It can be a long way from inspiration to success in building and growing a business, with plenty of obstacles and challenges along the path to slow the progress of even the most innovative individual. But successful entrepreneurs know that the well-traveled road rarely leads to prosperity. Rather than follow in the footsteps of others, entrepreneurs choose instead to lead to forge a new trail.
They are the remarkable men and women with the vision, determination and leadership to create the companies that produce new products, new jobs, new opportunities and new wealth. Ernst & Young created the Entrepreneur Of The Year® (EOY) award, the Award for Business Leadership, in 1986 to honor the accomplishments of the great men and women who drive our economy forward.
For the past 21 years, we have proudly recognized outstanding business leaders from across Eastern Michigan and Northwest Ohio. Each year, EOY 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 the people around them. The 2007 finalists are no exception.
This year’s EOY 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 average people consider too risky.
As we look toward tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, join us in congratulating the leaders of today, the innovators that have achieved their American dream. The following pages highlight those individuals who pursued this coveted distinction.
Congratulations on your continued success.
FRANK MASELLI is the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year director and a partner with Ernst & Young LLP.
Celebrating entrepreneurs and the businesses they build and grow has been a priority for Ernst & Young for more than two decades. We are proud to continue this distinguished tradition through the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® awards.
For more than 20 years, Ernst & Young has recognized thousands of entrepreneurs throughout Eastern Michigan and Northwest Ohio whose vision, leadership and record of achievement continue to impact our communities. As a leader in guiding these companies, we feel it’s important to honor them and recognize their impact, while encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.
Ernst & Young believes entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy. Whether it’s an innovative new business model or establishing new industries and trends, just about everything begins with an entrepreneur. Pick a company — any company — and you can trace its roots back to an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs find creative, venturesome ways to acquire the capital resources they need to achieve their goals and grow a business. They are individuals who drive the process of creating value by combining resources to exploit an opportunity. The men and women that we are honoring this year are no exception.
This year’s finalists went through a rigorous judging process and met with the program’s independent panel of judges for a thorough assessment of their company’s recent financial performance, strategic direction and product or service innovation, and an assessment of the company’s leadership, including personal integrity, values, key employee initiatives and community involvement.
Thanks to the entrepreneurs that have participated in this year’s program and, more importantly, for creating an entrepreneurial spirit in Eastern Michigan and Northwest Ohio. Their visions and the ability to achieve them have made significant contributions to improve the quality of life for those in our region.
Frank Maselli is a partner with Ernst & Young and the program director for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Central Great Lakes program.
Ernst & Young has a long-standing commitment to working with and recognizing high-impact entrepreneurs through its Strategic Growth Markets practice, which guides high-growth companies to market leadership. Find out more at www.ey.com/US/en/Services/Strategic-Growth-Markets.