Fifteen local finalists have been revealed in Ernst & Young’s 2012 Orange County Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
From a pool of more than 70 nominations, the awards panel of judges first narrowed the field of candidates to 28 semifinalists before determining the 15 finalists for this year’s Orange County Entrepreneur of the Year honors. The winners will be named at a special gala and awards presentation on June 7 at the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Niguel.
The awards span several industries and recognize business owners and executives for demonstrated leadership and company achievements. The categories for the local awards program are not fixed, but in recent years, awards have been distributed to top businesspeople for outstanding leadership and achievement in the areas of business services, technology, turnaround, healthcare/life sciences and consumer products, among others.
Irvine is heavily represented in this year’s batch of finalists, with nine of the 15 companies headquartered in that city. Other companies hail from Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and San Clemente.
Orange County finalists
• Charles Dunlop, CEO - Ambry Genetics, Irvine
• Mike Morhaime, CEO, President and Co-Founder - Blizzard Entertainment Inc., Irvine
• Alessandro Pirozzi, Owner and Chef - Cucina Alessa, Newport Beach
• Heidi Golledge, CEO and President - CyberCoders, Irvine
• Jonathan Ord, CEO - DealerSocket Inc., San Clemente
• Jim McCluney, CEO - Emulex, Costa Mesa
• Bill Duehring, President - Felt Racing, LLC, Irvine
•Andy Fathollahi, CEO - Incipio, Irvine
• John Raymont, Founder, CEO and President - Kurion Inc., Irvine
• Michael Manclark, CEO - Leading Edge Aviation, Costa Mesa
• Dan Merkle, Chairman and CEO - Lexipol LLC, Aliso Viejo
• Joe Kiani, Chairman and CEO - Masimo Corp., Irvine
• Gary Jabara, CEO and President - Mobilitie LLC, Newport Beach
• Jeff Walker, President - Super D, Irvine
• David Kim & Jerome Fink, Co-Founders & Managing Partners - The Bascom Group, Irvine
The winner of the regional award program is eligible for consideration in the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year program, which awards winners in several categories and names a National Entrepreneur of the Year Overall Award. The national awards will be presented in November in Palm Springs.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award program recognizes business leadership and executives in more than 140 cities in 50 countries around the world. It is now in its 26th year.
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