EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Gulf Coast Area Awards

Each year in June, EY celebrates entrepreneurial leaders in 25 regions across the country as part of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards. This year marks the 28th year EY has recognized those leaders, and the theme for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Gulf Coast Area Program is “Visionary Leaders.” There is no other place in the country where entrepreneurial innovation and leadership is accepted and supported, no matter the entrepreneur’s background. We have continually seen significant innovative strides throughout a variety of industries in the Gulf Coast area as represented by our group of finalists this year. They include businesses that manufacture coolers used at outdoor events throughout the country; offer a place to sip wine to relax in the evening; build homes or provide home appliances; provide medical procedures; and drill for and transport oil, just to name a few. It is the culture of the Gulf Coast to accomplish great things, led by great “Visionary Leaders” like our finalists, who take the initiative in their own hands.

That culture was the foundation of the Gulf Coast in the early years and remains part of the Gulf Coast DNA today. This is why I believe the Gulf Coast continues to lead the country in population and job growth. The companies represented at this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Gulf Coast Area Awards saw the number of people employed grow by 20 percent and revenues by 46 percent over the last two years. There can be no doubt these entrepreneurial leaders will continue to strengthen our country’s economy. That is why we believe these Gulf Coast leaders are “Visionary Leaders” indeed!

Throughout the years, EY has celebrated more than 10,000 entrepreneurial men and women. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award has grown to be recognized as the leading business award. While EY is proud of this accomplishment, the credit goes to the thousands of entrepreneurial leaders recognized. The fact that the program has endured and grown for more than 28 years is a true testament to the entrepreneurial leaders themselves.

The program celebrates entrepreneurial leaders in 25 U.S. regions each year. The regional award recipients then participate in the National Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in November in Palm Springs, California. At that ceremony, 10 industry award winners are selected and one is selected as the overall National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award recipient. The overall award recipient will then participate in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in Monte Carlo, along with award recipients from 50 other countries. This truly is the world’s business award.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ National Awards gala is the culminating event for a four-day EY Strategic Growth Forum® where roughly 2,000 participants gathered last year. This is the only event of its kind that is focused on the CEOs of companies. The panelists and speakers are unparalleled and in the past have included such special guests as George W. Bush, former president of the United States; Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE; and Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group. This year will feature Mark Bissell, chairman and CEO of Bissell Inc.; Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T; Patricia Woertz, chairman and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Company; and Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard, interviewed by Deborah Norville.

We are honored to present the 28th EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Gulf Coast Area Awards and to recognize the entrepreneurial leaders of the past, present and future in the Gulf Coast. These “Visionary Leaders” play a big role in keeping this the greatest country in the world to do business.


hou_eoy_s_ToddZuspanTodd Zuspan
Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
Director, EY Entrepreneur of the Year
Gulf Coast Area Program