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BUSINESS WIRE: EY Announces Award Recipients for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2015 Awards Program in Greater Los Angeles


Photo credit: Business Wire
Published: June 17, 2015


LOS ANGELES – EY is pleased to announce the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award recipients in Greater Los Angeles. This group of leading entrepreneurs was selected by an independent judging panel made up of leading founders and CEOs, many of whom are prior award recipients, private equity and venture capital investors and other regional business leaders. The award recipients were revealed at a black tie awards gala on June 16 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Featuring a keynote address by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and hosted by Emmy award-winning news anchor Christine Devine, the gala was attended by close to 700 of the region’s elite business leaders and entrepreneurs.

“The drive and enthusiasm of these entrepreneurs is truly impressive and we are honored to have the opportunity to help share their stories.”

Collectively, the eight award recipient companies employ close to 2,700 people. On average, they have increased their workforce by more than 50% and have grown their revenues by 90% over the last two years.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Greater Los Angeles award recipients are:

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, Elise Wetzel, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, and Richard Wetzel, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Pasadena, CA, Emerging category
Kilroy Realty Corporation, John Kilroy, CEO, Chairman & President, Los Angeles, CA, Real Estate category
REVOLVE, Mike Karanikolas, Co-Owner & Co-CEO, and Michael Mente, Co-Owner & Co-CEO, Cerritos, CA, Retail & Hospitality category
Seven Lakes Technologies, Shiva Rajagopalan, CEO, Westlake Village, CA, Business Services category
SGN, Chris DeWolfe, Co-Founder & CEO, Beverly Hills, CA, Media & Entertainment category
Spokeo, Harrison Tang, Co-Founder & CEO, Pasadena, CA, Consumer Services category
The Trade Desk, Jeff Green, Co-Founder & CEO, and Dave Pickles, Co-Founder & CTO, Ventura, CA, Marketing & Advertising category
Western University of Health Sciences, Dr. Philip Pumerantz, Founding President, Pomona, CA, Health Care Services category

Also honored at the event was eighteen-year-old Crystal Sanchez, a student at Environmental Charter High School, who participated in the EY-sponsored Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) program. Sanchez received EY’s 2015 Youth Entrepreneur scholarship award for her innovative business idea, Guardian Locket, a security device masked as a necklace to help protect women against sexual assault. In recognition of her entrepreneurial concept, Sanchez was awarded a $1,000 college scholarship at the gala.

Photos from the evening, along with the award recipients’ acceptance speeches and company stories, can be found on the Greater Los Angeles website. You can follow the Greater Los Angeles program @EOY_GLA and the national program @EY_EOY. Join us in congratulating these outstanding entrepreneurs on social media using #EOYGLA.

Now in its 29th year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities in 60 countries throughout the world.

“At EY, we believe that entrepreneurs have the power to change lives and improve society,” said April Spencer, EY Partner and Co-Director of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Program in Greater Los Angeles. “The drive and enthusiasm of these entrepreneurs is truly impressive and we are honored to have the opportunity to help share their stories.”

Regional award recipients are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year national program. Award recipients in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award recipient, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 14, 2015. The US Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award recipient then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award the following June in Monaco. 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 national awards gala is the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.


Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America. In Greater Los Angeles, regional sponsors include: Platinum sponsors – Marsh, Merrill Datasite, Scherzer International, Smart Business, Tangram, and Union Bank. Silver sponsors – Acacia Wealth Advisors, Ballard Spahr, Cresa, and Vaco Los Angeles.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®

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.

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 impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at, 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.

Linda Whalen, +1 310 430 8400