EY Announces Finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018 Award in the Heartland

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Ernst & Young LLP today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018 Award in the Heartland. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. These business leaders were selected by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala on Thursday, June 14, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.

“Every year, we are impressed by the ingenuity, passion and undying optimism exuded by the entrepreneurs we meet and honor through this awards program. They don’t follow trends – they define them. EY is proud to celebrate the Heartland finalists in this year’s Entrepreneur Of The Year program,” said Dominic Iannazzo, EY’s Heartland program co-director.

The finalists are:

  • Scott Scully, Abstrakt Marketing Group (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Dustin Doll, Accord Group (Lees Summit, Missouri)
  • Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen, Anytime Fitness, LLC (Woodbury, Minnesota)
  • Benjamin “Tad” Edwards, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Luke Shimp, Double Black Diamond, Inc. (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Robert White, Entellus Medical (Plymouth, Minnesota)
  • Brad Elliott, Equity Bank (Andover, Kansas)
  • Gary Fish, Fishtech Group LLC (Kansas City, Missouri)
  • Philip Allen, Grace Engineered Products, Inc. (Davenport, Iowa)
  • Chris Staley, Jeremy Langevin and Sabin Ephrem, Horizontal Integration (Saint Louis Park, Minnesota)
  • Erica Brune, Lever1 (Kansas City, Missouri)
  • Joel Theisen, Lifesprk (Edina, Minnesota)
  • Donn Lux, Luxco, Inc. (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Susan McCollum, Major Brands, Inc. (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Christine Lantinen, Maud Borup, Inc. (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Gary Cunningham, Meda (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Augustus “Gus” Griffin, Cloud “Bud” Cray, Jr. and Karen Seaberg, MGP Ingredients, Inc. (Atchison, Kansas)
  • John “Ozzie” Nelson, Jr., NELSON (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Bruce Zeilinger, NXC Imaging (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Pat Ryan, Ryan Companies (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Michael Kiley, SBL Holdings, LLC (Topeka, Kansas)
  • Andrew Burch, SmartMouth Oral Health Laboratories (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Dan Stoltz, SPIRE Credit Union (Falcon Heights, Minnesota)
  • Angelina Lawton, Sportsdigita (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • David Dehaemers, Jr., Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP (Leawood, Kansas)
  • Emily Pritchard and Martha Krueger, The Social Lights, LLC (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Mark Jacobs, The Watkins Company (Winona, Minnesota)
  • Douglas Jaeger, Ulteig Engineers (Fargo, North Dakota)
  • Eric Weisser, Weisser Distributing (Tea, South Dakota)
  • Benjamin VandenWymelenberg and John Guenveur, Woodchuck USA (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Now in its 32nd year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 10, 2018. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in Monaco in June 2019.

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the U.S. by SAP America, the Kauffman Foundation and Merrill Corporation.

Local sponsors for the Heartland program include Salo, Padilla, Twin Cities Business, PNC, Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, Lockton Companies and Pohlad Companies.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance and the local community. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries. ey.com/eoy

About EY’s Growth Markets Network
EY’s worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage, venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/sgm or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a U.K. company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member of the global EY organization that provides services to clients in the U.S.

For more information, please visit ey.com.


Ernst & Young LLP
Jim Kowitz, 612-371-8301


Ernst & Young LLP
Jim Kowitz, 612-371-8301