EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Greater Los Angeles Awards

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Consumer Services

WINNER

los_eoy_ScottPainterScott Painter
Founder and CEO
TrueCar, Inc.
www.truecar.com

 

Scott Painter is an investor and serial entrepreneur in the technology and automotive industries. Over the past 20 years, he has incorporated 37 companies, building each one in order to tear away obfuscation and even the playing field so that everyone wins.
In 2005, Painter founded TrueCar, Inc., the negotiation-free car-buying platform, to bring truth and transparency to the auto industry. With TrueCar, Painter, the company’s CEO, has used all of his past knowledge and experience since he created his first auto business at age 14 to transform the automotive industry. He believed the auto buyer’s experience was unfair, and wanted to give consumers the power of information to get the best price possible.
In 2011, following years of profitability, TrueCar faced backlash from the automotive industry and several state agencies. Painter found his business on the brink of failure after thousands of car dealers boycotted TrueCar. He made the decision to work with dealers instead of against them and strategically revamped the company’s product offering so both buyer and seller would win.
TrueCar’s nationwide network of more than 7,500 TrueCar Certified Dealers is unique within the retail automotive industry because the company is willing to provide upfront pricing information and guaranteed savings as a way of establishing trust with today’s car buyers. TrueCar Certified Dealers are also committed to providing negotiation-free savings off MSRP for some of the country’s largest membership and service organizations. Over the past year, the TrueCar.com experience has enabled TrueCar users to save, on average, more than $3,000 off MSRP.
As part of TrueCar’s “Women Empowered” initiative, Painter pledged to help fund female professional racecar drivers. He also serves on the boards of several nonprofit and charitable organizations, including Save Cal Rugby, Cedar Sinai Medical Center and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “After-School All-Stars.”


 

FINALISTS

los_eoy_JameyEdwardsJamey Edwards
CEO
Emergent Medical Associates
www.ema.us

 

In 2006, when Jamey Edwards left his career at Lehman Brothers to become CEO of Emergent Medical Associates (EMA), an emergency room physician group, one of his biggest obstacles was the fact that he did not have a medical background or a history in the health care industry.
Throughout his entrepreneurial career, Edwards has exhibited an ability to grow outstanding companies that are both socially responsible and financially profitable. He saw EMA as a small company with great potential to be a platform for widespread change in the health care industry.
Edwards used his global perspective to see a larger role for EMA in being a solutions provider to a challenged and rapidly evolving industry. He quickly incorporated the idea of combining physician and executive management styles to create the leadership model for EMA.
Edwards led the creation of a proprietary set of integrated management techniques, combining performance measurement with a relationship-oriented approach targeted towards creating “Emergency Departments of Excellence.” These techniques proved so successful that hospital clients in the industry have dubbed it the “EMA Effect” due to its positive influence on industry standards.
This reputation for excellence has resulted in EMA being the fastest growing emergency physician group in California, and turned a department that hospital administrators previously viewed as a cost center into a profit center and engine of change.
Having built up EMA, Edwards was not satisfied with merely maintaining the status quo. He used his determination to launch several new companies that were natural complements to the core business. These companies include Benchmark, a hospitalist division; LAN, a unified medical communications company; and Carenection, a telehealth organization that connects hospitals and makes it easier for patients to access specialists.
By building affiliates like LAN, Carenection and Benchmark, Edwards turned EMA into a comprehensive health care solution provider with unlimited growth potential for the future.


 

los_eoy_BlaineVessBlaine Vess
Co-founder and CEO
StudyMode
www.studymode.com

 

In less than 15 years, Blaine Vess has grown a dorm room project into a multinational company of 15 Web properties that reaches more than 90 million visitors per month. Vess’ ultimate goal is to make StudyMode the “go-to” source for students, parents and educators with products that support the entire student life cycle across all academic disciplines.
The history of StudyMode can best be described as: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In 1999, Vess was a frustrated college freshman because of the high cost of school, the competition for grades, and the difficulty and cost associated with obtaining books and study materials. So, he launched OPPapers.com — a simple online tool for his friends to share notes and research documents. He very quickly realized that he had a marketable and scalable product.
For the next decade, Vess perfected and re-branded the site to become StudyMode.com. In 2008, Vess launched BuenasTareas.com, a Spanish-language version of StudyMode.com. In 2011, Vess established an office and hired full-time employees. Today, in addition to research repositories, StudyMode offers flashcard sites, a citation generator and multiple other tools.
StudyMode is expanding internationally with various versions of StudyMode.com available in French, Chinese, Ukrainian, Russian and Portuguese. The Spanish version is now the world’s largest Spanish-language education support platform with more than 26 million registered members. Vess is currently developing a math solver product expected to launch this summer.
Vess serves on the board of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), which provides protection and aid to North Korean refugees hiding in China, and has personally assisted in the rescuing of North Korean refugees in Southeast Asia. Closer to home, Vess is an active participant in The Last Mile program teaching business and entrepreneurial skills to qualified incarcerated men. Vess works directly with inmates several times each month.