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O.C. business execs vie for Entrepreneur of the Year title

23 local professionals have been named semifinalists in Ernst & Young's regional award program.

By Kristen SchottPublished: April 11, 2011 10:37 AM

Twenty-three Orange County business professionals have been named semifinalists in Ernst & Young's regional Entrepreneur of the Year award program.

Local honorees include Joe Pham of Costa Mesa-based QSC Audio Products, Puneet Nanda of Buena Park-based Dr. Fresh, Reynold Bish of Irvine-based Kofax and Ronald Buschur of Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies. There are a total of 29 semifinalists in the Orange County, Inland Empire and Las Vegas regional program.

This year's honorees were selected by a panel of judges made up of previous award winners, CEOs, capital investors and other regional business leaders.

"For the past 25 years, Ernst & Young has honored the best entrepreneurs through our Entrepreneur of the Year program,” said Kim Letch, Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur Of The Year program director for Orange County. “These entrepreneurs have a tremendous impact in Orange County. We are extraordinarily proud to honor innovative, market-leading entrepreneurs, like these semifinalists.”

Known as the Oscars for business owners, the Entrepreneur of the Year program recognizes those who have achieved success in innovation, financial performance and their commitment to their businesses and local communities. The program honors execs in more than 140 cities and more than 50 countries.

Finalists for the regional award will be named next month, and the winners will be revealed during a gala event set for June 11 at The Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. The national award gala will follow in November – and the winner will go on to compete for the World Entrepreneur of the Year title.

Here's a breakdown of the local semifinalists:

• Doug Smith, Village Green Global Inc. – Irvine
• Russ Bendel, The Habit Restaurants – Irvine
• Wade Olson, Precept – Irvine
• Richard Ham, US Lighting Tech – Irvine
• Andy Fathollahi, Incipio – Irvine
• Ryan Black, Sambazon – San Clemente
• Mike Manclark, Leading Edge Aviation – Santa Ana
• Anant Desai, Interface Rehab – Placentia
• Puneet Nanda, Dr. Fresh Inc. – Buena Park
• Rajesh Shrotriya, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Irvine
• Praful M. Kulkarni, GKK Works – Irvine
• Heath Clarke, Local.com Corp. – Irvine
• Ron Ben-Yishay, DynTek – Newport Beach
• John Patterson, OC Mazda (OC Auto Team) – Tustin
• Ronald Andrews, Clarient Inc. – Aliso Viejo
• Vahan Garboushian, Amonix – Seal Beach
• Joe Pham, QSC Audio Products – Costa Mesa
• Richard Heard, Insight Investments LLC – Orange
• Andrew Littlefair, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. – Seal Beach
• Steven Brown, Nexgen Pharma – Irvine
• Reynold Bish, Kofax – Irvine
• Neel Grover, Buy.com – Aliso Viejo
• Ronald Buschur, Powerwave Technologies Inc. – Santa Ana

Here's a look at the other honorees:

• Lou Silverman, Marina Medical Billing – Cerritos
• Linda Reyes Stone, APR CONSULTING INC. – Diamond Bar
• David Jumonville, Caltrol Inc. – Las Vegas
• Thomas McDonald, Glencoe Mgmt. – Las Vegas
• Neil LeVecke, LeVecke Corp. – Mira Loma
• Mohan Tavorath, Walz Group – Temecula

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