The 38-year-old Fortress board chair and CEO started the company in 2006 with a focus on international specialty and security products — including paper stock for currency and passports — and has seen sales grow to more than $200 million a year.
Share prices for the TSX-traded company have increased about sixfold over that time.
Ernst & Young presented him with the Pacific region award at a Tuesday-evening event attended by 1,300 members of the B.C. business community.
“Chad is a shining example of how our British Columbia entrepreneurs are demonstrating they’re not afraid of the shakeup of an economic downturn,” event director Fred Withers said in a news release.
“Instead, Chad saw an opportunity to up the competitive ante by focusing on innovation, enhancing Fortress’s presence in new markets, and ultimately emerging stronger than ever before.”
Peter Brown, founder and chair of Canaccord Financial, received the 2010 Pacific region Lifetime Achievement Award “in recognition of his outstanding support of B.C.’s business community and his significant achievements as an entrepreneur,” the news release said.
Ernst & Young also presented awards in seven entrepreneur categories.
Charles Kim, president and CEO of Trans Pac Group of Companies, won for business-to-business products and services. Ernst & Young said Trans Pac is primarily a wood products business that specializes in log and lumber exports to Asian markets. Samir Manji, chairman, president and CEO of Amica Mature Lifestyles, also won for business-to-consumer products and services. Amica is a leader in the management, marketing, design and development of luxury housing and services for mature lifestyles, Ernst & Young said.Elton Pereira, co-founder, president and CEO of ParetoLogic, Inc. of Victoria, won for information technology. ParetoLogic creates a wide range of computer security and utility programs, Ernst & Young said.Nicole von Stefenelli, founder and CEO of Richmond’s Urban Impact Recycling Ltd., won for Cleantech. Urban Impact is a commercial transportation and processing company specializing in recycling, shredding and waste management services. Janice Abbott, CEO of Vancouver’s Atira Property Management, won for social entrepreneur. Atira provides property management services for strata corporations, developers, rental properties, non-profit housing, and housing cooperatives in Metro Vancouver. The company uses all profits to fund the Atira Women’s Resource Society’s housing and support programs for women and children who have been affected by violence, Ernst & Young said.Peter Barnes, CEO of Vancouver’s Silver Wheaton Corp., won for mining and metals. The company has quickly positioned itself as the largest metals streaming company in the world, Ernst & Young noted.Emad Yacoub, president and CEO of the Glowbal Restaurant Group of Vancouver, took the award for hospitality and tourism. Glowbal group is composed of six restaurants, two lounges and a full-service catering company.
By Scott Simpson for The Vancouver Sun. September 29, 2010.