EY announces finalists for Entrepreneur of the Year award


Finalists for the Heartland division of the 35th edition Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award were unveiled last week. An independent jury evaluated the 36 leaders on the basis of six criteria: entrepreneurial leadership, talent management, degree of difficulty, financial performance, societal impact and originality.

“This year’s finalists are the next class in a long line of unstoppable visionaries,” Dominic Iannazzo, co-director of Heartland Region Entrepreneur of the Year, said in a press release. “They were carefully selected by our panel of independent judges for their unwavering commitment to their businesses, clients and communities during a year of unprecedented change. “

One of 20 regional divisions, the Heartland region is made up of contractors based in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. One finalist is from Iowa, 4 from Missouri and 1 from each of the Dakotas. The rest are from Minnesota.

The 29 entrepreneurs representing Minnesota are:

  • Angie Conley of Eden Prairie based Abilitech Medical, a supplier of medical devices for people with neuromuscular diseases. Conley was the guest of TCBPodcast By All Means in July 2020.
  • Brian NeSmith of the Eden Prairie-based cybersecurity firm Arctic Wolf Networks, Inc., a former Californian company recognized on TCBthis year’s Tech 20 list.
  • Carlene Wilson of the office furniture saleswoman Atmosphere Commercial interiors, based in Minneapolis.
  • Janet Johanson from Little Canada based BevSource and the laboratory, a beverage developer for new and established beverage makers.
  • Tony Miller from Bind Benefits, Inc., a Minneapolis-based insurance company
  • Cheri Beranek of Minneapolis-based fiber optic company Free field, and next inductee into the TCB Minnesota Business Hall of Fame.
  • Minneapolis-based software developer Igor Epshteyn Coherent solutions.
  • Andrew Leone from the delivery service Dispatch It, Inc., based in Bloomington.
  • Jamie Candee from Edmentum, a Bloomington-based e-learning program provider.
  • Todd Wilkinson from Entrust Corp., a Shakopee-based digital security software provider.
  • Mynul Khan of Minneapolis Country of the fields, which connects companies and IT specialists. Khan appeared on TCBList of 100 people to know more than once.
  • Abir Sen and Marek Ciolko from the Minneapolis-based Health Insurance Market Climbed, which recently raised $ 28 million in Series D funding.
  • Ken Dalley from Maple Grove based RFID Guardian, a tech company that aims to protect prison officers by tracking inmates in the United States
  • Joël Theisen from Lifesprk, an elderly care provider based in St. Louis Park.
  • Aaron Shilts of the Minneapolis-based cybersecurity firm NetSPI.
  • Cliff Kaehler of the St. Paul-based solar energy company New energy solutions.
  • Lee Wallace of Minneapolis Based on Organic and Fair Trade Cafe of peace. She appeared as a guest on TCBPodcast By All Means in November 2020.
  • Stacia Nelson of the strategic communication agency Pivotal strategies, based in Minneapolis.
  • Nicole Atchison and Tyler Lorenzen of Minneapolis-based plant-based food maker PURIS, which raised an additional $ 25 million last year.
  • Based in Jay Ward of Plymouth Quadion SARL/Minnesota Rubber and Plastic
  • Brian and Kent Roers of Minnetonka-based real estate developer Roers companies
  • Sirish Samba from Sambatek, Inc., a Minneapolis-based civil engineering company
  • Payment platform based at Charlie Youakim of Minneapolis Sezzle, which is currently considering an IPO in the United States.
  • Chad Hetherington of the Minneapolis-based business marketing agency The stable, which recently teamed up with its main rival Twin Cities.
  • Tom Kennedy, doctor in TSI incorporated, a commercial and industrial equipment manufacturer based in Shoreviewv
  • Michael Jordan of St. Paul-based athleisure brand UNRL

The winners will be announced in a virtual celebration on July 27 and featured in an upcoming issue of TCB.

Last year, six Minnesotans from eight companies won the Heartland Entrepreneur of the Year award.

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