Taking risks on the way to the top
Buying multiple companies in one day was not the only risk Sharples took to ensure the success of his brand. In 2009, he made a huge gamble and ran an advertisement during Super Bowl XLIV in hopes of raising awareness for both the company and the industry as a whole. His risk paid off; the commercial raised awareness of the vacation rental category by 15 percent and allowed him to shift his efforts toward improving existing products and services, with a focus on creating innovative marketplace technology. Thanks to Sharples' commitment to developing the best online trust and security tools, HomeAway is now recognized as the leading supplier of property management software in the U.S., in addition to being the leader in the vacation rental marketplace.
Cultivating future growth
Sharples' determination and leadership have been instrumental in helping build HomeAway, but like a true entrepreneur he sees the potential to expand his online marketplace and continues to set goals for the future. Sharples is currently striving to give travelers more options and expand HomeAway into all markets where people want to visit. He also remains committed to his initial mission to make finding and renting a vacation property as easy as booking a hotel room.National Entrepreneur Of The Year ® 2012 Services finalists In addition to Sharples, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Services national finalists were: Paul English, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, KAYAK, of Concord, Mass., one of today's most popular online travel search sites with a core focus on making travel technology better, faster and easier; Jim Dixon, CEO, CompuCom Systems, Inc., of Dallas, Texas, a leading IT outsourcing specialist, providing managed solutions for mid-market and enterprise clients in the retail, technology, manufacturing, finance, energy, and healthcare industries; Robert Low, President, Prime, Inc., of Springfield, Mass., a leader in transportation service, including refrigerated, flatbed, tanker and logistics. National Entrepreneur Of The Year ® 2012 Overall Award winner Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of Chobani, was named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year ® 2012 Overall Award winner. Video and photos To view video clips of all of the Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, please visit ey.com/us/eoy. Photos of the winners are also available by request. Sponsors Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the United States by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. 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 unique 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, 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 140 cities in 50 countries.