Portland, OR – Neal Keny Guyer, CEO of the Portland-based relief and development agency Mercy Corps, has been named winner of the 2010 “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” in the social responsibility category for the Pacific Northwest. Keny-Guyer was selected from nearly sixty nominations by a panel of independent judges.
“Social responsibility has always been the cornerstone of Mercy Corps’ mission,” said Keny-Guyer. “We are committed to using entrepreneurship to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people, and being recognized for that commitment is humbling and extremely rewarding. This award belongs to the 3,700 members of our global team and the more than 16 million people we serve,” he continued.
During his sixteen years as CEO of Mercy Corps, Keny-Guyer has led the organization through significant expansion of its geographic scope and programmatic complexity. The agency now operates in 40 countries, specializing in tough and transitional environments, and focuses on economic development, civil society building, and emergency relief.
Keny-Guyer’s win this year is exceptional for the “Entrepreneur of the Year” awards, which usually honor standouts in the realm of for-profit business. Keny-Guyer was honored in recognition of his leadership abilities and emphasis on utilizing innovative and often market-driven solutions to help people escape poverty. This emphasis has lead Mercy Corps to undertake such projects as founding a commercial bank for microfinance institutions in Indonesia, and piloting micro-franchise operations in rural Guatemala.
Keny-Guyer will move on to Ernst & Young’s national “Entrepreneur of the Year” awards process. Award recipients in several national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recipient, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 13, 2010. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards program celebrates its 24th anniversary this year. The program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 135 cities in 50 countries throughout the world.