Rob McCurdy of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year(TM) 2017 Pacific

Annual awards gala celebrates daring local entrepreneurs

VANCOUVER, Sept. 30, 2017 /CNW/ – Rob McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., the longest-established wood pellet producer in Western Canada, is this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Pacific winner.

“Rob is helping grow a successful, sustainable Canadian business,” says Lui Petrollini, Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific program Director. “Some of the world’s largest energy generators are turning to wood pellets as an alternative to fossil fuel to create renewable electricity. Rob has played a vital role in helping Pinnacle succeed in developing a cultural shift towards safe, sustainable energy sources.”

Before joining Pinnacle, Rob held positions across the globe spanning chemical, construction materials and mining industries. Most recently, he was the India Managing Director for a world-leading producer of building materials. There he was responsible for turning the newly acquired business around financially, setting the course for it to double its size in five years.  

Rob’s international experience had positioned him well for success as he took on the Chief Executive Officer position at Pinnacle in August 2012. Since then, he has led major transformation and improvement changes in the organization’s safety and culture. Taking a people-first approach, Rob headed Pinnacle’s Safety Champion Program, which develops talent from within and commits to investing in its people. Most notably, it has earned Pinnacle the reputation of ‘best operator’ and ‘lowest risk supplier’ in the industry.

Through his leadership, Pinnacle has improved its safety rate by 90 per cent, significantly increased employee engagement and improved EBITDA results by over 100 per cent. Today, Pinnacle is the world’s third largest producer of wood pellets, shipping over 1.4 million tonnes per year from its seven B.C. locations. The company is currently expanding into Alberta and forecasts shipping to boost to 1.8 tonnes annually by 2018.

“Rob’s inspirational and entrepreneurial leadership has played a key role as Pinnacle continues to capture greater market share and enter new markets,” says Petrollini. “He is very deserving of this award.”

What’s next?
As the Pacific region’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017, Rob will compete with top entrepreneurs from the Prairies, Ontario, Atlantic and Quebec regions for the national honour of Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017, to be presented at a gala celebration on 30 November 2017 in Toronto. In June 2018, Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 will move to the world stage to compete with more than 50 country recipients for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.

This year, Canada took home the gold. Murad Al-Katib of AGT Food and Ingredients was named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 in Monaco this past June. Murad is a shining example of accelerating growth with purpose.

More information
Follow @EYCanada and #EOYPacific on Twitter for the latest event updates.

Visit for more program details and a complete list of category finalists and gala dates in other regions.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Pacific category award recipients:

Business-to-Business Products and Services
Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. | Richmond
Rob McCurdy

Emerging Technology
Article | Vancouver
Aamir Baig, Fraser Hall, Andy Prochazka, Sam Prochazka

Financial Services
TIO Networks | Vancouver
Hamed Shahbazi 

Investment Services
Sandstorm Gold Ltd. | Vancouver
Nolan Watson (TSX: SSL)

AvenEx Coating Technologies Inc. | Vancouver
Gary Shokar

Mining & Metals
Lucara Diamond Corp. | Vancouver
William Lamb (TSX: LUC)

Real Estate/Construction
Western Wealth Capital | North Vancouver
Janet LePage

Software as a Service (SaaS)
Clio | Burnaby
Jack Newton

StarFish Medical | Victoria
Scott Phillips

Special citation: Social Entrepreneur
Lunapads International | Vancouver
Madeleine Shaw, Suzanne Siemens

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

The 2017 Pacific region independent judging panel consists of Charles Chang, President and Founder, Lyra Growth Partners; Ashley Cooper, President, Paladin Security; Cathy Thorpe, President, Nurse Next Door; Debi Hewson, President and CEO, Odlum Brown Ltd.; Shannon Rogers, President, Global Relay; Bill Tam, President, BC Tech Association; and Lisa Shields, CEO, FI.SPAN Services Inc.

This year’s program national sponsors are TEC Canada, La Presse, RDI, The TMX Group, The Globe and Mail Inc., Merrill Corporation, Kira Talent, Air Canada, SheEO, The Printing House Limited, Hillberg & Berk and MediaOne Creative. Pacific regional sponsors are BCBusiness magazine, Hunt Personnel/Temporarily Yours, Captivate Network, The University of British Columbia, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and Leone International Marketing

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY is proudly celebrating 150 years in Canada. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)