LOS ANGELES, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Curacao, formerly La Curacao, announces that Jerry Azarkman, the company's founder, was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2014 award in Greater Los Angeles. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. An independent panel of judges selected Mr. Azarkman. The winners were revealed at a black-tie Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
"I'm honored to be recognized for this award in the Los Angeles area," said Azarkman. "This award spotlights our accomplishments as a team at Curacao and shows the dedication and outstanding work ethic of the entire company. I'm very proud to accept this award on behalf of everyone at Curacao," stated Mr. Azarkman.
As a Greater Los Angeles award winner, Mr. Azarkman is now eligible for consideration for the National Entrepreneur of the Year® 2014 Award. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the National Entrepreneur of the Year Overall Award Winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 15, 2014. Additionally, venture-backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year Award regionally are eligible for the Venture Capital Award of Excellence at the national level.
Mr. Azarkman added, "I am working on a revolutionary, fresh shopping concept to be launched in the Hispanic marketplace later this year. I've been building this new venture for some time and I am excited about bringing it to market. We've identified 360 locations and I look forward to working exclusively on my new brand." The innovative shopping experience will be branded under the new name, Star World.
The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-profile, market-leading companies.
Curacao is a large-format retail department store chain. Founded in 1976 by Jerry Azarkman, Curacao is headquartered in Los Angeles with retail locations in California and Arizona. The company is said to be uniquely positioned to serve Hispanic and Latino Americans. The stores feature Spanish/English-language signs and bilingual salesclerks. Curacao sells most of its merchandise on credit to over two million private label cardholders. The company's services include Curacao Travel, Internet service, and money transfer. Azarkman opened La Curacao, a consumer-product door-to-door sales company, in Burbank, California. It became popular among Hispanics without access to credit. Salesmen allowed their customers to buy goods by placing a down payment and then returning to the customer's residence to collect payments on a regular basis. This service evolved into Curacao's credit-card business. Azarkman's brother, Ron Azarkman, joined the company in 1981. By 2007 Curacao had ten locations in the Southwestern United States, with nine stores in California and two in Arizona. With more than 2,000 employees Curacao plans more openings across the United Sates. Visit www.icuracao.com for more information.
About Jerry Azarkman
Jerry Azarkman is an American success story, a retail guru, and a visionary businessman. Azarkman attributes his success to his passion for knowing first hand the Hispanic community, and the people he serves, his customers. His innovative strategies and unique business models have resulted in multimillion-dollar successes. He is highly sought after as a speaker and not only shares about his business expertise, but also the value and rewards of giving back. He is passionate about literacy and reading and safe and healthy communities. As the founder of Curacao (formerly La Curacao) and its subsidiaries, his winning track record is well documented. He will be the Keynote Speaker at the Hispanic Retail 360 Summit in August 2014. He is also a guest columnist for Smart Business Magazine, advising businesses on the day-to-day challenges they face. Azarkman is working on his new venture, a novel shopping concept that will open 360 locations nationwide under a new brand name, Star World, in the fourth quarter 2014.
About Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year®
Ernst & Young 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 though regional, national and global awards programs.