Biz Buzz: Newport CEO Named EY Entrepreneur of the Year

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Anderson_Darin (002)Newport Beach resident Darin Anderson, chairman and CEO of Salas O’Brien (a specialty facilities planning, engineering, design and construction management firm), has been awarded the 2016 EY (Ernst & Young) Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for Professional Services in Orange County and the Inland Empire region.

Marking its 30th anniversary in the U.S., EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is a prestigious business award for entrepreneurs, recognizing those who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and commitment to their businesses and communities.

“I have been blessed,” Anderson said. “It is a wonderful testament to my partners and wife, Lori. We stayed focused, worked diligently, hammered through challenging times, kept great relationships with our team and clients, and always did the right thing.”

The award marks the culmination of an extraordinary decade for Salas O’Brien, which has grown by more than 1,200 percent while the industry as a whole has shown no growth.

With about 300 employees, including 44 employee-shareholders, the company currently operates 15 offices around the country, serving a range of clients including Microsoft, Ritz-Carlton, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Bloom Energy, Starbucks, Four Seasons and numerous universities such as Stanford, Cal-Tech, USC, LSU, Texas A&M, UCSF and UC Berkeley.

Anderson attributes this success to the “maniacal focus on quality delivery” that is maintained by all team members and the strong business relationships that have been forged over the years. Anderson also credits the support of his family, who were in attendance when he received the award at the EY regional gala on June 17.

“I can’t tell you how much it touched my family,” he said. “My son (13) and daughter (11) were so engaged in and excited about the program and event. They totally got it and were overwhelmed with emotion. It was rewarding to know that my kids have an appreciation for the effort, sacrifices, passion and character that it takes to make anything great happen.”

Anderson will represent the region in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif., on Nov. 19.

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