Mercury Payment System’s CEO Matt Taylor has been named Ernst & Young’s 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year winner for the technology category in the Mountain Desert Region.
“It is extremely exciting, to say the least. They are a prestigious program.” Taylor said. “It’s a reflection of everyone’s work at Mercury, I just happened to get the award.”
Taylor was named the winner at an award gala held in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts on June 28.
The professional services firm has been giving out the awards for 26 years, and the Entrepreneur of the Year program is in more than 140 cities in 50 countries, according to its website.
Ernst & Young was ranked the eighth largest private company in the U.S. in 2011 by Forbes magazine.
Rian Clayden, a workforce consultant for Automatic Data Processing Inc, nominated Taylor. ADP is a sponsor of the program and researches possible candidates.
Clayden knew about Taylor through a LinkedIn connection, and he said he was impressed by Taylor’s history and his story of rising through the ranks at the credit-card payment processing company.
Taylor was hired in 2003 as Mercury’s eighth employee. In 2006 he was in charge of all sales and marketing before being promoted to CEO in 2009.
“I think there are a lot of folks who move around and land in a position, but it’s unique today to see someone climb through the ranks and take over and accomplish the things he has,” Clayden said.
Taylor had to submit three years of the company’s financials, a 2,000-word essay detailing his history at Mercury and various other information about the business.
The winner was selected by an independent panel of judges that included Joel Barthelemy, managing director of GlobalMed.
The other finalists for the technology category were Matt Larson, founder and CEO of Confio Software, and Matthew Pittinsky, CEO of Parchment Inc.
This is the second year in a row someone Clayden nominated won the award.
Clayden nominated Otterbox founder Curt Richardson last year. He was named 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year in the consumer products and services category for the Mountain Desert Region, which includes Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.
Taylor has moved on to the national round to compete against the winners in the other regions. The winner will be announced Nov. 17 in Palm Springs, Calif. There is a national winner in each category and an overall national Entrepreneur of the Year award.
LinkedIn Corp. Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weiner won the national award for the technology category last year.