VICTORIA - Put another feather in the cap of Art Aylesworth.
The CEO of solar power firm Carmanah Technologies Corporation was named recipient of the Pacific region Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 award at the gala banquet at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"Art Aylesworth's infectious enthusiasm, bold vision and commitment to the people at Carmanah have led the company to becoming on of the fastest growing renewable and energy-efficient technology manufacturers in the world," says Fred Withers, director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards program for the Pacific region.
"Shifting the company's focus from research and engineering to sales and marketing, Mr. Aylesworth brought the company to astonishing growth, moving from trailing revenues of $1.3 Million annually when he joined Carmanah to revenues exceeding $38 Million last year.
Worldwide, Mr. Aylesworth is proving the business case for socially-responsible and economically-viable energy alternatives. He is a true entrepreneur and Ernst & Young is proud to recognize his success," he says.
Carmanah is a leading integrator of renewable and energy-efficient technologies, currently focusing on solar-powered LED lighting, solar power systems and equipment, and LED-illuminated signage. With more than 250,000 installations in 110 countries, the company's products are used extensively in the industrial, marine, aviation, transportation, recreational and point-of-purchase markets.
Carmanah has shown an approximate 70% average annual growth since 1999, an unusual statistic for a "green" technology manufacturer.
Carmanah has also been named a finalist in the advancing technology category for the November 10 BC Export Awards in Vancouver.
The Florida Department of Transportation approved three of Carmanah's solar-powered LED beacons for use on the state's roadways in October. The models are the 8247 series 24-hour flashing warning beacon, 8820 series crosswalk beacon, and 8829 series school zone beacon with calendarbased operating software.
Joining Carmanah in 2000, Aylesworth was also active in all aspects of the company's transition to a public corporation through a reverse takeover, as well as subsequent rounds of financing. In 2005, Mr. Aylesworth successfully completed the acquisition of Soltek Powersource, and graduated the company from the TSX Venture Exchange to the TSX (Symbol: CMH). Shares of Carmanah are also publicly traded on the Berlin and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges (Symbol: QCX).
Aylesworth brought over 25 years of business leadership and entrepreneurial experience to Carmanah, as well as a strong background in sales and marketing. Prior to joining Carmanah, Aylesworth was president of Sharp's Audio Visual, one of western Canada's leading audio-visual suppliers, where he played a key role in the company's growth.
As the Pacific region Entrepreneur Of The Year award recipient, Aylesworth will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic regions for the coveted national honour of Entrepreneur Of The Year, to be announced November 2 in Ottawa.
In June 2007, Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year will move on to the world stage, joining over 35 country recipients participating in the international competition for the title of World Entrepreneur Of The Year.
Other finalists for the awards were Todd Dunlop of Neverblue Media in Emerging Entrepreneur, Len Barrie of Bear Mountain Master Partnership in Hospitality /Tourism, and Chris Coldwell of Mercurial Communication Inc. in Technology and Health Sciences.