The Search is on in the Central Midwest for EY’s 2014 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs

Nominations are open for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Awards, celebrating innovative business leaders who turn vision into reality.

St. Louis, MO, February 27, 2014 — EY is calling for nominations for the 28th Annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards, recognized as one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country. The program has a firm deadline of March 14, 2014, for nominations, with the Central Midwest awards gala scheduled for June 19, 2014, at the Sheraton in Overland Park, KS. The Central Midwest program includes companies based in Missouri and Kansas.

Each year, EY showcases successful entrepreneurs from more than 150 cities in 60 countries. In 2013, 10 outstanding business leaders from the Central Midwest were selected as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners, including Joe Burgess of Aegion Corporation, Tom Tokarczyk and Artur Wagrodzki of Artur Express, Mike Riggs of Jack Cooper Holdings, Jim Schwartz of NPC International, Inc., Dr. Larry Sanders of Specialty Fertilizer Products, LLC, Robb Heineman of Sporting Club, Joseph Suhor III of Suhor Industries, Inc., David Gaboury of Terracon and Dan Reed of UnitedLex.

Award winners are selected in a number of industry categories by a panel of independent regional judges, including previous winners of the award, leading CEOs and private capital investors and other regional business leaders. Entrepreneurs may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers and other business leaders.

“EY has honored outstanding entrepreneurs through our Entrepreneur Of The Year program for over a quarter century,” said Mike Hickenbotham, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director for the Central Midwest. “These business leaders have accomplished so much and are making a difference by creating jobs and opportunities for people in our communities. It is entrepreneurs like these that will keep this country strong and moving forward.”

Past national award winners have included Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc., and Mindy Grossman of HSN. Recent US national winners include Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, Hamdi Ulukaya founder of Chobani, and 2013 winner Hamid Moghadam, CEO and Chairman of Prologis.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Program honors entrepreneurs regionally in June. All regional honorees are then invited to the national Entrepreneur Of The Year gala, hosted by Jay Leno, on November 15, 2014, in Palm Springs, California. The gala is the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. For more information on the EY Strategic Growth Forum, please visit www.ey.com/us/sgf.

The overall national US winner will go on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year title in Monaco in June 2015.

Awards criteria

To qualify, entrepreneurs must be the founder or an executive who organizes, manages and assumes the risk of a business early in its life cycle or during its growth. Self-nominations are encouraged, and there is no fee. The firm deadline for 2014 nominations is March 14.

Entrepreneurs eligible for consideration include not only company founders, but also leaders of multi-generation family businesses and transformational public and private company CEOs. Additionally, the nominee’s company must be at least two years old.

To nominate a candidate or for more information about the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards, please visit ey.com/us/eoy/cm.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 150 cities in more than 60 countries.

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