Triangle executives dominated an awards ceremony for Carolinas' entrepreneurs in Charlotte on Thursday night.
Of the nine winners, six were CEOs of fast-growing companies based in this area. The annual Ernst & Young awards give corporate leaders bragging rights with their peers, but also can help their companies attract customers and investors.
The local winners included Jud Bowman, CEO of Durham's PocketGear; Leah Brown, CEO of Cary's A10 Clinical Solutions; Craig Collard, CEO of Cary's Cornerstone Therapeutics; Lawrence Stern, CEO of Research Triangle Park's Talecris Biotherapeutics; Chuck Swoboda, CEO of Durham's Cree; and Stephen Wiehe of Cary's SciQuest.
Other winners were Thomas Baliker, president of Spartan Foods of America in Spartanburg, S.C.; Randy Kibler, CEO of Bojangles' Restaurants in Charlotte; and Jane Zhang, CEO of JH Global Services in Greenville, S.C.
The Carolinas winners go on to compete at the national entrepreneur of the year awards in Palm Springs, Calif., in November. Jay Leno is the scheduled host.
Stephen Zelnak Jr., who recently retired as CEO of Raleigh-based Martin Marietta Materials, also won a lifetime achievement award on Thursday night.