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EY Announces G.B Pillai as Entrepreneur of The Year® 2017 Award Finalist in Northeast Ohio!

Founder, G.B Pillai, Recognized for his Commitment to Providing Toys and Stuffed Animals That Foster Curiosity about Wildlife and Educate Children About the Wonders of Nature

Twinsburg, OH, May 22, 2017 – EY today announced that G.B Pillai, Founder of Wild Republic is a finalist for the Entrepreneur of The Year® 2017 Award in the Northeast Ohio region. The awards program, celebrating its 31st year, recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Pillai was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges for his commitment to providing toys and stuffed animals that educate children about wildlife. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 22 at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland hotel.

“I am truly honored to be recognized as a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” says G.B. Pillai, Founder of Wild Republic. “I started my company as a way to connect my love of children with my love of wildlife. We can learn so much from our animal friends.  By building a strong connection with animals at an early age, our children will learn to be more tolerate and respectful of animals, especially animals that are in need of our help. Through our realistic designs and educational overlay, I believe Wild Republic has done just that and am so proud of what the company has been able to achieve.”

Since G.B. Pillai launched Wild Republic in 1979, the company has been delighting consumers around the globe with an expansive collection of nature-related toys and gifts that encourage curiosity about wildlife and educate children about nature. The award-winning company uses nothing but the highest quality materials to develop their toy and plush lines.

Most recently, Wild Republic launched Huggers, an adorable line of 8” soft, stuffed, loveable toys that hug you back. Specially designed snap bands give Huggers a safe, comfortable, friendly grip.  Huggers can be worn on wrists, backpacks, strollers, bikes, or even wrapped around a vase to provide a decorative touch. Named a top toy for spring and summer 2017 by the Toy Insider, Huggers are a favorite, go-anywhere, hug-any-time, plush toy for kids.

Now in its 31st year, the Entrepreneur of The Year® program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth ForumTM, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.


Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In Northeast Ohio, sponsors also include PNC Bank, Smart Business, Howard & O’Brien Executive Search, Oswald Companies and Alliance Solutions Group.

About Wild Republic

Wild Republic has been delighting consumers around the globe with an expansive collection of nature-related toys and gifts since 1979. Headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio, Wild Republic has offices throughout the world with international distribution serving zoos, museums, aquariums and retailers. Consumers can also purchase direct at www.wildrepublic.com and are invited to follow the company on Facebook.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and the local community. 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 over 145 cities and more than 60 countries. ey.com/eoy

About EY’s Growth Markets Network

EY’s worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high- growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage, venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/sgm or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

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 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 ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member of the global EY organization that provides services to clients in the US.

For more information, please visit ey.com. 

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