PARTY TIME FOR PIONEERS
We thought entrepreneurs worked 24/7, but we saw an awful lot of them crowding into the Ritz Tysons Thursday night for Ernst & Young’s popular Entrepreneur of the Year extravaganza. 38 finalists (who are treated like champions just to get that far) vied for winner slots in 9 categories. The prizes are presented like the Academy Awards: opening an envelope to an audience waiting in suspense—announced to cheers and Rocky theme music as winners bound onto stage to pick up their crystal and give thank you’s. Awards went to the likes of GeoEye’s Matt O’Connell (geospatial information for national security), Cuisine Solution’s Stanislas Vilgrain (premium fully cooked frozen food), and Athena Technology’s David Vos (pilot-less aviation).
Former SRA CEO Renny DiPentima, attending with wife Pat, may have stepped down from the top job a couple months ago, but continues to be a Director there as well as a judge in the E&Y competition, meaning he remembers how to put in his stud set. But he’s spending more time in his beloved Annapolis and planning some interesting travel.
Presenter Shirley Edwards heads the E&Y audit practice for the Mid-Atlantic; and Marc Andersen is the firm’s ubiquitous face of glamorous events. Tanned thought he was, he was en route to Palm Beach the next day.
Sage Communications founder Larry Rosenfeld, Resources Global’s Bonnie Koppelman, and SunRocket CFO David Samuels. Larry tells us he’s now up to 22 employees, doing PR for Fed IT heavies like AT&T Government Solutions, Juniper Networks, and Mantech. Larry still rides around in that Harley Heritage Softail he bought at last year’s AFCEA dinner benefiting NIH’s Children’s Inn, but just bought a house in Park City and plans to do more hiking and biking out there.
Bankers of the world, unite! Wachovia regional president Sam Schreiber and Cardinal Bank CEO Bernard Clineburg. Bernard was a finalist with quite a techie accomplishment: as the American Banker reported recently, Cardinal is the first bank in the country to offer banking by cell phone.
Jim Abdo (center) with wife Mei and some supportive staff that accompanied him, is one of Washington’s leading developers and maybe its boldest: he takes the most distressed properties and tries to transform not only them but their whole neighborhoods. No wonder SmartCEO Magazine recently named him this region’s CEO of the Year.
SyApps’ Shaker Iyer with Approva founder PV Boccasm. PV’s company realized, after Enron and Worldcom, that its software providing internal controls could be popular—sure enough, its growth in 2006 was 80%.
Who's the superstar in this picture? Both! Redskins QB Mark Brunell, right, with Bisnow on Business COO Doug Anderson. Doug was there because his boss, Mark Bisnow, emceed. Billy Crystal was unavailable.
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