Honoring entrepreneurship Featured

8:00pm EDT June 23, 2005

Congratulations to all of the finalists in the Illinois Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award program.

Ernst & Young created the Entrepreneur Of The Year award -- the Award for Business Leadership -- to honor the accomplishments of the great men and women who make our economy vibrant. I continue to be amazed and encouraged by the entrepreneurial business achievements that I encounter.

Each year, finalists and award recipients demonstrate incredible depth of character as they develop new technologies, create faster ways to distribute goods and services, and improve the quality of life for those around them. Again this year, the individuals we honor are no exception.

For the past 19 years, we have proudly recognized outstanding business leaders across Illinois. This year's Illinois program participants have succeeded through turbulent economic times and emerged even stronger. As they forged ahead, they may not have listened when told it couldn't be done, and they continue to take chances that others consider too risky.

They are leaders rather than followers. We are inspired by their achievements.

As we look toward tomorrow's entrepreneurs, join us in congratulating the leaders of today, innovators who have achieved their American dream. The following pages highlight those individuals who pursued this coveted distinction.

Congratulations on your continued success.

Randall L. Tavierne is Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Illinois director and a partner at Ernst & Young LLP.