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Bothell exec wins NW entrepreneur award

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By Amy Watkins
The Herald Business Journal
BOTHELL -- The chief executive officer of Brooks Sports is moving forward in a global competition that recognizes entrepreneurs.
Jim Weber was announced June 7 as a winner of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 in the Pacific Northwest award at Hyatt Regency Bellevue. The award region includes Washington, Oregon, Montana, Alaska and northern Idaho.
"It was a great event and really fun to be there," said Weber, 53. "It was interesting for Brooks because, and I said this when we got the award, we're so focused on runners and connecting them with our industry that for Ernst and Young to look at Brooks and recognize us for what we did in our industry was a surprise. It's just a great honor and a pretty impressive room of people."
Weber in 2001 became CEO of Brooks Sports at 19910 North Creek Parkway. He received the award in the consumer products and manufacturing category. Other winners and categories included Beau Fessenden of Natural Molecular Testing Corporation, healthcare and insurance services; Gary Fish of Deschutes Brewery, food and beverage; Dara Khosrowshahi of Expedia, technology; Spencer Rascoff of Zillow, business services; and Tom Alberg, Paul Goodrich, Gerald Grinstein and William Ruckelshaus of the Madrona Venture Group, financial services. Mike Garvey, co-founder and retired chairman of Saltchuk Resources in Seattle, received the Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for the Pacific Northwest.
The gala event brought the region's 18 finalists together, said Greg Beams, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program director for the Pacific Northwest. Chris Barrow, CEO of EagleView Technologies in Bothell, was another finalist from Snohomish County.
An independent panel of judges chose award winners who they believe are strong leaders of their organizations, setting a business strategy and transforming their business with leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, Beams said.
"Jim is definitely that guy at Brooks Sports," he said. "Not only was it an outstanding group of finalists but it was also an outstanding group of winners."
The regional winners go on to compete at the national level in different award categories. The national award recipients and an overall National Entrepreneur of the Year winner will be announced on Nov. 16 at a gala in Palm Springs, Calif. The overall national winner will move on to compete in 2014 for the World Entrepreneur of the Year title.
"We'd all love the entrepreneurs in our geographic area to go on and win the whole thing if possible," Beams said. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed."
Weber is also looking forward to the next level of competition.
"I do know that now that we're in it, I definitely want to win," he said.
A call for nominees for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 in the Pacific Northwest competition will begin in January, Beams said.
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