Peter B. Bennett Ph.D., D. Sc., founder and CEO of Divers Alert Network, has received the Carolinas’ Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2002 award for contributions to business in the life sciences.
Each year Ernst and Young awards recognize entrepreneurs whose achievements place them among the leaders in business in eight categories: Emerging, Technology, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Manufacturing / Distribution, Real Estate and Construction, Retail and Business Services.
Bennett’s award recognized the growth of DAN, a dive safety, health and membership-driven non-profit organization. Based in Durham, N.C., DAN promotes dive safety through research, training, education, first aid and product sales.
In a newspaper published for the award ceremony in Charlotte on June 21, 2002, Ernst and Young said that Bennett’s entrepreneurial spirit runs deep and his impact on the world of scuba diving has been profound.
Following an early career in hyperbaric medicine research, Bennett founded DAN in 1980, in part to address an industry need for emergency services. From its headquarters then at Duke University Medical Center, DAN began answering emergency questions and general medical queries related to dive medicine and dive physiology. Now two decades and 80 employees later, DAN continues at the vanguard of dive medicine, safety and health.
Bennett’s selection was made by independent judges representing different industries throughout the Carolinas. Finalists’ selections were based on numerous factors, including financial growth, growth in number of employees, the story behind the entrepreneur’s success and unique characteristics that distinguish the finalist from his or her competitors. Marketing, strategic planning, corporate culture, product and service were also considered.