Master Entrepreneur Frank Casagrande, BusinessEdge Solutions Inc. Chairman Wins E&Y Award for Entrepreneurial Vision, Business Acumen and Contributions to Society

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Those who know Frank Casagrande call him New JerseyÂ?s master entrepreneur. That reputation once again served him well: He was named by professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP as New JerseyÂ?s Entrepreneur of the Year in the services category of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year R 2005 Awards in New Jersey.

Those who know Frank Casagrande call him New Jersey’s master entrepreneur. That reputation once again served him well: He was named by professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP as New Jersey’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the services category of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year R 2005 Awards in New Jersey.

The award honors innovative and inspiring individuals – people who, according to E&Y, see an idea and make it happen, benefiting both business and the society. Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges comprising local New Jersey business, academic and community leaders and announced at an award banquet on June 23, 2005 at the Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck.

Mr. Casagrande was selected from 37 finalists who represented 30 companies in the New Jersey area and is eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2005 national program, which will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, in November 2005. Past Entrepreneurs Of The Year include amazon.com's Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell of Dell Computer, and Wayne Huizenga, founder of Blockbuster Entertainment.

“I like to start companies based on ideas that are going to last for a long time,” says Mr. Casagrande. In 40 years, he started four businesses – all successful. He built Programming Methods Inc. (PMI), which merged with GTE, a company that subsequently merged with Bell Atlantic. In early 1981, GE, making it one of GE’s first acquisitions when Jack Welch took the helm, bought his second firm, Lambda Technologies. Finally, TRECOM, which Frank founded in 1986, was acquired by Amdahl, a Fujitsu company that in 1996 merged with DMR, a business that had been acquired by Amdahl in 1995.

The fourth, BusinessEdge Solutions Inc., still owned and managed by Casagrande and his co-founders, is an active, privately held industry-focused business and technology consulting firm offering operational strategy, business process and system integration solutions to clients in the communications, life sciences, financial services and insurance industries.

“His track record speaks for itself,” says BusinessEdge Chief Executive Officer Emanuel Arturi. His ability to anticipate the needs of the marketplace and build business models that accommodate them combined with his willingness to take risks based on careful forethought, sound decision making and a confidence to execute as he sees appropriate for both his businesses and the market, despite the conventional wisdom and thinking of market peers and competitors have made that happen. And then there is his abiding belief that good people produce good results.

As early as 1965 when he started his first company, PMI, Frank’s vision for the technology market was ahead of its time. He saw that there was an ever-increasing demand for computer hardware companies, but there was an ever-increasing shortage of talent – computer professionals – and system application software to make this hardware productive and saw this shortage as a business opportunity. He put together a team of senior software system designers / developers and targeted the computer hardware companies as his marketplace. Success here quickly led to expansion in the commercial marketplace, where his company provided both computer-usage consulting and system development services. A new service industry was set in motion, initiated by superior talent, supported by productivity tools and designed to give clients an edge in the competitive marketplace through the use of technology.

Frank established his most recent company, BusinessEdge Solutions, with a similar talent first mentality. In the late 90s, he saw that most of the big consulting firms deployed a leverage model in which a consulting partner with industry depth recruited a large number of inexperienced and industry-generic consultants. Frank realized that he could provide more value to clients by providing a team of consultants rich in industry depth. To start with at BusinessEdge, he hired the best and the brightest in the communications sector and, a few years later when BusinessEdge expanded its reach to include other industries, he hired the most experienced in those core verticals as well.

This talent pool served as the base capability to build company assets to include Velocity, an R&D based innovation program; Reusable Solution Accelerators (RSAs), a tool set of proven strategies and practical frameworks that are, in fact, repeatable and jump-start client initiatives and accelerate solution delivery; and EdgeWareTM, pre-engineered solution frameworks. And this emphasis on developing assets combined with the establishment of a talent pool rich with knowledge and expertise are among the visions that bolstered BusinessEdge and has enabled it to survive under Frank’s leadership through the technology bust of the late 90s and early 2000s – and are the cornerstones of what differentiates BusinessEdge in the marketplace today.

Those who know Casagrande remark about his generosity and comment that he is quiet and self-effacing about the ways he helps others. His caring has served as a model for his sons, two of whom spearhead nonprofits, one that improves the quality of life of people living in poverty in the poor island nations of the South Pacific and one that provides financial aid to qualified students from many socioeconomic backgrounds.

Helping others grow, become self-reliant and successful in business and in private life is what Frank Casagrande – both the private man and the master entrepreneur – does so well and is what the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Program stands for. Those who know Casagrande attest to the fact that when people or businesses are down, Casagrande gets them right back on track. Says a colleague. “Frank Casagrande is the complete package.”

About BusinessEdge Solutions, Inc.

BusinessEdge Solutions Inc. is an industry-focused business and technology integrated consulting firm offering operational strategy, business process and system integrations solutions to clients in the communications, financial services, insurance and life sciences industries. The company drives competitive advantage for its clients by leveraging innovative Velocity Platforms, visualizations of breakthrough business solutions; Reusable Solution Accelerators (RSAs) to reduce the time, cost and risk of client engagements; and EdgeWare, pre-engineered solution frameworks. BusinessEdge is distinctive among consulting firms in that its multidisciplinary consultants have an average of 12 years of industry experience and expertise. This strong knowledge and experience base is at the core of the company’s unwavering commitment to create vision for its clients – and is the driver behind the company's delivery of high-impact, cutting edge solutions. See http://www.businessedge.com for a complete listing of all solutions and service offerings.

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Patrick Mullen
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