Seven San Fernando Valley business owners, including the founder of the North Hollywood animation house Film Roman and the Calabasas-based maker of Breath Asure tablets, are among 29 regional finalists named Friday in an annual awards competition honoring the nation's top entrepreneurs.
The finalists will vie to become a regional winner in the Greater Los Angeles Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The dozen regional winners, to be announced at an awards ceremony on June 22, will compete in a national contest.
The other Valley companies whose owners were selected as regional finalists are Tekelec, a Calabasas manufacturer of telephone switching equipment; Cardservice International Inc., an Agoura Hills company that processes non-cash transactions for merchants; PDI Enterprises, a North Hollywood distributor of discount pharmaceuticals; SDI Industries, a Pacoima engineering firm that designs retail distribution systems; and Amwest Insurance Group, a surety bond company headquartered in Woodland Hills.
A panel of independent judges picked the finalists from more than 100 Los Angeles-area nominees submitted by local business leaders.
"What we look for in nominations are companies that are headquartered here, that are growing and providing new jobs in the community and have demonstrated some innovation or are serving a market that hasn't been served before or is underserved," said Daniel Love, managing partner in the Woodland Hills office of Ernst & Young, the accounting firm that co-sponsors the awards. The other sponsors are Merrill Lynch and Inc. magazine.