Honorees to Be Recognized at 2012 Growth Conference Presented by The UPS Store
IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 20, 2011 – Entrepreneur ® magazine’s Entrepreneur of 2011 contest presented by The UPS Store ® has selected its winners: Lee Rhodes, founder of glassybaby; Adam Nelson, creator of the Good Nite Lite; and Gabrielle Palermo, a founder at G3Box. These entrepreneurs will be recognized at an awards luncheon during the 2012 Growth Conference in Long Beach, Calif.
“The philanthropic nature of these businesses reminds us of the impact entrepreneurs make,” said Amy Cosper, VP and editor in chief of Entrepreneur. “They exemplify the admirable brilliance and guts it takes to make it as an entrepreneur with a synergistic vision for both profit and progress.”
Established Entrepreneur of 2011, Lee Rhodes, founded glassybaby, which specializes in handblown glass votive candleholders produced in more than 400 rich colors. Rhodes attributed the simplistic and relaxing effects of the lit vessels to part of her healing during her battle with lung cancer, leading her to begin selling them from her garage. Now Rhodes donates a percentage of glassybaby’s revenue to programs that help cancer patients with needs not covered by health insurance.
Adam Nelson, named the Emerging Entrepreneur of 2011, drew inspiration from his own sleepless nights as a father of a four-year-old to create the Good Nite Lite. The programmed light lets children know when it is time to sleep and wake up with the illuminated images of a moon and sun. Its design helps regulate sleep patterns and has been especially helpful for autistic and deaf children, as well as seniors with dementia. Nelson continues to adapt the Good Nite Lite. His current efforts include developing iPhone and iPad apps and upgrading packaging to double as a travel case.
The College Entrepreneur of 2011 is Gabrielle Palermo, an Arizona State University junior, who formed G3Box originally for a class project with three other engineering students. The company aims to convert decommissioned containers into mobile medical units with ventilation, insulation, power and portable water to be used around the world. Palermo and her team plan to deploy the first G3Box, a prototype maternity clinic, this summer to Kenya.
“I’m often impressed by the ingenuity entrepreneurs exhibit, and these individuals are no exception,” said Stuart Mathis, president of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., franchisor of The UPS Store. “Each took an idea – in some cases inspired by their own experiences – and turned it into a business that serves the needs of individuals around the world. What a rewarding endeavor.”
The winners will each share their entrepreneurial journeys at the 2012 Growth Conference to be held on Jan. 11, 2012, at the Long Beach Convention Center. This one-day, complimentary event will also feature keynote speaker Chris Brogan; numerous seminars on growth strategies led by a variety of small-business experts; and many networking opportunities. Attendance is free with online registration at www.entrepreneur.com/growthconference.
About the judging process: Candidates were narrowed down to five finalists per award category by a panel of judges. Their online profiles together with their videos were featured on Entrepreneur.com, where visitors could vote for their favorite contestant. The Established, Emerging and College Entrepreneurs of 2011 were then determined based on a point system that reflected the number of online votes they received and the judges’ individual choices.
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With more than 4,700 locations, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc.® network comprises the world’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. In the U.S. and Puerto Rico, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., a UPS subsidiary. In Canada, locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of master licensee MBEC Communications, L.P. For additional information on The UPS Store, including information on franchise opportunities for opening a The UPS Store location*, visit www.theupsstore.com.
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