Leading the way — the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards

Todd Zuspan, partner and director of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Gulf Coast Area program, Ernst & Young LLP

Todd Zuspan, partner and director of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Gulf Coast Area program, Ernst & Young LLP

Each year in June, Ernst & Young celebrates entrepreneurial leaders in 25 regions across the country as part of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards. This marks the 27th year in which Ernst & Young has recognized those leaders.

For 2013, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Gulf Coast Area program is called “Leading the Way.” There is no other place in the country where entrepreneurial innovation and leadership no matter the entrepreneur’s background is accepted and supported. We have continually seen significant innovative strides throughout a variety of industries in the Gulf Coast area, most notably in the energy, technology and the medical industries. It is the culture of the Gulf Coast that the individual or group of individuals working together can accomplish great things when they take the initiative in their own hands.

That culture was the foundation of the Gulf Coast in the early years and that culture remains today. This is why we believe the Gulf Coast led the country during the recent down years and today in population and job growth. The companies represented at this year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Gulf Coast Area awards grew the number of people employed by 20 percent and grew revenues by 16 percent over the last year. There can be no doubt these entrepreneurial leaders, through their leadership, will continue to strengthen our country’s economy. That is why we believe the Gulf Coast is once again “Leading the Way”!

Ernst & Young has been recognizing these risk-taking visionaries for 27 years and, over that time, has recognized more than 10,000 entrepreneurial men and women. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Award has grown to be recognized as the leading business award. While Ernst & Young is proud of this accomplishment, the credit goes to the thousands of entrepreneurial leaders who have been recognized over the years. The fact that the program has endured and grown for more than 27 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, Calif. At that ceremony, 10 award recipients are selected and one is selected as the National Entrepreneur Of The Year overall award recipient. The National Entrepreneur Of The Year overall award recipient will then participate in the World Entrepreneur Of The Year in Monte Carlo, along with award recipients from 50 other countries. This truly is the world’s business award.

The National Entrepreneur Of The Year Program is the culminating event for a four-day Strategic Growth Forum that had about 2,000 participants 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 special guests such as George W. Bush, former President of the United States; Frederick Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corp.; and Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin. This year will feature Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric Co.; Bernard Tyson, incoming chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente; and Jeffrey Sprecher, founder, chairman and CEO, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.

We are honored to present the 27th Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards-Gulf Coast and to recognize the entrepreneurial leaders of the past, present and future in the Gulf Coast that are “Leading the Way” to keep this the greatest country in the world to do business.

Todd Zuspan is a partner with Ernst & Young LLP 
and is the director of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Gulf Coast Area program.

Family Business Award of Excellence

Award recipient
Kenneth L. Robison,
Crest Industries

Construction & Industrial Services

Award recipient
Stephen V. Pate
Strike, LLC

James Joseph Frischhertz
Frischhertz Electric Co., Inc.

Troy Collins
Nathan Granger
Quality Companies USA, LLC

Jeffrey Gerald Davis
The Brock Group

Consumer Products

Award recipient
Donald P. Klein
Chesmar Homes, Ltd.

Basim Shami
Farouk Systems

Stacey Gillman Wimbish
The Gillman Companies

Gary Kiedaisch
Igloo Products Corp.

Jerry Lasco
Lasco Enterprises

Distribution & Manufacturing

Award recipient
Walter Emanuel Blessey Jr.
Blessey Marine Services

Arthur Moore
American Alloy Steel, Inc.

Amit Bhandari
Biourja Group

John L. Magee
Crane Worldwide Logistics

Mark C. Arnold
GSE Environmental, LLC

Fred Koetting
Schulte Building Systems


Award recipient
David D. Dunlap
Superior Energy Services, Inc.

Energy Services

Award recipient
Larry O’Donnell
Rockwater Energy Solutions

Darron Anderson
Express Energy Services

John T. Rynd
Hercules Offshore, Inc.

Christian J. Beckett
Pacific Drilling

Exploration & Production

Award recipient
Mark E. Ellis
LINN Energy, LLC

Michael Minarovic
Arena Energy, LP

John D. Schiller Jr.
Energy XXI

David H. Welch
Stone Energy Corp.

Health Care

Award recipient
Dana Sellers
Encore Health Resources

Taseer A. Badar
Altus Healthcare Management Services

Andrew C. Knizley
Houston Orthopedic & Spine Hospital

T. J. Farnsworth
SightLine Health

Midstream Services

Award recipient
R. Bruce Northcutt
Copano Energy, LLC

Brad Childers
Exterran Holdings, Inc.

Gregory L. Ebel
Spectra Energy Corp.


Award recipient
Drake Mills
Community Trust Bank

Bryan Leibman
Frosch International Travel, Inc.

Michael L. Soper
Legacy Funeral Group

Jose S. Suquet
Pan-American Life Insurance Group


Award recipient
Peter M. Duncan
MicroSeismic, Inc.

Joel Bomgar

Jonathan Brett Klein
Luis Luque



Gregory D. Brenneman
Shelaghmichael Brown
Doug J. Erwin
Joe R. Fowler
Scott W. Smith
Cindy B. Taylor
Richard E. Zuschlag