NOW Foods founder Elwood Richard is one of 31 finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award in the US Midwest, which honors entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hard work and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures.
“We are very pleased that our founder has been recognized as one of the premier entrepreneurs in the Midwest,” said NOW president Al Powers. “His vision has guided the growth of a company that is not only very successful by conventional business standards, but has also maintained its social commitments by giving back to the world community and making better health affordable to as many people as possible.”
Independent judging panels, made up of highly visible and respected leaders in their communities, are established in each country to select the finalists and winners from the nominations received. Criteria include:
* Entrepreneurial spirit: commitment, vision, calculated risk-taking, capacity for personal growth.
* Financial performance: return on equities, revenues, profitability, and growth rate indicating long-term sustainability.
* Strategic direction: creates and turns business visions into business realities. Builds and rebuilds the teams’ commitment to the common goals.
* Community/global impact: making an impact in terms of job creation and improved living economics in their own community and globally if business has expanded successfully overseas.
* Innovation: pioneers a new approach or technology.
* Personal integrity/influence: living their values has earned him/her great respect from staff, competitors, advisers, family and wider community.
The E & Y USA 2009 winner will be announced at a black-tie award ceremony at the Hilton Chicago Hotel on June 26th.
Founded by Elwood Richard in 1968, NOW has grown from a small, family operation, to a highly respected manufacturer of natural health products. Today, NOW manufactures and distributes over 1,500 dietary supplements, natural foods, sports nutrition, and personal care products. NOW’s state of the art manufacturing facility has been GMP certified since 2000, and its quality testing labs are among the best in the industry. The company has over 500 employees and its products are sold in more than 60 countries. Now in their 40th year of business, the company remains family owned and committed to its original mission: to provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives.