Ernst & Young Selects Carolyn Rafaelian, Owner of Alex and Ani, as Entrepreneur of the Year(R) 2012 Award Winner in Ne

UNITED STATES


PROVIDENCE, R.I., June 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ernst & Young LLP today announced that Designer Carolyn Rafaelian, Owner and President of Alex and Ani, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Award in the Consumer Products category in New England. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Ms. Rafaelian was selected by an independent panel of judges, and the award was presented at a special gala at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA on Thursday, June 21, 2012.

"I believe that every individual has a positive message to share with the world and that, by incorporating powerful symbolism and design into each positive energy piece, Alex and Ani provides a vehicle for wearers to express their individuality," said Rafaelian. "I am profoundly honored and humbled to receive Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Award. I share it with every customer and member of our Alex and Ani family."

Now in its 26th year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Michael Dell of Dell Inc., Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Fred Smith of FedEx, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Richard Schulze of Best Buy, Andrew Mason of Groupon, Mindy Grossman of HSN, Inc., Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and many more.

As a New England regional award winner, Ms. Rafaelian is now eligible for consideration for the National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Award. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 17, 2012. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

About Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in more than 50 countries.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit www.ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a US client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.

About Alex and Ani

Alex and Ani, Inc. offers eco-friendly, positive energy products created by Designer Carolyn Rafaelian, Owner and President. Alex and Ani is synonymous with Made in America. Its World Headquarters are located in the Greater Providence, Rhode Island area, where its products are designed, manufactured, and assembled using recycled local materials. Carolyn believes that every individual has a positive message to share with the world and that, by incorporating powerful symbolism and design into each positive energy piece, Alex and Ani provides a vehicle for wearers to express their individuality. An Inc. 500 Company, Alex and Ani has retail stores in addition to retail partners both domestically and internationally. Please visit www.alexandani.com for more information.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the United States by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In New England, sponsors include Marsh, Nixon Peabody LLP, Citybizlist, Murray Devine, RR Donnelley, Scherzer International

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