Palm Springs – Ken Solinsky, president of Insight Technology Technology Incorporated, was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 national winner in the Distribution and Manufacturing category. Now in its 23rd year, the awards recognize leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Solinsky was honored for growing the company into the largest developer and supplier of night vision and electro-optical systems to the US military. Solinsky was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year gala in Palm Springs – the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. All Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from approximately 400 regional award recipients.
Founded in 1988, privately held Insight Technology employs 1,200 people at three facilities in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Insight Technology has experienced steady growth through increased product offerings and expansion of its customer base.
An offer from Uncle Sam
When Ken Solinsky graduated from Clarkson College in 1971, the economy was ailing and job prospects were poor. Solinsky accepted a civilian position with the US Army in a program where he would be able to earn a masters’ degree in industrial engineering and then commit to work for the Army for three years. It was the start of a civil service career that lasted 15 years.
Assigned to Fort Belvoir in Virginia, he eventually worked for the Army’s Night Vision Lab. After a year as a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University, he was named program manager for night vision devices, one of the few civilians to hold such a position.
Grabbing the gold ring
After 15 years with the Army, Solinsky had reached a crossroads: spend the rest of his career comfortably working in civil service or take a risk and try something new. He and his wife, Grace, bet their life savings on his dream business. Together, they grew Insight Technology into a world leader in military technology.
To meet Insight Technology’s exacting product standards and to ensure the availability of supply sources, Solinsky took the initiative of acquiring and forming several companies to consistently supply needed optical glass and precision plastic optics.
Insight Technology’s products are used by all branches of the U.S. military, exported to friendly nations around the world and used by federal, state and local law enforcement officers.
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 national finalists in Distribution and Manufacturing category
In addition to Solinsky, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year national finalists in the Distribution and Manufacturing category are:
David A. Smith, chairman and CEO of PSS World Medical (NASDAQ: PSSI) of Jacksonville, Florida, a national distributor of medical products to physicians and elder care providers.
David J. Meyer, CEO of Titan Machinery (NASDAQ: TITN) in Fargo, North Dakota, which owns and operates one of the largest networks of full service agricultural and construction equipment stores in North America.
Richard C. Ill, president and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Triumph Group Inc. (NYSE:TGI), a company that designs, engineers, manufactures, repairs and overhauls aircraft components and accessories.
Overall Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 National Winner
Tom Adams, president and CEO of Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST), was named the Overall Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 national winner.
About Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year
Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award 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 award of its kind, Ernst & Young 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 135 cities in 50 countries.