Ernst & Young Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award Winners in Upper Midwest

Award recognizes entrepreneurial excellence in 10 categories

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Ernst & Young LLP announces the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award winners in the Upper Midwest. The award recognizes outstanding high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Finalists and winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and honored at a black-tie gala at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center on June 13, 2013.

In addition to recognizing regional category winners below, Randall Hogan, Chairman and CEO of Pentair Ltd., was presented with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Lifetime Achievement Award for his business and philanthropic leadership.

Collectively, the 2013 category award recipients grew their company’s employment by 37% and their revenues by 51% between 2010 and 2012. They include:

  • Coolibar, Inc. – John Barrow (St. Louis Park, Minnesota)
  • Genova Technologies – Dawn Ainger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
  • Hayneedle Inc. – Doug Nielsen (Omaha, Nebraska)
  • Hot Mama – Megan Tamte (Edina, Minnesota)
  • KLN Family Brands – Kenny Nelson (Perham, Minnesota)
  • MBI Energy Services, Inc. – James Arthaud (Belfield, North Dakota)
  • Milk Specialties Global – David Lenzmeier (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
  • Pawn America – Brad Rixmann (Burnsville, Minnesota)
  • Spray Control Systems, Inc. – Craig Kruckeberg (Blooming Prairie, Minnesota)

Now in its 27th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Arthur M. Blank of AMB Group, LLC (The Home Depot, Atlanta Falcons), Pierre Omidyar of eBay Inc., Ruth Fertel of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., Tom Adams of Rosetta Stone, Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and 2012 National Overall Award winner Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani Inc.

Upper Midwest winners now go on to compete at the national level. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 16, 2013. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In the Upper Midwest, regional sponsors include: Padilla Speer Beardsley, Faegre Baker Daniels and Twin Cities Business. Locally, the program is sponsored by Lockton Companies, Pohlad Companies, Sálo and The Big Picture.

About Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award recognizes the significant contributions of entrepreneurs who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.

About Ernst & Young LLP’s Strategic Growth Markets practice
Ernst & Young LLP’s Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. Ernst & Young is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at, or follow news on Twitter at EY_Growth.

About Ernst & Young
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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a client-serving member firm of Ernst Young Global Limited operating in the US.


Ernst & Young LLP
Amy Norwalk, 317-681-7028


Ernst & Young LLP
Amy Norwalk, 317-681-7028