Art Aylesworth, CEO of Victoria-based Carmanah Technologies Inc., is the recipient of the Pacific region Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2006 award. Mr. Aylesworth also received one of seven category awards tonight 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 one 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.
Joining Carmanah in 2000, Mr. 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).
Mr. 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, Mr. 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.
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 approximately 70% average annual growth since 1999, an unusual statistic for a “green” technology manufacturer.
The company is committed to creating high quality technology jobs for the people in Victoria and fostering the local technology community. Carmanah created an annual bursary to support students planning on studying environmental technology at the University of Victoria, and Carmanah’s visibility in the community has instilled a sense of pride in employees at all levels.
As the Pacific region Entrepreneur Of The Year award recipient, Mr. 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.
The business category award recipients for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006 Pacific region are:
BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Travelers Leasing Corporation (Automobile financing)
BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Coastal Contacts Inc. (Vision care product retailer)
John DeHart, Ken Sim
Nurse Next Door Professional Homecare Services Inc. (Managed home healthcare provider)
CWS Industries (Mfg) Corp. (Attachments and components for heavy industry)
TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH SCIENCES
Carmanah Technologies Corp. (Energy-efficient technologies)
Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc. (Juvenile product manufacturer)
The Entrepreneur Of The Year awards honour entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, risk taking, company development, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Submissions are reviewed by an independent judging panel, which is composed of several distinguished Canadian business leaders and previous award recipients. The members of the Pacific region panel for 2006 are: Donna Bridgeman, vice president of investments, Growthworks Capital Ltd.; Ernie Love, dean (retired), Faculty of Business, Simon Fraser University; Terry Lyons, chairman, Northgate Minerals Corporation; Sue Paish, senior partner, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin; Natalie Dakers, president & CEO, Centre for Drug Research and Development; and Neil Johansen, managing director, Merchant Banking, HSBC Capital (Canada) Inc.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year program was founded by Ernst & Young to celebrate great entrepreneurs and heighten awareness of the economic impact of entrepreneurial ventures. The program is nationally sponsored by Global Television Network, National Post, La Presse, RDI and Roynat Capital. Pacific region sponsors are: Western Economic Diversification Canada, BC Business magazine and The Vancouver Sun. To learn more about the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006 awards, visit eoy.ca.
About Ernst & Young
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SOURCE: Ernst & Young
Vashti Singh, Media Relations,
Ernst & Young
EOY Program Manager
Ernst & Young