Brian Hill takes top honours as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2008 for the Pacific region

by NationTalk on October 12, 20082254 Views

(Vancouver, 9 October 2008)—A true entrepreneur who has grown a unique business concept into a remarkable brand, Brian Hill of Aritzia LP is the Pacific region’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 Award recipient.“Brian Hill’s trend-setting retail concept is thriving across Canada, and in the U.S.,” said Fred Withers, Director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program for the Pacific region. “He is an innovative thinker who exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit. Mr. Hill has revolutionized the shopping experience for customers, and left a lasting mark on the local and national retail business scenes.”

Mr. Hill, President and CEO of Aritzia LP, received the award at a formal gala held last night, in Vancouver. Aritzia is a vertically integrated women’s apparel retailer. Founded in 1984, Aritzia is an offshoot of Hill’s of Kerrisdale, a long-established Vancouver department store owned and operated by the Hill family. Mr. Hill has served at the helm of Aritzia since its beginnings in Vancouver, and built the boutique into an internationally-renowned retailer known for its one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Inspired by the energy and culture of the surrounding city, each Aritzia shop offers clothing and accessories designed with style, quality and value in mind. Mr. Hill has worked closely with staff over the years, ensuring the Aritzia brand of total customer service is consistent in stores across the continent. Mr Hill also received the business-to-consumer products and services category award.

In addition, Robert H. Lee was recognized last night as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific Lifetime Achievement 2008 Award winner, in recognition of his innumerable contributions to the growth of the real estate investment industry on Canada’s West Coast. The other recipients of the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 awards are:

Natural resources and energy

Ross Beaty, Chairman
Pan American Silver Corp. (Silver mining company)
Vancouver, British Columbia

Turnaround entrepreneur

Amiee Chan, President and CEO
Norsat International Inc. (Provider of microwave components and portable satellite systems)
Richmond, British Columbia

Business-to-business products and services

John Davis, Co-CEO and Founder
Lotte Davis, Co-CEO and Founder
AG Hair Cosmetics (Manufacturer of shampoos, conditioners, styling and finishing products)
Burnaby, British Columbia


Kevin Ham, CEO and Founder
Reinvent Technology, Inc. (Internet media company)
Vancouver, British Columbia

Real estate/construction

Ivan Harmatny, Director
Ron McNeil, Director
Lower Mainland Steel Group (Rebar supply, fabrication and installation)
Surrey, British Columbia

Social entrepreneur

Clarence Louie, President and CEO
Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation (Wholly owned business operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band, with interests in retail activities, vineyards, construction and tourism)
Oliver, British Columbia

Emerging entrepreneur

Davis Yung, President
Fresh Direct Produce Ltd. (Transports and distributes produce to retailers and wholesalers)
Vancouver, British Columbia


What’s next?

As the Pacific Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008, Mr. Hill will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Atlantic, Prairies, Ontario and Québec regions for the honour of Canada’s Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008, to be announced November 26, 2008, in Toronto. In June 2009, Canada’s Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 40 country recipients for the title of Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year®. Canada’s own Guy Laliberté from Cirque du Soleil was the recipient of the 2007 World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award.

About the awards program

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards honour the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. This year, the Canadian program is proudly celebrating a milestone anniversary — 15 years of honouring Canada’s most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business.

Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel, which is composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The members of the Pacific region panel for 2008 were Art Aylesworth, President, Osprey Management Ltd.; Donna Bridgeman, Vice President, Investments, GrowthWorks Capital Ltd.; Bev Briscoe, President, Briscoe Management Ltd.; Jim Case, President & CEO, Scotia Dealer Advantage Inc.; Bob Gayton, Director, Western Copper Corporation; Tracey McVicar, Managing Director, CAI Capital Management Co.; Jim Moore, President & CEO, Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc.

The national program sponsors are Global Television Network, National Post, La Presse and RDI. Pacific region sponsors are BC Business magazine and the Vancouver Sun. To learn more, visit

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 130,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve potential. For more info, visit

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