Ernst & Young founded the Entrepreneur Of The Year program to recognize those with a passion for “thinking big” and to bring together visionaries and leaders to inspire each other and our communities. We have gathered here and in 25 other cities across the United States to honor all of our regional semi?nalists and welcome a new class of entrepreneurs into our Hall of Fame, recognizing their resilience, ingenuity and innovation.
We applaud them for overcoming challenges, inspiring others, opening new markets and, ultimately, fueling economic growth in Michigan and Northwest Ohio. Let’s celebrate their achievements, perseverance and tireless pursuit of business excellence.
Congratulations to all our 2012 Michigan & Northwest Ohio semi?nalists.
-- Jamie Simpson, Partner/Program Director, Entrepreneur of the Year, Ernst & Young
2012 Winners, Finalists and Semifinalists
• Bradley Oleshansky, BIG Communications LLC (Winner)
• Donald A. Hicks, LLamasoft (Finalist)
• Frederick Minturn, MSX International (Finalist)
• Richard B. Sheridan, Menlo Innovations LLC (Finalist)
• Sabah Ammouri, ATM of America Inc. (Semifinalist)
•Lynn Mustazza, JAWOOD Business Process Solutions LLC (Semifinalist)
• Mark Symonds, Plex Systems Inc. (Semifinalist)
• Ryan J. Blair , ViSalus Sciences (Winner)
• Pam Turkin, Just Baked (Finalist)
• Michael Eckele, Eckele Health & Nutrition (Finalist)
• Joseph M. McClure, McClure’s Pickles (Semifinalist)
• Mark Peters , Butterball Farms Inc. (Semifinalist)
• Kevin and Carole Chase , Chase Plastic Services Inc. (Winner)
• John Eldred, Midwest Tap LLC (Finalist)
• Jameel M. Burkett , Burkett Restaurant Equipment (Semifinalist)
• Charles Elliott, Lake Court Medical Supplies Inc. (Semifinalist)
• Douglas J. Grimm , Grede Holdings LLC (Winner)
• Tanvir Arfi, SPX Service Solutions (Finalist)
• Charles G. McClure, Meritor Inc. (Semifinalist)
• Christopher J. O’Connor, Humanetics Innovative Solutions (Winner)
• Shiela Kaye Rossmann, Paramount Precision Products Inc. (Winner)
• Noel Cuellar, Primera Plastics Inc. (Finalist)
• Wilbert W. Williams, Williams-Bayer Industries (Finalist)
•Jonathan Paul DeWys , DeWys Manufacturing (Semifinalist)
• John Sztykiel, Spartan Motors (Semifinalist)
• Manoj Bhargava, Innovation Ventures LLC and Living Essentials LLC (Winner)
•Dr. David Kent, Lifestyle Lift (Winner)
• Dr. Christopher Newton , Emergency Physicians Medical Group PC (Finalist)
• Jeffery S. Prough , Critical Signal Technologies Inc. (Finalist)
• Jane E. McNamara, GreenPath Debt Solutions (Semifinalist)
• Jason Teshuba, Mango Languages (Semifinalist)
Spirit of Entrepreneurship
• Nancy Schlichting, Henry Ford Health System (Winner)
Staffing & Support Services
• Claudine George, ICONMA LLC (Winner)
• Tel K. Ganesan, Kyyba Inc. (Finalist)
• Dianne Marsh and Bill Wagner, SRT Solutions Inc. (Semifinalist)
• Marie Seipenko, Preferred Solutions Inc. (Semifinalist)
Congratulations to all of the nominees, finalists and winners in the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Midwest Area program. For more than 25 years, Ernst & Young has celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of men and women who make our economy vibrant. This has never been truer than it is today. The energy and passion from these entrepreneurs is being felt in a dramatic fashion throughout the Midwest right now. It is great to see!
Ernst & Young is the world leader in advising, guiding and recognizing entrepreneurs and founded the Entrepreneur Of The Year® Program to recognize those with a passion for “thinking big” and to bring together visionaries and leaders to inspire each other and our communities. We have gathered here and in 25 other cities across the United States to honor all of our regional finalists and welcome a new class of entrepreneurs into our Hall of Fame, recognizing their resilience, ingenuity and innovation.
We applaud them for overcoming challenges, inspiring others, opening new markets and, ultimately, fueling economic growth in the Midwest Area. Let’s celebrate their achievements, perseverance and tireless pursuit of business excellence.
Join us in congratulating the leaders of today — those innovators that have achieved their American dream right here in the Midwest. Ernst & Young along with our sponsors continue to be inspired by the entrepreneurial success of our nominees. The following list of stories highlight those individuals who pursued and obtained the coveted distinction of an Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Ernst & Young is proud to recognize and honor the accomplishments of these finalists.
