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 October 16, 2015 - 9:00 AM EDT
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Patrick Priestner of AutoCanada Inc. named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Prairies 2015

Patrick Priestner of AutoCanada Inc. named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Prairies 2015

Canada NewsWire


EY celebrates legacy-building entrepreneurs at annual awards gala

CALGARY, Oct. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Patrick Priestner Executive Chairman at AutoCanada Inc. (TSX: ACQ) – one of the largest national multi-location automobile dealership groups in Canada – is this year's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies winner.

"A big part of Patrick's success is that he recognizes the importance of building and nurturing relationships," says Rob Jolley, EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Director. "Patrick's reputation in the automobile industry coupled with his ability to leverage his strong relationships has been fundamental to AutoCanada overcoming challenges and, ultimately, becoming an impressive Canadian success story."

With 57 dealerships located in eight provinces, AutoCanada is built on a model that allows the company to serve a diversified geographic customer base and enjoy benefits not available to single location dealerships.

"Innovation is embedded right through the organization," says Jolley. "From the way they benchmark the success of their dealership operations against each other, to a reporting structure that is designed to facilitate the sharing of ideas and market intelligence in an efficient and effective manner, AutoCanada is focused on leading the industry in both volume of vehicles sold and customer satisfaction."

Patrick credits his management team and their excellent employee relations as a strong contributing factor to AutoCanada's success. Patrick has worked tirelessly to build a corporate culture focused on treating everyone with dignity and respect. Those who have had the opportunity to hear Patrick speak on how positive thinking can influence a person's professional and personal life will attest that his views on the subject have made an indelible impression and have helped the company achieve its goals. Today, AutoCanada's dealerships collectively employ approximately 3,600 people in Canada.

"With Patrick's leadership and grounding nature, AutoCanada weathered the challenges of turning an industry on its ear and the ups and downs of the economy and industry, and thrived through rapid growth," says Jolley. "We are proud to honour Patrick's legacy with this award."

The Richardson family honoured
This year's gala also honoured the Richardson family of James Richardson & Sons, Limited – an international corporation headquartered in Winnipeg with operations in multiple industries – with the EY Family Business Award of Excellence. Founded as a one-man grain merchandising business in 1857 – 10 years before Confederation – the Richardson family's entrepreneurial legacy has carried on for over 150 years. Throughout the past century and a half, their focus on growth and diversification not only fuelled their expansion into the worldwide grain trade, but also led it into successful ventures in agri-foods, energy, real estate, financial services and investments. Carolyn (Richardson) Hursh, Chairman of James Richardson & Sons, Limited, accepted the award at the gala on behalf of the family.

What's next?
As the Prairies region's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015, Patrick will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Pacific, Atlantic, Ontario and Quebec regions for the national honour of Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015, to be presented at a gala celebration on 24 November 2015 in Toronto. In June 2016, Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 50 country recipients for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.

More information
Follow @EYCanada, #EOY and #EOYPrairies on Twitter for the latest event updates
Visit for more program details and a complete list of category finalists and gala dates in the regions. 

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies 2015 category award recipients:

Agricultural and Environmental Innovation

Dr. Jianhua Zhu
BioNeutra Global Corporation | Edmonton, Alberta
Develops, manufactures and markets value-added agricultural products. VitaFiber can be found in protein bars, powdered protein drinks, baking, confectionaries and supplements.

Business-to-business products and services

Christopher Micetich
NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc. / Fedora Pharmaceuticals Inc. | Edmonton, Alberta
Conducts pharmaceutical drug discovery research for pharmaceutical companies and has discovered several life-saving drugs that are marketed worldwide.

Business-to-consumer products and services

Patrick Priestner
AutoCanada Inc. (TSX:ACQ) | Edmonton, Alberta
One of Canada's largest multi-location automobile dealership groups, currently operating 57 dealerships.

Emerging Entrepreneur

Todd Van Vliet
Frac Shack Inc. | Acheson, Alberta
Advanced automated multi-unit refueling systems designed to provide the safest, most efficient and cost-effective technology available to onsite well completions.

Energy Services

Ashley Godwin, Kyle Melnyk
TAHK Projects Ltd. | Sherwood Park, Alberta
A leader in oil and gas construction from pipeline to facility construction.


Shaun Semple
Brandt Group of Companies | Regina, Saskatchewan
A dynamic group of companies that employs more than 1900 people across Canada and the U.S. and services markets in over 20 countries on six continents.

Oil and Gas

Pat Carlson
Seven Generations Energy Ltd. (TSX:VII) | Calgary, Alberta
An independent petroleum company focused on the acquisition, development and value optimization of high quality tight and shale hydrocarbon resource plays.

Professional and financial services

Shannon Bowen-Smed
BOWEN | Calgary, Alberta
Develops contractor management and on boarding support while executing highly complex recruiting projects for clients.

Real estate and construction

Bob Dhillon
Mainstreet Equity Corp. (TSX:MEQ) | Calgary, Alberta
A publicly traded residential real estate company with 9,159 units and approximately $1.3 billion in market value.

Technology and communications

Geoffrey Thompson
Vintri Technologies Inc. | Calgary, Alberta
An innovative tagging and software solution for asset traceability and tracking, conformance, and on-demand reporting in the pipeline industry.

Special Citation — Social Entrepreneur
Social entrepreneur is a unique special citation awarded to an entrepreneur whose achievements have driven large-scale social change and improved people's lives or quality of life.

Alfred Nikolai
Habitat for Humanity Edmonton | Edmonton, Alberta
Habitat for Humanity Edmonton's mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting home ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in 50 countries.

The 2015 Prairies independent  judging panel consists of Saurabh Agarwal, Principal, Warburg Pincus; Allison Grafton, Partner & Founder, Rockwood Custom Homes and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Real Estate and Construction category finalist 2013, Prairies; Steve King, President & CEO, Alaris Royalty Corp and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Professional and Financial Services category finalist 2013, Prairies; Ashif Mawji, President, Trust Science and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Young Entrepreneur category winner 2002, Prairies; Prabha Vaidyanathan, CEO, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.; Dale Wishewan, President & CEO, Booster Juice and 2013 Prairies EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winner; and Anita Wortzman, CEO, Acumen Corporate Development.

This year's national program sponsors are TEC Canada, La Presse, ICI RDI, TMX, Merrill DataSite, Kira Talent, Air Canada, The Printing House Limited. Prairies regional sponsors are Business in Calgary and Business in Edmonton magazines.

About EY's Strategic Growth Markets Network
EY's worldwide Strategic Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we've helped many of the world's most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early-stage venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. For more than 150 years in Canada, we've delivered the insights and quality services that help build trust and confidence in capital markets here and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

For more information about the program, FAQs and key dates, please visit

Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada, #EOY

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

Image with caption: "Patrick Priestner, Executive Chairman of AutoCanada Inc. was named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies 2015 at an awards gala in Calgary last night. Tom Orysiuk, CEO and President of AutoCanada Inc. (pictured centre), accepted the award on behalf of Patrick Priestner. Colleen McMorrow and Rob Jolley, both of EY, presented the award. (CNW Group/EY (Ernst & Young))". Image available at:

about this press release, gala information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Erika Bennett,, 403 206 5157; Julie Fournier,, 514 874 4308; Sasha Anopina,, 416 943 2637Copyright CNW Group 2015

Source: Canada Newswire (October 16, 2015 - 9:00 AM EDT)

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