As in the past, nominations were collected from February through April. Then, throughout the month of April, Ernst & Young professionals conducted due-diligence site visits. Every year our professionals return to the office electrified by the entrepreneurial success stories they have heard.
The next step in the process is for our judges to identify the key attributes of entrepreneurship and then wade through the numerous nominations received. Every year our judges struggle to identify the best from the outstanding group of finalists.
Finally, we prepare for the awards ceremony to honor the finalists and award recipients. Every year the cream rises to the top and we are amazed by the success stories that have taken place right in our own backyard, Northeastern Ohio.
Previous award recipients have included such success stories as:
- Jack Kahl, Manco
- Gregg Foster, Elyria Foundry
- Sam and Barry Minoff, Kichler Lighting
- Nancy Tabor, Accustaff
- Wayne Hellman, Advanced Lighting
- John Outcalt, NCS Healthcare
- Mal Mixon, Invacare
- Ed Crawford, Park Ohio
- Joe Callahan, Swagelok
- Shelly Adelman, Blue Coral
- Joe Carreras, Sinter Metals
- Burt Morgan, Basic Search
- Bill Sanford, Steris.
It is obvious to all that the prior recipients represent a Hall of Fame of Entrepreneurs. But most important, they provide jobs, opportunities, stability and growth to our prosperous Northeastern Ohio economy.
Every year after the awards are presented, we begin to worry about next year's program and ask ourselves Where do they all come from? Who'll be left for next year?
Every year our worries disappear in April, when the nominations arrive and we marvel at the great stories. This year was certainly no exception. We congratulate and thank the 1998 finalists and winners for their dedication to be the best.
Donald T. Misheff is partner and area director of entrepreneurial services at Ernst & Young LLP.