June 18, 2024
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Ernst & Young gives entrepreneur awards to Direct Relief, TrackR


Ernst & Young honored two members of the Santa Barbara business community at its annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards for the Greater Los Angeles Region on June 15.

Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief, received the Social Entrepreneurship recognition. Also among the eight winners was tracking device company TrackR, co-founded by Chris Herbert and Christian Johan Smith.

EY recognizes businesses from hundreds of cities globally that have brought innovative products or ideas to their industry. Together, the eight LA region awardees employ more than 14,000 people and reported combined revenues of $1.3 billion.

“We’re very inspired and hopeful that these things can be solved because we see them solved every day for consumers,” Tighe said in a news release.

Direct Relief has become a billion-dollar organization this year under Tighe, the release stated.

“If we can solve for non-consumers, who don’t have money, in the same effective way for people with the ability to pay, a lot of the issues which have been vexing for decades, will get much smaller,” Tighe said.

Past winners include Ventura-based The Trade Desk, Montecito Bank & Trust and the Towbes Group in Santa Barbara, Goleta-based Inogen, Seven Lakes Technologies in Westlake Village, and Sage Publications from Thousand Oaks, among others in the region.

The winners became eligible for a national prize, to be announced in November, followed by a World Entrepreneur of the Year award, announced in Monaco next June.

• Contact Marissa Nall at mnall@pacbiztimes.com.