Award Winners To Be Revealed at Gala Event on June 21

TAMPA, Fla. – (May 16, 2007) – Ernst & Young LLP today announced the finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2007 Award in Florida.

This year’s 25 state finalists were selected from nearly 100 nominations by an independent judging panel comprised of area business, academic and civic leaders. Award winners will be announced at a gala event on Thursday, June 21 at Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando.

“These finalists exemplify the outstanding business talent present in Florida,” said Michael J. Brennan, Florida Host of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program. “We are proud to honor them as leaders who nurture economic growth, innovation and the American dream.”

Highwinds’ Founder and CEO Steve Miller was named a finalist in the Orlando technology category.

Florida finalists and their categories for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for 2007 are:

Fort Lauderdale area:

    • Emerging Companies: Maurice Ferre, M.D., president, Mako Surgical, Fort Lauderdale
    • Manufacturing & Distribution: Matt Kuttler and David Redlich, founders,, Hollywood
    • Manufacturing & Distribution: Charles Fabrikant, CEO, Seacor Holdings, Fort Lauderdale


    • Financial Services: John Byers, president & CEO, FPIC Insurance Group
    • Real Estate & Construction: William Gay, CEO, W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractors


    • Emerging Companies: Waymon Armstrong, president, Engineering & Computer Simulations, Inc., Orlando
    • Real Estate & Construction: Edward Robert Ginn III, president and CEO, Ginn Resorts, Celebration
    • Services: Wayne Gey, president, Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., Orlando
    • Services: Harold Mills, CEO, ZeroChaos, Orlando
    • Technology: Mike Gallagher, CEO, FDN Communications, Maitland
    • Technology: Steve Miller, President and Founder, Highwinds Capital, Winter Park

West Central Florida:

    • Financial Services: Paul Simino, president and founder, One Simple Loan, Oldsmar
    • Financial Services: David Serlo, CEO, PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg
    • Health Services: Thilo Best, president, Horizon Bay Senior Communities, Tampa
    • Manufacturing & Distribution: Rod Hershberger, CEO, PGT Industries, Inc., Sarasota
    • Real Estate & Construction: John Cannon, president, John Cannon Homes, Sarasota
    • Retail & Consumer Products: Kenneth Pendery, president and CEO, First Watch, Sarasota
    • Retail & Consumer Products: Crawford Ker, president, Ker’s WingHouse, Largo
    • Technology: Jon Yob, president and CEO, Creative Recycling Systems, Inc., Tampa

West Palm Beach:

    • Emerging Companies: Mark Llano, president, Source One Distributors, Wellington
    • Health Services: E. Joseph Steier III, president & CEO, Home Quality Management, Palm Beach Gardens
    • Health Services: Steve Geller, chairman and Dr. Edward Goldman, CEO, MDVIP, Inc., Boca Raton
    • Retail & Consumer Products: Ray Titus, president, United Franchise Group, West Palm Beach
    • Services: Marilyn Ounjian, CEO, Careers USA, Boca Raton

Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Fain, chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Miami

Florida finalists were selected by an independent judging panel comprised of leaders from local businesses, academic institutions and civic organizations. Judges for the 2007 Florida competition were Hugh M. Brown, founder & CEO (ret.), BAMSI, Titusville, Fla.; Moses Harvin, CEO, American Services Technologies, Rockledge, Fla.; Sherrill Hudson, CEO, TECO Energy, Inc., Tampa; Deborah Linden, CEO, Island One Resorts, Orlando; Carl Roston, partner, Akerman Senterfitt, Miami; Dave Walker, director of programs of Accountancy, Social Responsibility and Corporate Reporting, University of South Florida College of Business, St. Petersburg; and Mary Wood, managing partner for South Florida, Tatum LLC.

Florida award winners will be eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2007 national program. Winners in several national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 17, 2007.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program celebrates its 21st anniversary this year and continues to recognize the leaders and visionaries who are creating and building world-class businesses. Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are pleased to have Bank of America as the national presenting sponsor, as well as SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as national sponsors.

Florida regional sponsor is Foley & Lardner. Patron sponsors include Audio Visual Innovations, Inc., Bowne of Tampa Printing and RFB Communications Group, Inc.

Contact Information
To make reservations for the awards banquet on June 21, contact Lisa Pagano, program manager, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Florida Awards, at 813.225.4761 or Information is also available at

About the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program was created and is produced by professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP. As the first award of its kind, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses. The program, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2006, honors entrepreneurs through regional, national and global award programs in over 125 cities and 40 countries.

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, is committed to enhancing the public’s trust in professional services firms and in the quality of financial reporting. Its 114,000 people in 140 countries pursue the highest levels of integrity, quality, and professionalism in providing a range of sophisticated services centered on our core competencies of auditing, accounting, tax, and transactions. Further information about Ernst & Young and its approach to a variety of business issues can be found at Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, a U.K. company limited by guarantee, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited does not provide services to clients. Ernst & Young LLP is a U.S. client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.