Congratulations to all of the Midwest Area Finalists from Ernst & Young on your continued success.
RANDALL L. TAVIERNE is the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Midwest Area director, Midwest Area Strategic Growth Markets leader and a partner with Ernst & Young LLP. Reach him at (312) 879-3695 or email@example.com or @RandallTavierne on Twitter.
Storch, AAR Corp.
Rabine, The Rabine Group
Wood, Sparton Corp.
PRIVATE EQUITY/ VENTURE CAPITAL
Maloney and Mike Evans, GrubHub Inc.
RETAIL AND CONSUMER PRODUCTS
McEnery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
Schulman, Glentronics Inc.
Chalhoub, Heritage-Crystal Clean Inc.
Golden and Thaddeus Wong, @properties
Small and Jack Blumenstein, Gogo LLC
Sieja, kCura Corp.
Maling and Geoff Cubitt, Roundarch Isobar
For more than 25 years, Ernst & Young has celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of men and women pursuing innovation and entrepreneurial excellence in their businesses, their teams and their communities.
The hours, sweat and passion they’ve poured into their businesses and the triumphs they’ve achieved stand as a testament to the role they play as visionaries, leaders and innovators. Ernst & Young founded the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program to recognize this passion for excellence and to build an in?uential and innovative community of peers.
We have gathered here and in 25 other cities in the U.S. to welcome the men and women who are regional award recipients into our entrepreneurial Hall of Fame and to toast all of the ?nalists and their commitment to succeed. We applaud them for launching start-up companies, opening new markets and fueling job growth.
So let’s celebrate their achievements, their perseverance and their tireless pursuit of business excellence.
OSCAR SUAREZ is the Florida market leader for Ernst & Young LLP. Reach him at (305) 415-1305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Jordan Zimmerman, Zimmerman Advertising (Winner)
• Hannes Hunschofsky, HOERBIGER Corp. of America Inc. (Finalist)
Distribution and Manufacturing
• R. Charles Murray, PPi Technologies Group (Finalist)
• Jorge A. Plasencia, Republica (Winner)
• Bobby Harris, BlueGrace Logistics (Finalist)
• Jose Prendes, PureFormulas.com (Finalist)
• David Miller, Michael Miller, Brightway Insurance (Finalist)
• Richard L. Sanchez, Advantica (Finalist)
Real Estate and Construction
• Charles Puccini, Bauer Foundation Corp. (Winner)
• Michael I. Kaufman, Kaufman Lynn Construction (Finalist)
• Craig Perry, Centerline Homes (Finalist)
Retail and Consumer Products
• Rhonda Shear, Shear Enterprises LLC (Winner)
• Oscar Horton, Sun State International Trucks LLC (Finalist)
• Jesse Stein, SportsMemorabilia.com (Finalist)
• Harvey Massey, Massey Services Inc. (Winner)
• David Clarke, BGT Partners (Finalist)
• Steven A. MacDonald, myMatrixx (Finalist)
• John Duffy, 3Cinteractive (Winner)
• Carol Craig, Craig Technologies (Finalist)
• Will Fleming, MotionPoint Corp. (Finalist)
MARKETING SERVICES, FINALIST
With three successful media companies under his belt, David Goldberg had become an adventurous entrepreneur embracing challenges to innovate industries. But when he came across family start-up SurveyMonkey, founded in 1999 by Ryan Finley, he realized the company’s potential to become a leader in an entirely new market.
Goldberg bought the company with a team of investors in 2008, moving the of?ce to Palo Alto, Calif. As CEO of the free online survey software and questionnaire tool, he has successfully taken the company to the next level in the years since. Under his leadership, SurveyMonkey has more than doubled its revenue.
SurveyMonkey’s successful approach to the survey market stems from its start as a “freemium” business, even before the term existed. To keep SurveyMonkey on top of its industry, Goldberg has maintained the simplicity and ease of use of the interface while also continuously developing new and innovative ways for clients to gather, analyze and share data. He has expanded its user base, as well, now offering the product in 15 languages.
To foster both innovation and scalability, Goldberg has surrounded himself with like-minded individuals who have dual skill sets gleaned from being involved in start-ups and established corporations. All of SurveyMonkey’s executives have worked at both types of companies. Goldberg empowers his employees to make decisions, fostering a ?exible environment that encourages trust and collaboration.
His own passion for entrepreneurship hasn’t waned with time. Goldberg speaks with entrepreneurs and/or judges local start-up competitions when traveling overseas and sits on the boards for the Initiative for Global Development and the New Schools Venture Fund.
HOW TO REACH: SurveyMonkey, www.surveymonkey.com
For more than 25 years, Ernst & Young has celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of men and women pursuing innovation and entrepreneurial excellence in their businesses, teams and communities.
