Karen J. Martinez Selected To Serve On The New Jersey 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Judging Panel

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

BRAVO! Building Services President and Chief Executive Officer, Karen J. Martinez, who was the recipient of the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, will be serving on the distinguished judging panel that will select the 2012 award recipient. The panel is selected to represent industry leaders, people who know what it takes to be an exceptional and successful entrepreneur.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year� New Jersey Team would like to thank the judges for their time and dedication to the program. The insight our distinguished panel of judges brings to the program is invaluable, and we appreciate the knowledge and expertise they provide.

Enclosed you will find the bios of the 2012 New Jersey judging panel. These judges will select this year’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award recipients for the New Jersey Program. The panel is comprised of industry leaders as well as past Entrepreneur Of The Year winners — people who know what it takes to be an exceptional and successful entrepreneur.

Thank you once again to our esteemed judges.

Michael Kacsmar and Brent Ashton
Partners and Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Co-Directors

Judge’s Biography for Karen J. Martinez

Karen J. Martinez is the founder (1997) of BRAVO! Group Services, LLC, one of the most successful businesses in the US. Her passion to drive her employees and customers has created a revolution in the janitorial and maintenance service industries. Karen set a strong example with her motto, “Do what you say you are going to do.” BRAVO! employees take personal responsibility for delivering quality service and excellent customer satisfaction. In 2011, Karen was the only woman to win an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award.

The company’s reputation grew as Karen led BRAVO! through several acquisitions in the US, evolving the company to provide a full range of expert services and create opportunity throughout the organization � services such as mechanical engineering, HVAC repair, mailroom operations, concierge and many other integrated facility support services. With over 3,100 employees, BRAVO! is one of the largest, privately held facility and outsourcing companies in the US. The company is headquartered in Green Brook, NJ, and operates several regional offices throughout the country.

Karen engages in community involvement with the same fervor and commitment she applies to her professional life. In the late 1980s, she was a pioneer in the Community FoodBank of New Jersey while simultaneously spreading the awareness of organic food by demanding no pesticides in food markets. The Community FoodBank is one of most successful food banks in the state, and organically grown is here to stay. In 2007, she was recognized by Boy Scouts of America as Distinguished Citizen of the Year as well as honored by the YWCA.

BRAVO! has helped dozens of customers achieve their LEED certifications. In 2009, the company led the industry by receiving its CIMS Green Certification with Honors. BRAVO! is committed to reducing its carbon footprint while embracing chemical-free cleaning going beyond the sustainable movement. Karen resides in Hunterdon County, NJ. She is attempting her second sprint triathlon in 2012.

Judging criteria

The nominees are evaluated by an independent panel of judges. Factors that provide metrics for selecting the Entrepreneur Of The Year winners are:

Leadership: demonstrates commitment, vision and calculated risk-taking, as well as a capacity for personal growth

Financial performance: demonstrates outstanding financial performance as evidenced by factors such as return on equity, revenues, profitability and growth rate that indicate long-term sustainability for the company

Management: has assembled a quality group of people, such as board and management team advisors, to help ensure the continued success of the company

Culture/values/incentives: has created an environment that respects, recognizes and rewards employees and that encourages giving back to the community

Originality: demonstrates a clear and sustained capacity for creativity and innovation in the development and implementation of products or services

Degree of difficulty: has faced a particularly unique situation in launching and building the company and has overcome adversity and significant obstacles in the industry to make the company successful

Independence marks integrity

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award program maintains an independent judging panel and allows impartiality to govern the selection of award winners. Ernst & Young provides an environment where judges can examine the scope of each nomination and consider the credibility, capacity and determination of each competitor.


In order to avoid conflict of interest, judges are asked to refrain from voting for candidates with whom they have a personal or business relationship.


The judges will consider all nomination data that is submitted as strictly confidential. Such data is not to be reproduced or discussed, except as required in the selection process.

Judging requirements

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 New Jersey judging panel members are asked to:

Review nominees and select the finalists
Provided information includes an executive summary, financial information and essays on each nominee, as well as additional promotional materials submitted by the nominee. This allows the judges to become familiar with the nominees and aids in the selection process.

Attend judges and finalist reception
The judges will have a chance to meet all of the finalists and listen to their story in person. This will take place May 22 at The Palace in Somerset, NJ, from 5:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Judges meeting
Judges are asked to meet to select the award recipients, who are then announced the evening of the awards gala.

Awards gala
The attendance of the judges is requested at the gala awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 27.

Regional award categories

In the past, regional Entrepreneur Of The Year awards have been presented in the categories below. Final determination of the number of categories and awards will be decided by the panel of judges.

Business Services
Software Solutions
Technology Services
Retail and Consumer Products
Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology
Distribution, Manufacturing and Construction
Special Achievement

Special award

Special award categories can be established by the judges.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards

All Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year regional award winners are eligible for the national awards. The national award winners are selected in general and industry categories by an independent national judging panel. From the national category winners, overall National Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner is chosen. National finalists and winners in all categories will be announced at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards gala in Palm Springs on November 17, 2012. In addition, all of the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners and national finalists will be featured in the annual issue of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year magazine, as well as other local and national media.

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