Bay Area entrepreneurs: inspiring stories, winning ideas

The announcement was just made for the Northern California CEOs who are regional semifinalists in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year™ Awards program. In the months ahead, RoseRyan and other sponsors of this amazing program will interview these Bay Area leaders and get to know what makes them tick and how their high-growth companies stand apart from the rest. The actual regional winners will be announced at an awards gala June 10 at the Fairmont in San Jose.

But first, congratulations to all of the semifinalists who were announced last week. They are getting recognized as high-impact entrepreneurs who have barreled through challenges during shaky economic times to transform their great ideas into promising businesses. RoseRyan is proud to once again be a sponsor of the program, which is in its 28th year. It puts us in direct contact with CEOs who are innovative, highly motivated and representative of how business is evolving in our area.

This year’s impressive list of semifinalists reflects a very strong showing for Northern California, as the area tends to be well recognized in EY’s program. In fact, last year’s overall national winner was CEO Hamid Moghadam of real estate firm Prologis, which is based in San Francisco. With this region’s ever-changing pool of new companies, new technologies and new ideas, we continue to be an innovation engine.

Pride in our region is just one reason why it’s so exciting to take part in the awards program. Another is the chance to observe the diversity and dedication in all the nominees. These entrepreneurs are leading a mix of public, private, nonprofit and women-owned businesses. And many candidates are serial entrepreneurs who are sitting on fortunes. They don’t even have to work, but they love what they do. These leaders are a marvel to watch, and they’re inspiring.

Of course, a great idea and a passion for work will take an entrepreneur only so far. From my observations with the EY program over the last several years, I have also noticed the following common traits among the semifinalists:

  • They deal with business problems head-on, with flexibility and a strong sense of their company’s core strategies.
  • They recognize the value and strength of honest communication and transparency.
  • They have a clear vision and don’t sway from it.
  • They’re willing to take risks, based on their strong belief in themselves, their ideas and their team.
  • They know how to attract and retain talent. This is quite a challenge for any Bay Area company.

The stories that come out of these job creators and innovators will continue to evolve. Those of us who can watch from the sidelines will not only admire the changes and ideas that are afoot but be inspired as well. We all need insights into how to do things differently and explore whether we too should work in a new way or consider new strategies for hiring and retention. These entrepreneurs are bringing the best ideas to market, supported by solid teams and a healthy dose of enthusiasm and energy. Plus, they’re energizing our local – and national – economy. All of these achievements make RoseRyan a proud sponsor of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ program.

Stan Fels is a director at RoseRyan, who joined the finance and accounting firm in 2006. In addition to helping the finance dream team keep their skills sharp and stay true to RoseRyan’s proven processes, he matches gurus to clients in the high tech and life sciences sectors.

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