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Search for New Zealand's Top Entrepreneur

August 2005

Finalists Announced in the Search for New Zealand's Top Entrepreneur

Finalists in the 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award have been announced, with seventeen outstanding entrepreneurs (including one joint entry) proceeding to the next stage of judging in New Zealand's only globally recognised business award.

The finalists in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2005 are:
* Michael Seymour, Radius Pharmacy, Wellington
* Sir Ronald Carter, Beca Group, Auckland
* Paul Manning, Metromedia, Auckland
* Annah Stretton, Stretton Clothing Co, Morrinsville
* Peter Bourke, Vision Senior Living, Auckland
* Steve McNally, Hillside Building Supplies, Auckland
* Elizabeth Shand, Ruby Apparel, Auckland * Tenby Powell, Hirepool, Auckland
* David Sutherland, Integral Technology Group, Auckland
* Selwyn Pellet, Endace, Auckland
* Eddie Grooten, Dad's Pies, Silverdale, Auckland
* George Fistonich, Villa Maria, Auckland
* Claude Stratford, Comvita, Te Puke
* Ken Stevens, Glidepath, Auckland
* Daniel Williams and Steve Hogg, Web Drive, Auckland
* Katherine Corich, The Sysdoc Group, Wellington

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Director, Carol Campbell, is pleased with the high calibre of finalists and is looking forward to the next stage of judging, when the panel of five independent judges will choose the category winners.

"The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year is all about finding standout business people who have the special qualities and talents necessary to build sustainable, successful businesses. Many of these entrepreneurs lead businesses that have become household names and it is exciting to learn what it is that drives them to succeed. The judges have a difficult job ahead of them in determining who will win," says Ms Campbell.

"Our judging panel is made up of five leading members of the business community. David Johnson, Melissa Clark Reynolds, Michael Hill, Nevil Gibson and last year's winner Phillip Mills. They will be looking for a range of qualities including entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, strategic direction and financial performance," says Carol.

Chair of the judging panel and inaugural winner of the New Zealand Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, David Johnson, says he is looking forward to the judging.

He believes New Zealand needs more wealth and positive spirit and that the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nurtures, encourages and applauds our next wave of great business minds.

"There are not many events that recognise and celebrate what a business person achieves. Being part of something so positive encourages you to set the bar higher and expand your network of likeminded peers," says David.

There are five categories for the 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year programme which are:

* Retail, Consumer and Industrial Products * Services including Financial Business, Property and Arts * Technology, Communications & Biotechnology * Young Entrepreneur (entrepreneurs aged 30 or under at the time of close of applications), and * Master Entrepreneur (for leaders of well established businesses which have a significant commitment to entrepreneurship)

Finalists will now undergo further judging with Category Winners being announced on Thursday, 1 September. Each of the Category Winners will be interviewed by the judging panel on Wednesday, 12 October and the Ernst & Young 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year winner will be announced at an awards banquet at Auckland's Sky City Convention Centre that evening.

The winner will go on to participate in the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which will take place in Monte Carlo in June 2006.

The award programme was launched by Ernst & Young to celebrate the world's best entrepreneurs and share their stories to inspire others. The competition is now in its eighth year in New Zealand and nineteenth year worldwide.


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