an executive management team that has average tenure of more than a decade. The company has been profitable for the past decade, recognized with multiple industry awards, including being named one of America’s 100 Best Small Companies in 2013 by Forbes.


FINALISTS

los_eoy_StevenWattsSteven Watts
President
CSI Electrical Contractors, Inc.
www.csielectric.com

 

To most people, electrical contracting is not a very exciting business. It is an honorable trade that offers a safe, steady means to make a comfortable living. Steven Watts wasn’t looking to continue that trend in electrical contracting. Instead, he started CSI Electrical Contractors, Inc. in a one-room office in 1990, determined to make his business a high-tech partner to the companies it serves.
In starting CSI Electrical Contractors, Watts, president, wanted to go after the coolest, most interesting projects. Thus was the inspiration for CSI’s core positioning to be the industry’s leading provider of innovative, value-added engineering solutions.
CSI has realized this goal in both strategic and everyday ways. CSI was one of the first to embrace computer-aided engineering, bringing high-end computer aided design capabilities to CSI in the early 1990s. It also was a pioneer in pre-fabrication, manufacturing key modules to expedite the completion of projects with tight deadlines and limited work areas.
Under Watts’ guidance, CSI has elevated fields such as alternative energy from simple solar panel installations into a highly sophisticated, high-tech business. In turn, these resources have attracted marquee customers and a spectrum of high-profile projects, making CSI a magnet for new engineering talent and skilled tradespeople.
Along the way, CSI has attracted a diverse customer base, drawing from all of California’s leading industries.
A less confident, less inquisitive individual could not have led CSI to its current level of success. Watts recognizes the importance of relationships, and has boldly sought out and established relationships with competitors. He is not afraid to ask how something is done and offers the same candor to other electrical contracting firms that ask the same question of him. Through these peer groups, he continuously infuses CSI with innovative thinking and the drive to always improve.


 

los_eoy_KarenjoGoodwinKarenjo Goodwin
Founder and CEO
Exact Staff Inc.
www.exactstaff.com

 

Exact Staff Inc. was founded in 1996 with Karenjo Goodwin’s specific vision in mind — provide an exceptional experience in career identification to each and every qualified candidate. Despite competition from more than 300 employment agencies, Goodwin chose to start Exact Staff, and make it stand out from the rest.
With previous work history in the staffing industry, Goodwin, CEO, saw the need for the creation of a company that was candidate-centric. From the first office in Woodland Hills, Exact Staff has expanded to 19 offices in 12 states and has developed a unique business model through a consortium of other staffing firms allowing for a national reach through all 50 states and Canada.
Most importantly for Exact Staff, there is an atmosphere of family and deep dedication among the team that Goodwin has built. While Exact Staff is a technologically advanced staffing agency, Goodwin insists that the “human” touch of the entire career/placement process must always be the focal point of differentiation.
Customization and personalization is at the forefront of the business mission. Every staff member is empowered as a “personal concierge” to work closely with client companies to make them aware of available talent before the need arises.
Since 1996, Exact Staff has grown substantially and now has a family of companies including Exact Accounting Staff, Exact Legal Staff, Exact Tech Staff and Exact Medical Staff, and is seeing tremendous growth in these areas as well. Exact Staff is unique with this family of companies in that each area offers a boutique level of customer service while providing a one-stop option for client companies.
This business model allows clients to receive economies-of-scale price points while retaining the personalized levels of service of a smaller organization. To date Exact Staff has found employment for more than 200,000 people.