Dani Reiss of Canada Goose Inc. named Canada's Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2011

Nov 24, 2011, 11:41 ET from Ernst & Young

Innovative "made in Canada" brand attracts customers at home and abroad

TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Dani Reiss, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Goose Inc. — an iconic, high-quality, "made in Canada" outerwear manufacturer — is this year's National Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year winner.

"What better way to celebrate Canadian entrepreneurship than by honouring someone who's built his company around a made-in-Canada strategy for success," says Colleen McMorrow, National and Ontario Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. "Dani's core values of best-in-class quality, functionality, authenticity and technical innovation have taken Canada Goose to new heights of market leadership."

Entrepreneurs contribute to more than just the economy — they create new products, new production methods, new markets and new forms of organization. They are agents of change. And influencing change begins by pairing vision with an innovative mindset.

"In today's marketplace, innovation isn't just about reinventing the wheel. It must also mean understanding your customers' changing needs and improving on what already exists," says McMorrow.

Ernst & Young's report Competing for growth reveals that innovating based on potential customers — rather than current ones — is hurting, not helping, the bottom line for many companies. What's more, 63% of companies reported that incremental product/service innovation has been more successful than transformational innovation.

Getting the right systems in place to analyze your customer base is a smart move that could shift your product development in new, profitable directions. Better understanding customer needs is already driving an explosion of product development, particularly in the retail space.

"Dani risked it all when he decided to rebrand his family's company, but his determined mindset and innovative nature paid off. Today, Canada Goose Inc. is an industry leader, reaching consumers on a global scale," says McMorrow. "Great ideas are few and far between, and when you imagine something exceptional, taking the right strategic risk can reap a significant reward."

Dani competed against leading entrepreneurs from across the country: Pacific winner Robert Little, Regency Fireplace Products; Prairies winner Mac Van Wielingen, ARC Financial Corp.; Quebec winner Sean Roosen, Osisko Mining Corporation; and Atlantic winners Marcel LeBrun, Chris Newton and Chris Ramsey, Radian6 Inc.

Entrepreneur Of The Year recognizes the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. The Canadian program is in its 18th year of honouring the country's most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award winners are chosen based on a number of factors, including their vision, leadership, financial performance and social responsibility.

National special citations awarded:

Many of the award winners across the country stand out not only as leaders in their industry, but also for a unique mark they've made on the entrepreneurial landscape. The following entrepreneurs are Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year category award recipients in their regions and were also selected by the national judges as special citation honourees.

Darby Kreitz
Allnorth Consultants Limited l Prince George, British Columbia
Growth through service excellence

Provides engineering and consulting services to clients in the mining, pulp and paper, chemical, oil and gas, marine, transportation, power and municipal sectors.

Audrey Mascarenhas
Questor Technology Inc. │Calgary, Alberta
Values-based innovation

International environmental clean-air technology oilfield-service company specializing in providing sustainable custom incineration solutions to eliminate flared gas and utilize waste energy.

Vladimir Stritesky
exp Global Inc. l Brampton
Entrepreneurial leadership

Provides engineering, project management, environment and urban planning services.

Jean-Robert Leclerc
Groupe Biscuits Leclerc l Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures
Product and marketing innovation

Designs, produces and markets quality and innovative food products, including cookies, granola bars and crackers.

Jean-Paul Deveau
Acadian Seaplants Limited l Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Eco and social excellence

A fully integrated, diversified, technology-based manufacturer of natural plant and crop input products, animal feed supplements, cultivated sea vegetables and functional ingredients derived from select species of marine plants.

The national judges
The national panel of independent judges comprises past Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award recipients and business, academic and community leaders: Jim Case, Chief Executive Officer, Travelers Financial Group; Mark Dobbin, Founder and President, Killick Capital; Ginny Dybenko, Executive Director, University of Waterloo, Stratford campus; Claude Lessard, Chairman and CEO, Cossette Inc.; Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder and Senior Partner, Cycle Capital Management; Kevin Wolfe, President, Richmond Equity Management Ltd.

Entrepreneur Of The Year is sponsored nationally by National Post, La Presse and RDI.

What's next?
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards recognize the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world who have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures. The 2012 World Entrepreneur Of The Year® awards will be held June 7 to 10 in Monte Carlo. Dani Reiss, Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year, will compete with more than 50 other country recipients for the title of Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year®.

About Ernst & Young LLP's Entrepreneurial Services practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Entrepreneurial Services practice serves Canada's entrepreneurs by delivering integrated business advisory services in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to help them drive growth and create value. Our team of professionals has a track record of focusing on the issues and needs of companies as they grow from early stage to become market leaders. Ernst & Young has long worked with and celebrated the achievements of Canadian men and women who create the products, services and jobs that propel Canada's economy and communities forward. For more information, please visit ey.com/ca/Entrepreneurs. Ernst & Young is the world leader in advising, guiding and recognizing entrepreneurs. You can also learn about our work with entrepreneurs by visiting business.financialpost.com/category/thirty-second-mentor.

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

Learn more about Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program
Visit Ernst & Young's homepage

SOURCE Ernst & Young

Video with caption: "Video: Ernst & Young catches up with Canada's leading entrepreneurs on the yellow carpet". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20111124_C8938_VIDEO_EN_7157.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20111124_C8938_PHOTO_EN_7157.jpg&clientName=Ernst%20%26%20Young&caption=Video%3A%20Ernst%20%26%20Young%20catches%20up%20with%20Canada%27s%20leading%20entrepreneurs%20on%20the%20yellow%20carpet&title=Ernst%20%26%20Young%20catches%20up%20with%20Canada%27s%20leading%20entrepreneurs%20

Image with caption: "Ernst & Young Canada's chairman and chief executive officer Trent Henry (right) and Entrepreneur Of The Year program director Colleen McMorrow (left) honour Dani Reiss (centre) of Canada Goose Inc. with National Entrepreneur Of The Year award. (CNW Group/Ernst & Young)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111124_C8938_PHOTO_EN_7161.jpg

Image with caption: "From left, clockwise - National judges Ginny Dybenko, University of Waterloo, Jim Case, Travelers Financial Group, Kevin Wolfe, Richard Equity Management Ltd., Andrée-Lise Methot, Cycle Capital Management, with National Entrepreneur Of The Year Dani Reiss, Canada Goose. (CNW Group/Ernst & Young)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111124_C8938_PHOTO_EN_7163.jpg