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Merle L. Whitehead of RealtyUSA Named Ernst %26 Young

6/22/2006

"Williamsville, New York - RealtyUSA, the largest independent real estate company in New York State, today announced that Merle L. Whitehead, President/CEO, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006 Award in the Real Estate category for Upstate New York and Western Pennsylvania.

This prestigious award was presented to Whitehead at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 20th anniversary gala event held at the Pittsburgh Hilton on June 16, 2006. Whitehead was nominated by Audrey Edelman, Broker/Manager of Audrey Edelman & Associates RealtyUSA of Ithaca, the 2004 recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. ""Merle is overly modest in giving credit for the company's success to RealtyUSA's agents, managers, and staff"" -Says Edelman. For his inspirational leadership and keen insight, Merle richly deserves the recognition he has received from Ernst & Young.

""Entrepreneurs like Merle have made accomplishments that raise the bar and often change the face of an industry. They are the backbones of our communities: providing jobs, strengthening our economies and inspiring others to ensue."" -Stated Mike Dings, Managing Partner of Ernst and Young in Buffalo.

As an Upstate New York and Western Pennsylvania award winner, Whitehead is now eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 18, 2006. The overall national Entrepreneur of the Year award recipient is then considered for the world event held in Monte Carlo.

RealtyUSA & 1st Priority Mortgage
RealtyUSA is the largest, independent real estate company in New York State, now with 59 offices, including Naples, Florida and over 2000 agents and employees. RealtyUSA has recently been ranked #6 in the U.S. by Real Trends for largest independent real estate companies. It is independently owned and operated by Merle L. Whitehead, President/CEO.

1st Priority Mortgage is a licensed Mortgage Banker, New York State Banking Department, offering all forms of conventional mortgage loans including bi-weekly and new construction financing as well as FHA and VA loans. 1st Priority Mortgage has offices throughout Upstate New York.

About the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards
The Entrepreneur of the Year? awards program was created and is produced by professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP. As the first award of its kind, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses. The program honors entrepreneurs through regional, national and global award programs in over 100 cities and 35 countries."

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