EY Announces Award Winners for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 Orange County

Photo from www.ey.com

Photo from www.ey.com

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – EY is pleased to announce the winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2015 Awards in Orange County and the Inland Empire. The award winners were recognized at a gala event on June 11, 2015 at The St. Regis Monarch Beach hotel in Dana Point. Hosted for the last 11 years by Emmy award-winning news anchor Christine Devine, the gala was attended by more than 500 of Orange County’s elite business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs and business leaders who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and commitment to their businesses and communities. In previous years, Entrepreneur Of The Year has recognized the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc. and Mindy Grossman of HSN. Entrepreneur Of The Year Orange County past winners include leaders from companies such as YogurtLand, Zappos, Arbonne, Yard House Restaurants, SkyMall and Vizio.

The winning entrepreneurs were selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous winners of the award, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Orange County region award recipients are:

Wholesale & Retail

Jeff Walker, CEO – Alliance Entertainment, Irvine


Biotech / Technology

Charles Dunlop, Co-founder & CEO and James Dunlop, Co-founder & President – Ambry Genetics, Aliso Viejo


Community Contribution

Kim Cripe, CEO & President – Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Orange


Healthcare Products & Services

Mike Mussallem, Chairman & CEO – Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine


Consumer Products

Andrew Peykoff II, CEO & President – Niagara Bottling, Ontario


Financial Services

Joe Duran, CEO – United Capital Financial Advisers, Newport Beach


Lifetime Award Honoree

Vernon Underwood, Chairman – Young’s Market Company

Vern Underwood of Young’s Market Company, a leading distributor of fine wines, spirits and selected beverages in the western United States, was honored with a special Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the fourth generation to lead the company, which is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the U.S. This marks only the second occasion that an Orange County business leader will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award since the program’s inception in 1988.

Youth Scholarship Recipient

Lesley Garcia, Student – El Modena High School, Orange

As part of the Youth Entrepreneurship Program at the Rancho Santiago Community College District, Lesley Garcia designed, developed, and built a 3D printed prototype phone cradle called iSolution that uses an innovative design to protect smartphones from damage by neatly storing charging cables. In recognition of her entrepreneurial concept, Garcia was awarded a $1,000 college scholarship at the gala.

Now in its 29th year, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in 60 countries.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year national program.  Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 14, 2015. The US Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monaco in June 2016. Additionally, venture-backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year Award regionally are also eligible for the Venture Capital Award of Excellence at the national level. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

For additional photos from the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 Orange County Awards gala, please visit: www.ey.com/us/eoy/oc.


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

In Orange County, the sponsors are: Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Co.; Union Bank; Hollencrest Capital Management; Stradling Law; Smart Business Magazine; Merrill Datasite; Scherzer International; and HKA, Inc. Marketing Communications.

For more information about the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Program in Orange County, contact: Kathy Beckman, EY, 18111 Von Karman Ave., Suite 1000, Irvine, Calif. 92612, (949) 437-0236, kathy.beckman@ey.com.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®

EY 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 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Please visit us at www.ey.com/us/eoy/oc and follow us at @EY_EOY #EOYOC.

About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets practice

EY’s Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues affecting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter @EY_GROWTH.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, an EY member firm serving clients in the US.  For more information, please visit ey.com.

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