Ernst & Young Names 2013 Entrepreneurs of the Year for San Diego

6/19/13Follow @bvbigelow

Santarus (NASDAQ: SNTS) CEO Gerald Proehl has been named as the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for San Diego in the life sciences category, and EcoATM CEO Tom Tullie won as Entrepreneur of the Year in technology.

Both executives were selected from a list of regional finalists by an independent panel of judges, and will go on to compete at the national level at an annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards gala scheduled for Nov. 16 in Palm Springs, CA, according to Ernst & Young, which founded the program. The award is intended to recognize outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and high-growth success in various areas, including innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

EcoATM operates automated kiosks that enable consumers to recycle their mobile devices. The company has nearly 550 kiosks in 38 states since its first kiosk debuted in September, 2009. In a statement from the company, Tullie said the award really recognizes the hard work and dedication of the 160 employees “who work tirelessly to make EcoATM a great company.”

Santarus is a specialty biopharmaceutical company developing proprietary compounds for a variety of diseases and disorders. Proehl joined Santarus in 1999, and became CEO and director in 2002. In a statement from the company, Proehl says, “We have worked through some challenging times and have recently celebrated exciting successes,” including the commercial launch of budesonide (Uceris), an extended-release formulation of the steroid budesonide for treating ulcers.

The San Diego winners were selected in six categories by an independent panel of judges from a field of 16 finalists by an independent panel of judges and honored at a gala event last week in La Jolla. All of the regional winners will go on to compete at the national level at an annual awards gala in Palm Springs, CA, on Nov. 16.

There are 25 U.S. regional programs for Entrepreneur of the Year, which typically generate more than 2,000 applicants each year. About 250 regional winners are crowned in June and move forward to compete for the title of national Entrepreneur Of The Year in November. The winners in all six categories are:

—Business Services: Kim Reed Perell, CEO of Adconion Direct.

—Technology: Tom Tullie, CEO and board chairman, EcoATM.

—Consumer Products & Services: Gary Rayner, former CEO, LifeProof.

—Life Sciences: Gerald Proehl, CEO, Santarus.

—Medical Products & Services: Mary Fisher, Former CEO, SkinMedica of Carlsbad, CA.

—Family Business: Kelly Grismer, President, and Chad Grismer, CEO, The Wheat Group.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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