CORVALLIS, Ore. - Business leaders from across the state will gather Thursday, Feb. 17, at the Hilton in downtown Portland for the third annual Weatherford Awards, Oregon State University's celebration of lifelong and pioneering entrepreneurship and innovation.

The event, hosted by OSU's Austin Entrepreneurship Program, starts at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by a dinner and the award presentations. Tickets are $75, available until sold out and can be obtained by contacting Mary McKillop, 541-713-8044, e-mail or on the web at:

"The Weatherford Awards recognize pioneering and lifelong entrepreneurs and innovators who have shaped our world and, in many cases, are simply overlooked," said Christopher Klemm, director of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program. "Our goal is to honor those pioneering spirits and help publicize the role, importance, and variety of entrepreneurs and innovators who have Oregon roots."

Past individuals honored through the Weatherford Awards include a broad cross-section of individuals and their activities. For example, among the entrepreneurs honored at past awards include the inventor of the inkjet printer, cattle ranchers, a wheat breeder, a restaurateur, and a natural foods maker.

The awards are named for OSU's Weatherford Hall where entrepreneurship and business students can explore their innovations and new venture ideas in a unique, living learning residence hall.

For complete bios of the winners, go to:

The recipients of the 2011 Weatherford Awards will be:

  • Frank Dulcich, entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Pacific Seafood. Headquartered in Clackamas, Pacific Seafood opened its first retail location in Portland in 1941. Dulcich has successfully driven his company to become the largest vertically integrated seafood company in the United States.
  • Paul Gulick, entrepreneur and founder of Clarity Visual Systems, co-founder of InFocus Corporation, father of the digital projector. Until late 2007, Paul served as chief technology officer of Planar Systems, Inc., a leader in specialty display systems. Gulick serves on six boards and holds 17 U.S. patents in the field of electronic displays and related technologies.
  • Jack Smith, inventor and co-founder of Hotmail, serial entrepreneur. Jack Smith started Hotmail, the first Web-based email service. After Hotmail was sold to Microsoft in 1997, Smith focused on advanced infrastructure design. He is CEO of the information security company Proximex.
  • Rex Smith, former chairman and COO of the Hotmail venture and father of Jack Smith. Rex Smith served as vice president for MSN Operations prior to his retirement in 2002. In 2006, Smith received the OSU College of Engineering Hall of Fame award.
  • Junki Yoshida is chairman and CEO of Yoshida Group, visionary behind the famous Yoshida sauce. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Yoshida arrived in Seattle at the age of 19 with only $500 in his pocket. Today his line of sauces sells in stores throughout the country.
  • Fred Ziari is founder of ezWireless and IRZ Consulting, a leader in water and energy conservation technologies. He is chief executive of IRZ Consulting, ezWireless and Onsmart LLC. Ziari founded OnSmart Technologies in collaboration with Intel to provide the next generation of hardware and software platform that will allow homeowners to manage the energy use in their homes.

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Christopher Klemm, 541-737-8046