UF alums, Heggestad honored at Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gainesville businessman Richard Allen and UF alumni David Greiff and Brent Berthy were honored for their entrepreneurial achievements at the S. Clark Butler Entrepreneur of the Year Awards on April 8 at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center .

The awards are sponsored by UF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI). CEI bestows these honors each year in recognition of those who best exemplify the ideals of entrepreneurship. The winners were chosen based on their major contributions to enterprises, ethical business relationships, and inspirations to others.

Allen, co-founder and CEO of Xhale, Inc., was named Gainesville Entrepreneur of the Year. Xhale, Inc., is a Gainesville-based medical technology group that provides products such as the HyGreenTM system, which records hand hygiene and actively reminds hospitals workers to follow sanitation protocol. The HyGreenTM system was selected as a winner in the 2010 Medical Design Excellence Awards competition. Also under product development within Xhale, Inc., are breath-based diagnostics and glucose monitoring tools which aim to replace typical blood tests by providing a more convenient and less invasive testing alternative.

Greiff, president of Care Dynamix Inc., was named the S. Clark Butler Entrepreneur of the Year. Care Dynamix Inc. is a prominent provider of onsite vaccination clinics for school systems, professional groups, retail businesses, and government agencies. A customer approval rating of 97 percent allowed Care Dynamix Inc. to swiftly gain market share and be named the 83rd-fastest growing company in the country by Inc. Magazine. The company has worked directly with school systems to conveniently provide a great number of Influenza and H1N1innoculations within the past year.

Berthy was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Five years after Berthy joined a team of professionals at MRI Devices Corporation in 1999, the company recorded revenue growth of more than 40 percent annually. In 2004, Brent worked with Directors of MRI Devices Corporation to complete a merger with Intermagnetics General Corporation of Latham, New York. The merger gave rise to Invivo Diagnostic Imaging, a leading supplier of MRI equipment for prominent manufacturers such as GE, Siemens, Philips, and Toshiba. Today, Invivo is part of Philips Healthcare and employs more than 500 people in the Gainesville area alone.

Arnold A. Heggestad, Holloway Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship and executive director of CEI, was bestowed the Lifetime Distinguished Achievement in Entrepreneurship Education Award for his invaluable contributions to students over the course of his 36-year career at UF.

“Innovation drives progress,” says Heggestad. “As our economy continues to struggle, it is successful entrepreneurs and innovators such as our winners tonight who will lead the next generation to become tomorrow’s leaders.”

Other awards were presented to Tracy Shank and Hector Di Bonaventura (Thomas S. Johnson Entrepreneurial Scholars) and Matt Hintze (Master of Science in Entrepreneurship Teacher of the Year).