Earle Jorgensen, 100, Honored as Master Entrepreneur


Steel magnate Earle M. Jorgensen, who turned 100 years old this week, was honored as Orange County’s Master Entrepreneur of the Year at a banquet Wednesday night in Irvine.

The prize was presented to Jorgensen, who is chairman emeritus of the Brea metals distributor Earle M. Jorgensen Co., by the event’s organizer, the accounting firm Ernst & Young.

Several other county-based business people won entrepreneur of the year accolades in various categories. They include:

Sandra Cotten and Caroline Nakken, principals of Mass Connection in La Mirada, a provider of in-store demonstration events (business services category); Mark Moses and Brett Dillenberg, founders of Irvine mortgage lender Platinum Capital Corp. (emerging); Robert Cole, Brad Morrice, Edward Gotschall and Steve Holder, founders of mortgage lender New Century Financial Corp. in Irvine (financial services); and Nick and Gena Reed, executives at Paragon Biomedical Inc., an Irvine firm that conducts pharmaceutical research (health care/life sciences).


Other winners were David Sanderson and Steve Kottman, founders of Orange-based music case maker SKB Corp. (manufacturing); Robert Alter, chief executive of Sunstone Hotel Investors in San Clemente, which buys and renovates hotels (real estate); Greg Grosch, president of White Cap Industries, a Costa Mesa supplier of construction tools (retail); Andrew Park, chairman of Garden Grove-based semiconductor maker Techmedia Computer Systems Corp. (technology); executives Andrea Klein and Donna Bower of Rand Technology Inc., an Irvine electronics distributor (wholesale/distribution); and Douglas Circle, chief executive of Kirk Produce Inc./Frozsun Foods Inc., a Placentia producer of frozen strawberries (wholesale/distribution).

The award recipients are eligible for Ernst & Young’s national entrepreneur of the year competition. The national winners will be announced in November in Palm Springs.