Dennis Gillings, founder of international clinical research and services firm Quintiles, and his wife Joan along with Donald Holzworth, chief executive officer at Constella Group, were among the top winners at the Council for Entrepreneurial development’s annual “Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards” on Tuesday night at Durham.

A sellout crowd of more than 400 people packed the event at the American Tobacco District complex in the Bull City.

The Gillings received the Community Impact award. Quintiles recently announced plans to keep its headquarters in Durham and add hundreds of jobs. Dennis Gillings, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his wife also recently donated $50 million to UNC.

The gift is the largest donation in UNC’s history, and the university will rename the school the Dennis and Joan Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Dennis Gillings is a former UNC biostatistics professor and a current member of the school’s Advisory Council.

Holzworth directs Constella Group, a consulting firm with operations in more than 40 countries. He received the Entrepreneurial Excellence award.

Other winners were:

• Outstanding Service to Entrepreneurs – Merrill Mason, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan

• Deal of the Year (Public Company) – Embrex, Inc.

• Deal of the Year (Private Company) – Motricity, Inc.

• Growth Company of the Year – SciQuest, Inc.

• Technology of the Year – Aldagen, Inc.

• Spin-Out of the Year – Semprius, Inc.

• FastTrac Tech Company of the Year – PrepChamps, Inc.

• Charles Hamner Leadership Award – Congressman Bob Etheridge, Senator Gerry Hancock and Lieutenant Governor Bob Jordan.

"This year’s award winners exemplify the true essence of entrepreneurship which supports the economy of our state," said CED President Monica Doss. “It is the hard work and dedication of entrepreneurs like them that ensure North Carolina’s place on the cutting-edge of innovation.”