Ernst & Young honours Ontario finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012

Share this article

Ernst & Young honours Ontario finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012

July 9, 2012

Awards shine the spotlight on Canadian entrepreneurs' ability to create sustainable growth – and jobs

TORONTO, July 5, 2012 /CNW/ – Ernst & Young is proud to announce the finalists in this year's Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Awards and once again shine the spotlight on game-changing entrepreneurs who continue to drive sustainable growth and job creation across the country.

"We're thrilled to celebrate this year's group of Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists — and for good reason," says Colleen McMorrow, National and Ontario Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. "These businesspeople have done the unthinkable: they've turned ideas into realities. And every time they do, they raise Canadians' standard of living by creating good jobs."

According to the recent Ernst & Young report, Global job hot spots: help wanted, entrepreneurs expanded jobs in Canada — and globally — by 16% in 2011 and still show signs of growth.

"There's no denying that entrepreneurs are a powerful force in business and communities around the world," says McMorrow. "Not only are the majority of these business leaders serial entrepreneurs that perpetuate growth, 57% actively support community services and 25% have created or funded an educational program."

McMorrow says that these statistics combined are proof points that show how important it is for all stakeholders to support entrepreneurship in Canada and abroad.

"Shining the spotlight on entrepreneurs is one way we can help do that — but in and of itself, it's not enough. Helping entrepreneurs get the support they need is critical to their success and the viability of a true entrepreneurial culture here, and abroad," says McMorrow.

Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates the contribution and spirit of entrepreneurs everywhere. The Canadian program is in its 19th year of honouring the country's most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award finalists are chosen based on their vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility.

The Ontario winners will be announced at a banquet on October 10, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national gala held in Toronto on January 16, 2013.

For more information on Global job hot spots: help wanted, click here.

The 2012 Ontario finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:

Business-to-business products and services

Michael Back 
Collective Point of Sale Solutions Ltd.
Leading merchant acquirer that provides end-to-end debit/credit payment processing and innovative point-of-sale solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises across Canada

Jennifer Nashmi and Victoria Sopik 
Kids + Company Ltd.
Works directly with family-oriented corporations to develop progressive childcare and eldercare options that help address employee work-life balance and productivity

Ezer Mevorach
Mevotech Inc.
Specializes in top-quality, technologically advanced automotive parts — as well as service and customer support.

Business-to-consumer products and services

Steve Beauchesne and Tim Beauchesne 
Beau's All Natural Brewing
Brews interesting, award-winning, tasty beers using the highest quality all-natural ingredients, like certified organic hops and malts and local spring water

Alex Rechichi and Mark Rechichi
Extreme Brandz
Franchisor and operator of over 265 restaurants in North America under the brand names Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito and Pur Blendz

Gordon Lownds
ListenUP! Canada
Provides a full range of hearing healthcare services to the public through 105 clinic locations in Ontario


John Van Leeuwen and Steven Bloembergen
EcoSynthetix Inc.
Global supplier of novel bio-based products to displace petroleum-based materials in the binder, coating and adhesive markets

Dr. Phillip Simmons 
Eco-Tec Inc.
World leader in the innovative design and manufacture of water purification, gas processing and chemical recovery process equipment

John Paul Morgan 
Morgan Solar Inc.
Founded in 2007 to develop next-generation solar power technologies that will make solar energy significantly less expensive

Emerging entrepreneur

Richard Karlo
Karlo Estates Inc.
Winery located in Prince Edward County, ideally situated close to the shores of Lake Ontario

Andrea Marcus 
Mistura Inc.
Ottawa-based cosmetics manufacturer that produces mineral-based cosmetics

Somen Mondal and Shaun Ricci 
N4 Systems Inc.
World's leading paperless safety compliance and inspection management system

Information technology

Leerom Segal 
Klick Inc.
World's largest independent digital health agency; develops engaging digital experiences rooted in strategic and marketing insights, creative thinking and technological expertise

Harley Finkelstein and Tobi Lütke
One of the leading e-commerce platforms globally, with more than 24,000 online shops in more than 88 countries

Robert Herjavec
The Herjavec Group
IT security/infrastructure integration firm specializing in security solutions, WAN acceleration and emerging technologies

Media and entertainment

James Schmalz and Michael Schmalz
Digital Extremes Ltd.
Computer and video game developer best known for its co-creation of Epic Games' highly successful Unreal series of games

David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg
Temple Street Productions
One of Canada's leading TV and digital media production companies

Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen 
World's largest community for discovering and sharing stories. Use Wattpad to read great stories and share creative writing on the web and across all mobile devices.

Mining and metals

John McCluskey
Alamos Gold Inc.
Gold producer with operating mine in Mexico and development projects in Turkey

René Marion
AuRico Gold Inc.
Canadian gold and silver producer with a diversified portfolio of high-quality mines and projects in Canada, Mexico and Australia

Nick Barisheff
Bullion Management Group Inc.
Established in 1998; provides physical bullion-based products for investors seeking innovative and tax-efficient ways to diversify, grow and preserve their wealth


Christopher Szybbo
CBI Health Group
Healthcare services and management company that operates clinics and facilities for patients and communities in Canada

Gerald Soloway
Home Capital Group Inc.
Federally regulated deposit-taking institution that is primarily a mortgage lender

Jon Hantho
Maxxam Analytics
Canadian market leader in analytical services and solutions to the energy, environmental, food and DNA industries

Lori Lord
Spectrum Health Care
Nursing, home-making and personal support services

Young entrepreneur

Tara Schlupp and Ho Tek 
Domus Student Housing Inc.
One of the largest providers of student housing in Waterloo with almost 3000 beds

Jon Lerner and Derek Ting 
Enflick Inc.
Creator of highly acclaimed mobile applications on iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms: Touch and TextNow.

Ray Cao
Loose Button Incorporated
Online shopping platform that connects fashion-forward shoppers with brands and labels from around the world

Special citation — Social entrepreneur

This special citation is a unique category among the awards. It's given in recognition of an entrepreneur whose achievements have driven large-scale social change and improved people's lives or quality of life.

Johan Olav Koss
Right to Play International
Global organization whose mission is to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace

About Entrepreneur of The Year
Entrepreneur Of The Year honours the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The 2012 Ontario judging panel consisted of John Albright, Founder and Managing Partner, Relay Ventures; Andrew Bergstrom, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Cossette Communications; Andrew Claerhout, Vice President, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan; Ginny Dybenko, Executive Director, University of Waterloo, Stratford Campus; Don Morrison, Senior Managing Director and Country Head, OMERS Private Equity; David Shaw, 2010 Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year Professional Services category winner, Founder and CEO, Knightsbridge Human Capital Management; Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District; and Claude Haw, Managing Partner, Venture Coaches.

For more information on the program, FAQs, and key dates, please visit

Follow us on Twitter at @EYCanada: #EOYCanada, #EOYOntario

This year's national program sponsors are National Post, La Presse and RDI.

About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Services Practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Entrepreneurial Services Practice guides Canadian entrepreneurs by delivering integrated services tailored to their goals and needs at every stage of the business lifecycle. We are the world's leader in advising, guiding and recognizing the entrepreneurs who propel the economy – and community – forward.

For more information, please visit

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.

For more information, please visit

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 further information:

Jennifer Nascimben
416 943 2487    

Sarah Shields 
604 648 3607   

Julie Fournier
514 874 4308