Feeding the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Novus International’s Thad Simons Named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2010 Winner in the Distribution and Manufacturing Category
Palm Springs,14 November 2010 – Thad W. Simons, Jr., President, CEO, Novus International, Inc. was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2010 national winner in the Distribution and Manufacturing category. Now in its 24th year, EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Simons was recognized for transforming Novus International, Inc., from a one-product spinoff from Monsanto into a diversified, global manufacturer of health and nutrition products for livestock, pets and people. Simons was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year™ gala, the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs. The Forum is the nation’s premiere gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. All EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from approximately 300 regional award recipients.
“Successful entrepreneurs need to take risks and leave comfortable positions behind to build new companies in untested markets,” said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP. “Thad Simons has done just that. By constantly seeking opportunities in products and geographic markets where established companies had yet to tread, Simons built Novus into a 90-country powerhouse. He is very deserving of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2010 award in the Distribution and Manufacturing category.”
The lure of a challenge
While Simons was working on Monsanto’s legal team in St. Louis, an opportunity carrying significant risk presented itself: the chance to become general counsel of Novus, a business being spun off by Monsanto. His entrepreneurial spirit piqued, Simons took the job.
Novus was a company with one highly successful product that served the poultry industry. Simons saw the need to diversify and was put in charge of corporate development and growth. In 2001, he was made CEO and began implementing a strategic plan. Among his initial challenges was how to manage an organization that was successful and growing very fast, but was somewhat narrow. Simons took steps to diversify and balance Novus’s product offerings, while maintaining its R&D and technology investments in order to have a base from which to grow.
Simons converted Novus’s strong network of international distributors into direct sales organizations, particularly in Southeast Asia. Since most competitors were slow to see potential in Asia, the company gained a significant competitive edge. Today, Novus has employees working in 90 countries and is continuing to expand internationally, most recently into Africa.
The company, whose guiding vision is “helping to feed the world affordable, wholesome food,” has brought to market more than 100 new food additive products over the past decade.
A sustainable business model
Simons fostered a corporate culture with a focus on sustainability. Novus is concerned both about the environment and the performance or efficiency of its products.
In giving back, Simons donates his time by serving on a number of boards, including the World Affairs Council, the World Agricultural Forum and the St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum. Novus is a generous contributor to United Way and a number of St. Louis area organizations.
Simons is also a strong supporter of educational efforts to promote animal health and nutrition. The Novus Global Scholars program, for example, collaborates with organizations and universities throughout the world with the aim of sharing knowledge to prepare the next generation of agricultural leaders.
Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2010 National Finalists in the Distribution and Manufacturing Category
In addition to Simons, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ national finalists in the Distribution and Manufacturing category are: Charles T. Angell, Chairman of The Board, President of Chicago-based Newly Weds Foods, Inc., a global manufacturer of food ingredients, supplying batters, breadings, seasonings and functional ingredients to the food processing/manufacturing and food service industries; John Bloomhall, President, CEO of Diamond V Mills, Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a manufacturer and international marketer of nutritional fermentation products; and Jim Nixon, President, CEO of Carrollton, Texas-based Varel International, the world’s largest independent supplier in the global oil and gas drill bit market.
Overall Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2010 National Winner
Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman and CEO of BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP), was named the Overall EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2010 national winner.
Video and Photos
To view video clips of all the Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winners, please visit the EY YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/ErnstandYoungGlobal. Photos of the winners are also available by request.
Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year™ awards are pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America as national sponsors.
About EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year™
EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The 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, EY 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 135 cities in 50 countries.
About EY's Strategic Growth Markets Practice
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