The blood, sweat and passion they’ve poured into their businesses and the triumphs they’ve achieved stand as a testament to the role they play as visionaries, leaders and innovators.
Ernst & Young founded the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program to recognize this passion for excellence and to build an influential and innovative community of peers.
We have gathered here and in 25 other cities in the U.S. to welcome the men and women who are regional finalists into our entrepreneurial Hall of Fame and to toast their commitment to succeed. We applaud them for launching their companies, opening new markets and fueling job growth.
So let’s celebrate their achievements, their perseverance and their tireless pursuit of business excellence.
Brian Ring is a partner and program director for Entrepreneur Of The Year, Greater Los Angeles.
April Spencer is a partner and program director for Entrepreneur Of The Year, Greater Los Angeles.
Pat Niemann is the office managing partner for Ernst & Young, Los Angeles.
Finalists & Honorees
• Rick J. Caruso, Caruso Affiliated (Winner)
Distribution & Manufacturing
• Jeffrey R. Clark, Anthony (Winner)
• Michael Sheldon, Network Hardware Resale LLC (Finalist)
• Nathaniel Victor, Sonic Electronix Inc. (Finalist)
• Sunnie S. Kim, Hana Financial Inc. (Winner)
• Jeff Stibel, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. (Finalist)
• Alan Zafran, Luminous Capital (Finalist)
• David Overton, The Cheesecake Factory Inc., (Winner)
• Lee Maen, Philip Cummins, Innovative Dining Group (Finalist)
• Emelio Castaneda, Field Fresh Foods Inc. (Finalist)
• Bob Brisco, Internet Brands (Winner)
• Josef Gorowitz, Prodege LLC (Finalist)
• Allen DeBevoise, Machinima Inc. (Finalist)
• Vince Pace, James Cameron, Cameron Pace Group (Finalist)
• Brian Fitzgerald, Aaron Broder, Evolve Media Corp. (Finalist)
• Peter Dameris, On Assignment Inc. (Winner)
• Linda Stone, APR Consulting (Finalist)
• Cesar Garcia, Iris International Inc. (Finalist)
• Jon E. Kirchner, DTS Inc. (Winner)
• David Hagan, Boingo Wireless Inc. (Finalist)
• Alex Kazerani, James Segil, EdgeCast Networks (Finalist)
LIFE SCIENCES, FINALIST
Robert W. Duggan is always thinking about his customers and how they will bene?t from the products and services his company provides. When he seeks new employees to work at Pharmacyclics Inc., he looks for the same commitment and dedication.
It’s those two factors that have helped Pharmacyclics make such a difference in the treatment of cancer and immune-mediated diseases. But when Duggan took over the business, it was fraught with problems. Clinical trials were failing and the company was suffering from a lack of leadership at the top. Duggan had to work hard to convince everyone that the company needed to move off a project that wasn’t working and try something different. It was asking people to scrap enormous amounts of time and effort that had been invested and was now being discarded, but Duggan felt it was a necessary step to allow the company to move forward.
Duggan proceeded to build a management team that is surrounded with people who are bright, anxious and experienced in their ?elds. He works to bring out the best in them and seeks to put them in the best position to experience success.
When Duggan, Pharmacyclics’ chairman and CEO, speaks, it is done with great thought. He studies words and looks for their deeper meaning to better explain himself to his people.
But foremost in his thoughts at all times are his customers, the patients who depend on the research done at Pharmacyclics to make their lives better and even save their lives. He’s not afraid to accept failure on one project and move on to the next because he always believes that next project will be the one that really makes a difference.
HOW TO REACH: Pharmacyclics Inc., www.pharmacyclics.com
LIFE SCIENCES, FINALIST
Guo-Liang Yu has come a long way from the young, shy boy who disliked talking to strangers. His ability to overcome this shy disposition isn’t the only obstacle he’s had to overcome to follow his passion for scienti?c discovery. His drive to ?nd answers to some of the world’s most pressing scienti?c questions, such as “Why can’t we live for 125 years?” and “How can we feed the world with limited resources?” prompted him to found Epitomics Inc., which specializes in research and technology for developing reagents and diagnostic antibody products.
Launching the business was not without its challenges, speci?cally regarding money to get the business off the ground. To fund initial growth, Yu mortgaged his house and raised capital from many family members and friends.
But after overcoming numerous ?nancial challenges that endangered the company — at one point, he cut his salary by 50 percent — he was able to develop ground-breaking RaBMab technology for scienti?c and drug discovery use that has made Epitomics Inc. a leader in the antibody market.
Additionally, Yu’s enthusiasm for science and his ability to engage others in his vision has gained him a large following of loyal supporters and employees to support him in this important research. To date, he’s co-invented 160 patents and authored 40 peer reviewed scienti?c articles.
