Twelve business leaders from the region have been selected for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
It marks the 16th year that the accounting giant has honored local entrepreneurs in about 31 areas of the country. The winners are eligible to be recognized at the national level. National honors will be announced in November. International winners are also selected in 100 cities and 35 countries worldwide.
A panel of six judges chose the winners from more than 30 finalists for the Maryland area.
"You're looking at the story of the individual or the company," said Mark Wesker, one of the judges and chief executive of Baltimore software company Artifact. "A lot of folks started with a pickup truck or a couple people in their basement. It's fascinating to see how they started, the adversity they had to overcome and their unwillingness to give up under any circumstances."
The Maryland winners, announced by Ernst & Young during a ceremony Thursday in Baltimore, include:
Emerging Entrepreneurs: Mark Komisky, chief executive and co-founder, and Will Clemens, chief financial officer and co-founder, of Bluefire Security Technologies, a Baltimore-based provider of security technology for hand-held mobile devices.
Manufacturing and Distribution Entrepreneur: Karen Olson, president and chief executive of Adhesives Research Inc., a Glen Rock, Pa., developer and manufacturer of high-performance, specialty pressure-sensitive adhesives, coatings, films and laminates.
Master Entrepreneur: R. Christopher Hoehn-Saric, chief executive and chairman of Educate Inc., a Baltimore-based educational services company.
Master Entrepreneur: Mayo A. Shattuck III, president and chief executive of Constellation Energy, the Baltimore-based gas, electricity and power provider.
Media & Entertainment Entrepreneur: Robert Struble, president and chief executive of iBiquity Digital Corp., a technology company that develops digital radio broadcasting and is based in Columbia.
Retail & Consumer Products: J. Kent McNew, chief executive of Annapolis-based Eastern Petroleum Corp., a fuel distribution and retail company.
Services Entrepreneur: Peter Emmons, chief executive, and Scott Greenhaus, president, of Structural Group, a Hanover-based maker of products that improve building structures.
Software Entrepreneur: Jenny Morgan, president and chief executive of ViPS, a Towson-based health care consulting company.
Technology & Related Services Entrepreneur: John Powderly, executive vice president, and Kevin Powderly, president, of CyberCore Technologies, an information technology company based in Timonium.
Another Maryland entrepreneur, Evan Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of Digene Corp., based in Gaithersburg, was selected as a Life Sciences Entrepreneur for the Greater Washington area. Digene produces tests for various diseases, including women's cancers and infectious illnesses.