Northwest Ohio's 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year(R) Award Winners Announced at June 10 Gala Local Entrepreneurs Recognized for Their Vital Roles in the Business Community



    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
 increased headcount.
 
     *  Dennis Serras and Michael Gibbons, Partners of Main Street Ventures in
 Toledo, Ohio
     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
 years.
 
     *  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
 sales.
 
     *  Joshua J. McClellan, President of McClellan Health Systems in Genoa,
 Ohio
     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
        Corp.
     *  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-
        Illinois, Inc.
 
     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
 LLP.
 
     About Ernst & Young
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 business issues that are important to senior executives.  With extensive
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 130 countries, offering audit, tax, corporate finance and transaction services
 across all industries to many of today's leading global corporations as well
 as emerging growth companies.  In addition, legal services are available in
 various parts of the world where permitted.  A collection of Ernst & Young's
 views on a variety of business issues can be found at www.ey.com/thoughtcenter
 
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 members of the global Ernst & Young organization.
 
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SOURCE Ernst & Young

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