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Plutonic Power's Donald McInnes is a finalist in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 Awards


For immediate release

British Columbia entrepreneurs raising the bar on business success
Ernst & Young unveils Pacific Entrepreneur Of The Year ® Award finalists for 2008


(Vancouver, July 3, 2008) -- Today's entrepreneurs continue to fill a critical role in the success of the Canadian economy, Ernst & Young said today when unveiling this year's finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.

"I am amazed by the entrepreneurial determination and perseverance thriving here in British Columbia," said Fred Withers, Director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program for the Pacific region. "Entrepreneurs drive our region's business success, while motivating others through their unwavering commitment and innovative thinking. And this year's finalists are no exception."

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards honour the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. This year, the Canadian program is proudly celebrating a milestone anniversary --- 15 years of honouring Canada's most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business.

In 2007, Canada's own Guy Laliberté (founder of Cirque du Soleil) brought home top honours, winning the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year(r) Award. This year's finalists embark on the same path, providing great examples of entrepreneurism at its best. The Pacific region winners will be announced at a banquet on October 8, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet in November.

The 2008 Pacific region finalists for Entrepreneur of the Year are:

Business-to-Business Products and Services

John Davis, Lotte Davis
AG Hair Cosmetics
Manufacturer of shampoos, conditioners, styling and finishing products.

Joyce Groote
Holey Soles Holdings Ltd.
Designs, markets and distributes innovative lifestyle products featuring technically advanced closed-cell polymer foam, including shoes, hats, bags, accessories and specialty children's collections.

Luc Bergeron
L.B. Maple Treat Inc.
Manufacturer and distributor of maple syrup and products across Canada and the US, and exporter to Asia and Europe.
Business-to-Consumer Products and Services

Business-to-Consumer Products and Services

Brian Hill
Aritzia LP
Retailer of women's apparel. Aritzia's boutiques are featured in select cities across Canada and the US.

David K.J. Heffel, Robert Heffel
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
Auction house for fine American, European and Canadian art.

Rick Baxter
West Coast Air Ltd.
Locally owned and operated floatplane company with more than 35 years of Twin Otter scheduled service experience.

Emerging Entrepreneur

Davis Yung
Fresh Direct Produce Ltd.
Transporter and distributor of produce to retailers and wholesalers across Canada.

Peter C. Dupuis, Sid Landolt
S&P Destination Properties
International full-service real estate company.

Charles Steele, David Udow
Ziptrek Ecotours Inc.
Zipline tour company that builds environmental awareness through education, with minimal impact to the environment

Natural Resources and Energy

Ross Beaty
Pan American Silver Corp.
Silver mining company with a focused strategy of low-cost silver production growth through exploration, development and construction.

Donald McInnes
Plutonic Power Corporation
Renewable energy producer that promotes, supports and develops sustainable, renewable, green energy projects in British Columbia.

Paul Blythe
Quadra Mining Ltd.
A growth-focused mid-sized copper and base metal producing company.

Real Estate/Construction

Ivan Harmatny, Ron McNeil
Lower Mainland Steel Group
Rebar supply, fabrication and installation company.

Andrew Purdey
Ruskin Construction Ltd.
Prince George
Specialized foundation, marine and industrial bridge construction company.

John C. Scott
Scott Construction Group
Construction company offering preconstruction and construction services customized to the needs of their clients.

Social Entrepreneur

Tara Cullis, David Suzuki
David Suzuki Foundation
Non-profit environmental organization working to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world.

Samantha Wilson
Kidproof Canada
Provides preventative child and family safety education, products and services.

Clarence Louie
Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation
Wholly owned business operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band with interests in retail activities, vineyards, a winery, construction businesses and tourism-related businesses.


John Livingston
Absolute Software Corporation
Provides firm-based, patented technology solutions for regulatory compliance, mobile data protection and computer theft recovery.

John S. MacDonald, George Rubin
Day4 Energy Inc.
Solar energy company that designs, manufactures and sells photovoltaic modules, which convert light into electricity.

Kevin Ham
Reinvent Technology, Inc.
Internet media company seeking to connect to people through words and visual information.

Turnaround Entrepreneur

Jacqui Cohen
Army & Navy Department Store Ltd.
Department store chain with locations in Vancouver, Langley, New Westminster, Calgary and Edmonton.

Amiee Chan
Norsat International Inc.
Provider of microwave components and portable satellite systems.

G. Bruce Dean
The Whistler Brewing Co.
A BC-owned brewing company with a passion for beer and an incredible story to tell.

The national program sponsors are Global Television Network, National Post, La Presse and RDI. Pacific region sponsors are BC Business magazine and the Vancouver Sun.  

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