PITTSBURGH, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- William M. Lambert, President and Chief Executive Officer of global safety equipment manufacturer MSA, Pittsburgh, Pa., has received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Award in the manufacturing category for Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In receiving the honor, Mr. Lambert is now eligible for the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, which will be announced in November of this year.
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. Mr. Lambert was selected by an independent panel of judges, and the award was presented to him at a special gala held recently at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.
"I am very honored and humbled to receive this recognition from Ernst & Young," Mr. Lambert said. "When I think of entrepreneurs, I think of leaders who have a vision and are relentlessly committed to breathing life into that vision," he said. "MSA is a company that in two years will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Centennial anniversaries and entrepreneurship are two words you rarely hear used in the same sentence. So while this award is somewhat of a surprise, it is a great honor for me and for all of the associates of MSA who work exceptionally hard every day to help keep our customers safe in the workplace."
Mr. Lambert was elected CEO of MSA in 2008 and, like other business leaders at that time, was challenged by the onset of one of the most difficult economic periods in history. However, with guidance from a supportive Board of Directors, an experienced management team, and the deployment of several difficult but necessary measures, MSA was able to weather the economic storm and emerge as an even stronger organization.
Mr. Lambert also saw the recession as an opportunity to review and assess the company's long-term strategy. What resulted was a growth strategy that is placing greater focus on leveraging MSA's core strengths and product lines, seizing growth opportunities in emerging markets around the world, and achieving operational excellence throughout MSA's global organization. At the end of 2011, MSA sales reached a record $1.2 billion.
Now in its 26th year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Michael Dell of Dell Inc., Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Fred Smith of FedEx, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Richard Schulze of Best Buy, Andrew Mason of Groupon, Mindy Grossman of HSN, Inc., Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and many more.
For the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, winners in several categories, as well as one overall winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, Ca. on November 17, 2012. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.
Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the United States by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, sponsors include PNC Bank; ParenteBeard, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC; The Bravo Group and Smart Business Network.
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 through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in more than 50 countries.
Established in 1914, MSA is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive line of products is used by workers around the world in a broad range of industries, including the fire service, the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, construction, mining and utilities, as well as the military. Principal products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, handheld gas detection instruments, head protection products, fall protection devices and thermal imaging cameras. The company also provides a broad range of consumer and contractor safety products through a joint venture with MCR Safety. These products are marketed and sold under the Safety Works® brand. MSA, based north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., has annual sales of approximately $1.2 billion, manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, and 42 international locations. Additional information is available on the company's Web site at www.MSAsafety.com. Information on Safety Works products can be found at www.SafetyWorks.com.
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