Entrepreneur of the Year

Many months ago, a buddy of mine approached me about the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards program. It’s an international effort the accounting firm runs annually in many countries across the globe.

It’s always nice to be asked to do this stuff, but I don’t jump in without some consideration as they usually involve a fairly significant time commitment.

I did jump in and the time commitment to complete the application was significant.  It revolved around telling my story and the story of starting YACC.

I was listed as a nominee at a reception in the spring, then named an Atlantic finalist in early July which meant I had the opportunity to attend the Atlantic gala in Halifax on October 1.

While I considered this opportunity, it really came back to one very simple thing: would this effort open doors for YACC, and ultimately, would we be able to point to tangible outcomes that indicated this was a valuable effort? Bottom line, I wanted to connect with some new donors. Getting our message out to 400 influential business people at the gala, also a bonus. The former (the revenue) will take a while to evaluate.

The latter was accomplished, helped significantly by the fact that I won the entrepreneur of the year award, and thus got to say a few words (see embedded video) which included thanking some very important people and informing the audience of YACC’s reason for being.

Before I end, let me get a forgotten thank you out to some important people who vanished from my mind for a few moments while giving my acceptance speech at this event last week: my family, my parents specifically. I’m a product of my environment and while yes, I’m an independent adult now, I believe everything I do is connected to the foundation of who I am, and for that I have my parents to thank.

As the “starter” of YACC, I sometimes get lots of recognition, which is nice and makes me feel good about what we do, but I’m smart enough to know that any individual award usually has tons of people connected to it. This is no different, so while that fancy trophy has my name on it, there are literally thousands who have contributed to our success to date. To all of you, thank you. You are helping us help young adults with cancer.

Always…
Live life. Love life.

Geoff

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