Ernst & Young Seeks Preeminent Entrepreneurs in the Metro New York Area

Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

NEW YORK, March 21, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- It's that time of year again! Ernst & Young is seeking nominations for New York area entrepreneurs for the 2005 Entrepreneur Of The Year(r) Awards, one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country.

Now in its 19th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program recognizes outstanding entrepreneurial achievements. Past winners have included Michael Dell of Dell Inc., Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines and Howard Schultz of Starbucks. The national overall winner of the 2004 awards program was Wayne Huizenga, Chairman of Fort Lauderdale-based Huizenga Holdings, Inc. Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI), Auto Nation (NYSE:AN) and Waste Management (NYSE:WMI) are among the multi-billion dollar enterprises that Huizenga has helped to build so far in his career. More than 50 of the award program's winners have become members of the NASDAQ 100.

"For nearly two decades, Ernst & Young has been recognizing outstanding entrepreneurs for their remarkable leadership and successful accomplishments," said Chris Bruner, America's Director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program. "Ernst & Young has a long history of encouraging new business development by honoring the nation's top entrepreneurs."

Metro New York award recipients are selected by a panel of independent judges comprised of area leaders from business, academic, and civic organizations. Winners of the regional programs are automatically considered for the national event held annually in Palm Springs, Calif. The overall national Entrepreneur Of The Year is then considered for the world event held in Monte Carlo.

"The award was a great acknowledgement of the success our company has achieved in the past eight years," said Bill Collins, Vice President of Marketing for American Pie LLC, and a 2004 award recipient. "I found the program to be a good opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs and share common learning experiences in growing our respective businesses. Our company also found many of the program's co-sponsors to be valuable resources."

Awards Criteria

Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Self-nominations are encouraged and there is no fee for nominations, which must be received by April 8, 2005.

To be eligible for consideration, the nominee must be an owner/manager of a private or public company who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company (or organization); an active member of top management; and the company must have been operating for at least two years.

Individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the entrepreneurial spirit in America or helped an entrepreneur become successful through business, economic, or academic means are eligible for the Supporter of Entrepreneurship award, presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Nominees need not have founded a company (or organization) and may come from the corporate world or any level of academia.

New York Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Last year, 11 entrepreneurs in 8 categories from New York and CT were selected as Entrepreneur Of The Year award recipients from approximately 75 nominations. 2004 local winners included Alan Mitzner, President of American Pie LLC (Syosset, NY); Bill Collins, Vice President of Marketing for American Pie LLC; George Szarmach, Vice President of Sales for American Pie LLC; Stephen Hindy, Chairman and President of Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, NY); Leonard Tow, Chairman and CEO of Citizens Communications (Stamford, CT); Leo Schlinkert, CEO of Communicator, Inc. (White Plains, NY); Stanley Doobin, President of Harvard Maintenance (NY, NY); Maganlal Sutaria, CEO of Interpharm Holdings (Hauppauge, NY); Jerry Rao, Chairman and CEO of MphasiS (NY, NY); Jeroen Tas, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of MphasiS; Joseph Ficalora, President and CEO of New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (Westbury, NY); Noah Katz, Vice President of PSK Supermarkets; and Daniel Katz, Vice President of PSK Supermarkets (Mt. Vernon, NY). "It is exciting to see the high level of respect that entrepreneurs garner from their colleagues and their communities," said Roger Savell, EGM leader for the Metro New York area office of Ernst & Young. "Every year, a wide variety of professionals - bankers, attorneys, accountants, public relations and advertising executives - take part in nominating clients, friends and business associates for this prestigious award."


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young, The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards is nationally sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Metro New York sponsors include Curran & Connors, Marsh and Microsoft.

Award Categories

In addition to the Supporter of Entrepreneurship award, the regional and national award winners are selected within a wide range of categories and industry segments, including: Arts and Entertainment; Consumer and Business Services; Defense and Security; Financial Services; Hospitality/Real Estate/Construction; Information Technology; Health Sciences; Networking and Communications; Manufacturing/Distribution; and Retail and Consumer Products.

Contact Information

For more information and nomination forms contact: Kathy Farrell, program manager for Metro New York Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards, at, (203) 674-3208. Information is also available at

About the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards

The Entrepreneur Of The Year(r) awards program was created and is produced by professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP. As the first award of its kind, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year(r) recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses. The program honors entrepreneurs through regional, national and global award programs in over 100 cities and 35 countries.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, is committed to restoring the public's trust in professional services firms and in the quality of financial reporting. Its 100,000 people in 140 countries around the globe pursue the highest levels of integrity, quality, and professionalism to provide clients with solutions based on financial, transactional, and risk-management knowledge in Ernst & Young's core services of Audit, Tax, and Transaction Advisory Services. Ernst & Young practices also provide legal services in some parts of the world where permitted. Further information about Ernst & Young and its approach to a variety of business issues can be found at Ernst & Young refers to all the members of the global Ernst & Young organization.



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