Honoring the best of the best


For 27 years, Ernst & Young has celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of men and women pursuing innovation and entrepreneurial excellence in their businesses, their teams and their communities. We are excited to announce that this year we received more than 1,600 national entries from some of the country’s most well deserving entrepreneurs.

The blood, sweat and passion they’ve poured into their businesses and the triumphs they’ve achieved stand as a testament to the role they play as visionaries, leaders and innovators. Ernst & Young founded the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program to recognize this passion for excellence and to build an influential and innovative community of peers.

We have gathered here and in 25 other cities in the U.S. to welcome the men and women who are regional award recipients into our entrepreneurial Hall of Fame and to toast their commitment to succeed. We applaud them for launching their companies, opening new markets and fueling job growth.

So let’s celebrate their achievements, perseverance and tireless pursuit of business excellence.


John Belli, office managing partner, Ernst & Young, Orange County


Kim E. Letch, partner and program director, Entrepreneur of the Year, Orange County

Kathy Beckman, program manager, Entrepreneur of the Year, Orange County

Kathy Beckman, program manager, Entrepreneur of the Year, Orange County









Family Business Category


Gennaro “Jerry” Paolone, Car Sound Exhaust Systems Inc.


Jim Beck, Nature’s Best

Eve Yen, Diamond Wipes International Inc.

Real Estate & Hospitality


Alan J. Fuerstman, Montage Hotels & Resorts


Doug Bauer, Tom Mitchell and Mike Grubbs, TRI Pointe Homes

David Kim and Jerome Fink, The Bascom Group

Retail & Consumer Products


Hezy Shaked, Tilly’s Inc.


John Fuller, The Johnny Rockets Group Inc.

Nick Seedorf, nuCourse Distribution Inc.

Business Services


Heidi Golledge, CyberCoders and CareerBliss


Dr. Vinod Jivrajka, AppleCare Medical Enterprises

Caryn Siebert, Carl Warren & Company



Joseph Renton, Systems & Software Enterprise


Dominic Gallello, MSC Software Corp.

Jonathan Ord, DealerSocket Inc.

Financial Services


Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic Inc.


Stephen Gordon, Opus Bank

Michael Joseph Purcell, Global Cash Card



Bala Iyer, Board Member

Life Technologies, QLogic, IHS,

Skyworks Solutions, Power Integrations

Prior Judge – 2009, 2012


Bruce Hallett, Managing Director

Miramar Venture Partners


Dan Lubeck, Managing Director/Founder

Solis Capital


*Dean Yoost, Board Member

Union bank, Pacific Life, Emulex, Belden Inc.

Prior Judge – 2010, 2011


*Doug Ammerman, Board Member/Director

Fidelity, Stantec, William Lyon Homes, El Pollo Loco

Prior Judge – 2011, 2012


Gary Jabara, Founder & CEO

Mobilitie, Inc.

Prior Winner – 2012

National Winner – 2012


Glenn Schafer, Chairman

Janus Capital Group, Skilled Healthcare

Prior Judge – 2011, 2012


Matthew Jenusaitis, President & CEO


Prior Judge – 2012


  • * Judge’s spokespeople