TOLEDO, Ohio, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Larry Davenport, partner in charge
of Entrepreneurial Services in Ernst & Young's Toledo office, announced the
winners of Northwest Ohio's 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year(R)
awards last night at a gala event. The banquet, held at The Valentine
Theatre, marks the end of an intensive search to identify and recognize
outstanding entrepreneurs in the area.
Northwest Ohio's 2002 Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners are:
* Martin Cass, President of Fremont Plastic Molds in Fremont, Ohio
As president of Fremont Plastic Molds, Martin foresaw the blow mold
industry developing away from its multi-task, labor-intensive production roots
and toward a more technology-based, machine-intensive process. To prepare his
company for the imminent changes, he made capital investments in technology,
and he provided employee training in the new technology to help manage the
culture shift. To increase productivity, he needed to maximize the new
machines' utilization and reduce customer lead-time. He achieved that by
offering four 10-hour day work weeks, an option that appealed to many of
Martin's employees and reduced the need for overtime. The result is a company
that has tripled its annual revenue during Martin's tenure as president, has
decreased its mold production time by one third, reduced expenses and has
* Dennis Serras and Michael Gibbons, Partners of Main Street Ventures in
Dennis Serras and Michael Gibbons believe firmly in the value of hands-on
operations, and make themselves available to employees and patrons alike.
They feel this active approach allows them to monitor current trends and
customer satisfaction levels and to anticipate changes and enhancements.
Dennis hails from a two-generation restaurant family, and Michael began his
career in restaurant management. Dennis and Michael decided to pool their
knowledge and talents in a partnership. Today they own 10 restaurants that
include Real Seafood Company, Ciao, Gratzi and The Chop House to name a few,
and more in the planning phases, in Toledo, Sylvania, Ann Arbor, and
Charleston, West Virginia. All are upscale establishments with distinct
themes that are planned to appeal to the surrounding population.
Since 1999, Main Street Ventures' net profit has increased over 300% -- a
remarkable figure considering the economic environment over the past few
* James Huttner, MD, Vice President and Andrew J. Milligan, PhD,
President and CEO of Bionix Development Corp. in Toledo, Ohio
Bionix is a medical device company with two product categories --
radiation therapy and single-use medical devices. The diverse skill sets of
the founders create a uniquely synergistic partnership. As a practicing MD in
Maumee, James Huttner is able to observe real life patient needs, and his
creativity allows him to generate effective solutions to problems. James also
currently reviews and evaluates technologies presented to Bionix. Andrew
Milligan holds academic appointments at Jefferson Medical College and
Villanova University. Andrew's combination of engineering and medicine allows
him to quickly understand product applications and design working models of
new products. James will often produce a "back of the napkin sketch" of a
product that can provide a solution to a patient's or physician's problem,
Andrew can designed and built it. This formula for success has served Andrew
and James well as they continue to expand their product lines and increase
* Joshua J. McClellan, President of McClellan Health Systems in Genoa,
Josh McClellan realized early on that he wanted to follow in his father's
footsteps as a retirement home operator. In 1997, Josh purchased the facility
his father owned in Bluffton, and bought out his dad's partnership interest in
another center in Genoa. He eventually gained full ownership of the Genoa
center and went on to buy a third facility in Lima. Although the nursing home
business is not an easy one, Josh has turned his three facilities into
profitable, high-quality operations generating revenues of a six-fold increase
over the business he acquired in 1997.
Today, McClellan Health Systems provides several long-term elder care
options, including independent living, assisted living, and intermediate and
skilled nursing care. The three communities serve 300 residents and employ
over 300 people. In fact, McClellan Health Systems is the second largest
employer in Genoa.
Northwest Ohio's winners are now eligible for the National Entrepreneur Of
The Year awards, which are designed to honor outstanding owners of fast-
growing companies who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success
in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to
their businesses and communities.
The national search will culminate at a black-tie awards gala in Palm
Springs, California, on November 23, 2002, where national finalists and the
National Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners will be announced and
celebrated by more than 1,500 attendees.
Previous Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners have included a virtual
"Who's Who" of business leaders, such as Michael Dell of Dell Computer
Corporation, Jim McCann of 1-800-Fowers.com, Steve Case of America Online,
Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee, and Scott Kriens of Juniper Networks. The
most recent winner (2001) was Dr. Phillip Frost of IVAX Corporation, a
pharmaceutical company based in Miami, Florida.
A few previous Northwest Ohio winners include:
* Albert J. Caperna, Chief Executive Officer of Century Marketing Group
* Tahir S. Cheema, President & CEO of Grand Aire, Inc.
* James R. Findlay, Chairman of Impact Products, Inc.
* Pasquale Giammarco, President & CEO of Marco's, Inc.
* Donald L. Harbaugh, President & CEO of Toledo Molding & Die, Inc.
* Willard P. Heddles, President & CEO of Tiffin Metal Products
* Wallace D. Iott, Chairman of Seaway Food Town, Inc.
* George Isaac, Jr., Chairman of the Board of The Isaac Corporation
* Thomas L. Kern, President of Poly-Foam International, Inc.
* Richard L. Kinzel, CEO of Cedar Fair, L.P.
* William G. Martin, MD, Medical Director/Chairman of the Board of Optio
* Lois M. Mitten, President & CEO of Children's Discovery Center, Inc.
* Robert H. Moyer, Chairman of the Board of Mosser Construction, Inc.
* Paul A. Ormond, Chairman, President & CEO of Health Care & Retirement
* Charles Oswald, President of The Appliance Center
* James A. Poure, Chairman & CEO of GAC Corporation
* Frederick W. Rudolph, President of The Rudolph/Libbe Companies, Inc.
* Maynard L. Sauder, President of Sauder Woodworking Co.
* Dean L. Spangler, President & CEO of Spangler Candy Company
* Robert A. Sullivan and John S. Szuch of Capital Bank, N.A.
* Eugene A. Welka, Chairman & CEO of Frozen Specialties, Inc.
The independent panel of judges, which selected Northwest Ohio's award
recipients, consisted of:
* Ms. Elaine M. Canning, CFO - Bostwick-Braun Company
* Mr. Donald E. Jakeway, President and CEO - Regional Growth Partnership
* Dr. Daniel M. Johnson, President - University of Toledo
* Mr. Jon M. Levine, CEO - The Image Group
* Mr. Robert C. Savage, President and CEO - Savage & Associates, Inc.
* Mr. Dean L. Spangler, President and CEO - Spangler Candy Company
* Mr. Lee A. Wesselmann, Former Senior Vice President & CFO of Owens-
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Award program was created and is produced by
professional services firm Ernst & Young and sponsored nationally by USA
Today, CNN, The Nasdaq(R) Stock Market, and the Kauffman Center for
Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In
Northwest Ohio the awards were sponsored by Marsh USA, Inc., the Ohio
Department of Development, Bowne, Fox Toledo, The Toledo Business Journal,
Spilman Hills & Heidebrink, Ltd., and WJR Radio. Recipients of the
Entrepreneur Of The Year award become lifetime members of the Entrepreneur Of
The Year Hall of Fame.
Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) is a registered service mark of Ernst & Young
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