Press release

EY Announces Winners for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Southwest Award

Dallas, 26 June 2017

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EY builds on three decades of honoring exceptional entrepreneurs in the Southwest

EY is pleased to announce the winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in the Southwest. This group of leading entrepreneurs were selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous award winners, leading CEOs, investors and other regional business leaders. The winners were unveiled at a special gala on June 24 at Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.

“EY has been recognizing leading entrepreneurs for over three decades,” said Debra von Storch, EY Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director. “The class of winners in 2017 represent new ways of thinking, disruptive business models and overall dynamism that make this country a great place to do business.”

The winners for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Southwest Award include:

  • Master Entrepreneur Of The Year
    Kathryn Hall, Co-Proprietor and Vintner, HALL Wines, Craig Hall, Chairman, HALL Group
  • Retail Master Entrepreneur Of The Year
    Joseph M. DePinto, President and CEO, 7-Eleven, Inc.
  • Social Entrepreneur Of The Year
    Nathan Sheets, President and Chief Steward, Nature Nate’s
  • Health
    Dr. Sulman Ahmed, Founder and CEO, DECA Dental
  • Consumer Products
    Suzy Bátiz, Founder and CEO, Poo~Pourri
  • Retail
    Lewis L. Bird III, Chairman and CEO, At Home
  • Real Estate & Construction
    Dallas Tanner, Chief Investment Officer, John Bartling, President and CEO, Invitation Homes
  • Business and Financial Services
    Aaron Graft, Founder, Vice Chairman and CEO, Triumph Bancorp, Inc.
  • Technology & Media Services
    Greg Brown, President and CEO, Learfield Communications, LLC
  • Technology
    Robert Michelson, CEO, RMG Networks, Inc.
  • Emerging Consumer Products
    Dan Flaherty, Founder, Jason McCann, CEO, VARIDESK
  • Emerging Services
    Nicholas Kennedy, Founder and CEO, RISE Air
  • Emerging Technology
    Stephanie Alsbrooks, CEO and Founder, defi SOLUTIONS

Since its founding in 1986, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities in more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth ForumTM, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monaco in June 2018.


Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In the Southwest region, sponsors also include Colliers International, Haynes and Boone LLP, RHSB, M&M Special Events, Smith Frank & Partners, D CEO Magazine and SocialStrategy1.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and the local community. The program 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 awards program 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 over 145 cities in more than 60 countries.


About EY’s Growth Markets Network

EY’s worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage, venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed. 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, a member of the global EY organization that provides services to clients in the US.

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