As president and CEO of Epitomics, Yu’s leadership style can be characterized through his ease of engaging and collaborating with his team. He encourages and models the importance of innovation not only in the research and development area but also in all aspects of the business’s growth. For example, the company recognizes employees with annual awards for their innovative ideas.
HOW TO REACH: Epitomics Inc., www.epitomics.com
LIFE SCIENCES, AWARD RECIPIENT
Lawrence Blatt considers himself a born and made entrepreneur — it’s in his DNA, but he also met wonderful mentors along the way who taught him the keys to becoming a successful entrepreneur. It’s that spirit, both innate and acquired, that drove Blatt to leave a prominent and secure job to start Alios BioPharma Inc., which he now leads as CEO. The company and management are team-oriented, a core belief of Blatt, who believes companies are stronger when they build teams that train and learn to interact with one another. Blatt has also fostered external relationships with industry experts that have become critical to Alios’ success.
Another core belief of Blatt is to build a company as if you are going to keep it for a lifetime, not sell it off in a few months. With that in mind, Blatt has invested heavily in the research and development wing of Alios. Blatt believes in the concept of individuals discovering a drug, so it is important to establish goals centered on the discovery of a new drug and motivate the people within a company to innovate. Those guiding principles have spurred Alios to ?nancial success. In June 2011, having previously only raised Series A ?nancing, Alios secured a corporate partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a large, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company. This would be transformative for both Alios and the people suffering from the diseases that Alios aspires to cure. Alios also secured 100 percent ?nancing from Vertex for all future development costs required to take the related programs all the way through development and commercialization. Alios retains the operating control required to guide and in?uence the many complex program decisions.
HOW TO REACH: Alios BioPharma Inc., www.aliosbiopharma.com
The evolution of Curse Inc. is the story of founder and CEO Hubert Thieblot’s coming of age. In 2003, he was a 17-year-old high school student in Paris. Rather than concentrating on his studies and attending class, he was engrossed in video games. Thieblot became enthralled with the massively multiplayer online game, “World of Warcraft.” When Thieblot wasn’t playing the game, he worked on developing a website to share “World of Warcraft” modi?cations and plug-ins to allow players to change their user interface.
He originally designed the website just for his friends, but quickly learned it was something the whole MMO and “World of Warcraft” community needed. His website created a centralized location where players could ?nd the best add-ons for their play styles. Launched in 2006, Thieblot’s website traf?c skyrocketed, and he realized he had a viable online business. Today, Curse is the No. 1 resource for online gamers and the largest MMO property worldwide.
As the company grew, Thieblot learned a lot about what it meant to be a CEO and entrepreneur. In 2008, he moved the company to the United States. He realized the add-ons market was too niche for the company to expand further, so the company began offering community news, forums and databases for quests and items. This decision has led to exponential growth ever since.
At Curse, employees are gamers and a part of the community for which they build products and services that are superior and will bene?t the community. What sets Curse apart is its focus on the player and his or her success in his or her virtual world of choice. Curse is focused on providing great content and platforms for online games and supporting players throughout their entire life cycle with a game, not just the purchase point.
HOW TO REACH: Curse Inc., www.curse.com
One of the most in?uential experiences for John Woolard was working as a whitewater rafting guide in Africa on the Zambezi River. While truly majestic and awe-inspiring, the Zambezi River ecosystem was imperiled, and he witnessed ?rsthand the devastating environmental issues. This experience made Woolard realize that he wanted to dedicate his life to protecting our natural environment and ecosystems. Carbon accumulation in the atmosphere is one of the biggest problems we face, and the greatest impact on carbon is the way we produce and consume energy. Today, Woolard is no longer guiding tours down the Zambezi River, but he is helping the environment through his work as president and CEO of BrightSource Energy Inc., a designer and developer of solar thermal technology that produces high-value electricity and steam for power, petroleum and industrial-process markets worldwide. The BrightSource team blends internationally renowned solar thermal technical experience with world-class ?nance and project development capabilities to minimize impact to the environment and help customers reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
The principal members of BrightSource’s technical team pioneered the ?rst utility-scale solar energy plants nearly three decades ago by designing and developing 354 megawatts of solar energy. The plants are still in operation today.
In addition, the team has collectively developed, constructed and managed more than 20 gigawatts of solar, wind and conventional power projects worldwide. Today, BrightSource’s technical team is building on this experience to advance the industry by developing and deploying a solar power tower system that provides both higher solar energy conversion ef?ciencies and lower costs. Woolard’s vision and expertise in the energy ?eld has brought together some of the brightest minds in the industry to develop the technology and grow the business to be one of the leading solar thermal electrical power plant developers.
HOW TO REACH: BrightSource Energy Inc., www.brightsourceenergy.com