EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Midwest Awards

Private Equity/Venture Capital Backed

WINNER

mw_eoy_TimMcEneryTim McEnery
Founder and CEO
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
www.chwinery.com

 

Tim McEnery began his career in the hospitality industry as a dishwasher when he was 11 years old. He was patient, slowly working his way up through the ranks to become a restaurant manager by high school, when he would hop in his car to go directly from school to work at night and stay until closing time.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in restaurant and hotel management from Purdue University and was hired as general manager at Green Gardens Country Club in the southern suburbs of Chicago. He was given the large task of overseeing the club’s restaurant, its banquet facilities and its golf course operations. That’s a lot of responsibility for any one person, let alone a 21-year-old, but once again, McEnery was up to the challenge.
During this time, he was positioning himself to accomplish his dream of opening his own restaurant. He set out to create a menu, paired it with his own handcrafted wines and formed the innovative dining concept known today as Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants.
The inspiration for the concept had come while McEnery was on a date with his future wife. He was planning to eat after a wine tasting and wondered why the place didn’t have a restaurant.
It took more than four years of diligent planning and rejections from 12 banks, but in 2005, McEnery opened the doors to his first Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. As of today, it’s the 37th largest winery in the country and the fifth largest outside of California, producing more than 204,000 cases of wine in 2013.
The business thrives and so does the earth as McEnery, the company’s founder and CEO, imported a sanitizing machine from Italy that allowed him to save more than 588,000 bottles from landfills in 2013.


 

FINALISTS

mw_eoy_DavidNussearDavid L. Nussear
President and CEO
Bluffton Motor Works
www.blufftonmotorworks.com

 

David L. Nussear had an inkling that good days were ahead when he became president and CEO at Bluffton Motor Works. How else would you explain his decision to use money from the sale of his family’s home to invest in a company that had experienced five consecutive years of declining revenue?
Nussear saw the potential during his interview for the job and a facility tour. He was confident that he had what it took to not only get the company turned around, but make the supplier of specialty fractional motors, gearboxes and controls a successful business.
He came to Bluffton Motor Works in 2008 with more than 15 years of experience in the motor industry, gradually taking on greater levels of responsibility. Success is part of who Nussear is, having been a state champion football player, an Eagle Scout and now the leader of a growing business.
He put those skills to use right away. The nation was entering a deep recession and the motor industry was among the hardest hit.
Nussear assembled his leadership team to stay true to his philosophy of “first who, then where.” The team developed and executed a strategy that led the company to five straight years of growth and market gains. But those results came at a price. Many difficult decisions had to be made with regard to staffing, product and customers. It was never easy, but Nussear stuck to his principles, remained transparent to his team and made it a point to have open, candid conversations with employees whenever necessary.
He faced situations when employees didn’t want to change, but Nussear was able to work through the challenges, bridge the differences and help Bluffton make the moves needed to grow to all-time highs in sales, profit and market share.


mw_eoy_SteveSarowitzSteve Sarowitz
Chairman
Paylocity Corporation
www.paylocity.com

 

In the early 2000s, Steve Sarowitz, chairman of Paylocity Corporation, recognized the coming cloud computing trends in the payroll industry. He invested tremendous effort and capital to build an accessible, scalable cloud-based human resources and payroll tool.
Through processing payroll, Paylocity gathered information that it used to build a suite of human capital management products. It leveraged that insight to provide services to support HR functions such as HR administration and performance reviews.
Having established the web-hosted product and positioning it in the software as a service space, Paylocity grew rapidly. Sarowitz saw the opportunity to take the company national, but needed a boost to get there.
He hired Steve Beauchamp from his executive position at a major payroll processor to lead the push. Beauchamp recruited strong leadership in sales and helped Sarowitz develop innovative go-to-market strategies that helped Paylocity access new channels that now contribute significant leads and new business.
The company has positioned the product to provide heavy analytical support to HR and developed differentiation with upcoming requirements of the Affordable Care Act to further insulate it against the competition.
In addition to their tenacity in business, both Sarowitz and Beauchamp are strong believers in philanthropy. Paylocity participates in Toys for Tots and has volunteered at the Chicago Food Depository and Chicago Cares Serve-a-Thon.
But their philanthropy was realized within the organization when a Paylocity employee lost her home to a fire. The company created a “Penny Wars” program in which various departments competed against one another to help raise money for the employee and various other charities. The initiative raised $4,200 and conveyed the sense that Paylocity cares about its employees.
With both Sarowitz and Beauchamp focused on the company’s strategic vision, expansion and the future potential of new applications and features are at hand.


mw_eoy_BradLawsonBrad Lawson
President and CEO

 

 

 

mw_eoy_JohnBarnardJohn Barnard
Chairman

 

 

 

mw_eoy_TimTichenorTim Tichenor
CFO
YourEncore
www.yourencore.com

 

When faced with business challenges, YourEncore’s management team — Brad Lawson, president and CEO; John Barnard, chairman; and Tim Tichenor, CFO — remains disciplined and focused.
During the recent financial crisis, YourEncore’s clients, consumer product and life sciences companies that use its global network of doctors, Ph.D.s and other technical experts for advisory and execution services, sharply reduced spending.
YourEncore successfully navigated the downturn by staying disciplined in balance sheet management, keeping the team focused on selling the right product mix and adapting the firm’s services to the marketplace. As a result, YourEncore’s revenues increased and have every year of its existence.
YourEncore was originally founded as a way for companies such as P&G and Lilly to access industry retirees, and to fill short-term gaps in capacity and expertise. It identified and vetted the experts, and handled taxes, confidentiality, insurance and other services to reduce the administrative burden and risk for both clients and experts.
Today, YourEncore serves some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies. Its team of experts has grown to more than 8,000 technical specialists, entrepreneurs, innovators and clinicians.
Over the past decade, the company has seen competition from its own experts for projects and reluctance among some companies to accept others’ ideas. YourEncore has adapted to the evolving marketplace by becoming a trusted partner to its clients, providing a differentiated service and delivering value.
Faced with the shifting demands and tastes of consumers around the world, consumer product companies are looking for new ways to innovate and go to market faster.
YourEncore provides these companies with innovators who have developed many successful products, but also provides solutions that improve internal innovation approaches and inject external stimuli into the process.
By focusing on its strengths, YourEncore has been addressing the most urgent needs facing its clients and is positioned for continued growth.