On Assignment Inc. CEO Peter T. Dameris received the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Award for service organizations based in the Los Angeles region.

Dameris engineered the Calabasas staffing firm’s $600 million purchase of IT staffing company Apex Systems earlier this year, pulling off a rare instance of a smaller company swallowing a bigger one.

The acquisition more than doubled the size of On Assignment to $1.3 billion in revenue. It also made the company the second largest provider of IT staffing in the fast-growing $22 billion industry.

The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Mr. Dameris was selected by an independent panel of judges. The award was presented at a gala yesterday at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

“It is an honor to have been chosen for this prestigious award out of a group of many exceptional entrepreneurs,” said Dameris. “I’m really proud of what On Assignment has been able to accomplish over the past several years, and a lot of its success is due to our smart, dedicated, and hardworking employees.”

In its 26th year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program has honored executives such as Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Michael Dell of Dell Inc., Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Fred Smith of FedEx, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Richard Schulze of Best Buy, Andrew Mason of Groupon, Mindy Grossman of HSN, Inc., Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and many more.

Judy Temes