Press release

EY announces finalists for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 in the Upper Midwest

Minneapolis, April 28, 2014

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EY today announced the finalists for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 in the Upper Midwest. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. These business leaders were selected from nearly 50 nominations by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a black-tie gala on June 11 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis.

The Upper Midwest program includes companies based in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas. Collectively, this year's finalists generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue and provided over 6,500 jobs by the end of 2013.

At the gala, in addition to recognizing the regional finalists, Chris Policinski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Land O' Lakes, Inc., will be presented with the Master Entrepreneur award.

The 2014 finalists are:

  • Amy Nelson, Accurate Home Care (Otsego, Minnesota)
  • William York, AgriBank (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
  • Edward Cameron, Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. (St. Louis Park, Minnesota)
  • David Kristal, Augeo (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
  • Jon Carlson, Braun Intertec Corporation (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Thomas Ahern and Robert Coughlan, Capstone (North Mankato, Minnesota)
  • Matthew Dornquast, Code42 (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Michael Lacey, Digineer, Inc. (Plymouth, Minnesota)
  • Eric McDonald, DocuTAP (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
  • Greg Thrasher and Nancy Thrasher, Foundation Supportworks, Inc. (La Vista, Nebraska)
  • Jennifer Smith, Innovative Office Solutions LLC (Burnsville, Minnesota)
  • Zach Halmstad and Chip Pearson, JAMF Software (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Jim Loffler, Loffler Companies, Inc. (Bloomington, Minnesota)
  • Justin Hall, Logistics Planning Services (Woodbury, Minnesota)
  • Scott Litman and Dan Mallin, Magnet 360 (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Josh Hanson and Krista O'Malley, Make Retail (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
  • Christopher Klitgaard, MediRevv (Coralville, Iowa)
  • Tashitaa Tufaa, Metropolitan Transportation Network (Fridley Minnesota)
  • Brad Goskowicz, Microbiologics (Saint Cloud, Minnesota)
  • John Puckett and John Soranno, Punch Pizza (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Brenton Hayden, Renters Warehouse (Minnetonka, Minnesota)
  • Mike Derheim, The Nerdery (Bloomington, Minnesota)
  • Duane Smith, TrueNorth (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
  • Van Miller, VGM Group, Inc (Waterloo, Iowa)

Now in its 28th year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries throughout the world. 

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Program.  Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 15, 2014. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are sponsored in the United States by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America. In the Upper Midwest, sponsors include Faegre Baker Daniels, BMO Harris, PadillaCRT, Merrill Datasite and Twin Cities Business magazine. Local sponsors include SALO, Lockton Companies, Pohlad Family Capital Fund LLC and The Big Picture.

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 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets

EY’s Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practices guide leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at, or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, an EY member firm serving clients in the US.