Press release

20 Jul. 2021 Calgary, CA

Seven unstoppable Prairies entrepreneurs take top EY award

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Prairies winners are trailblazers putting obstacles behind them

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EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Prairies winners are trailblazers putting obstacles behind them

Global leaders, national players and local changemakers: seven businesses have taken the top regional title in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Prairies program.

“These entrepreneurs are capitalizing on opportunities in a way that others haven’t — using new breakthroughs and business models, while putting the customer at the heart to drive with purpose,” says Shane Dunn, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Co-Director. “This year’s winners are trailblazers, putting obstacles behind them to chart new paths forward.”

Prairies regional winners will move forward to compete against peers from the Pacific, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic regions at the national awards celebration in November 2021, where 10 national winners will be named, including Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Award winner. The overall Canadian winner will go on to compete with national winners from across the globe for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year in June 2022. The seven Prairies winners vying for the title are:

  • Michael Owens of Absorb Software, a cloud-based learning management system engineered to inspire learning and fuel business productivity.
  • Mike Bauer, Jay Gohill, Michael McGovern and Stuart O’Connor of Arcurve, a leading full-service technology, advisory and software development company serving clients across a diverse range of industries including telecommunications, energy, transportation, private equity and more.
  • Clay Purdy of Fluid Energy Group Ltd., a global chemical company specializing in the development and manufacture of eco-friendly, low-hazard, technically advanced chemical systems.
  • Debra and Wayne Grund of GHC Systems Inc. dba Surface Hair Care, a hair product company committed to giving back to the community and environment, providing natural, organic ingredients for its products and packaging.
  • Sam Prochazka of, an ecommerce mattress and sleep product company providing Canadians with premium products for sustainably lower costs.
  • Mike George and Matthew McCarthy of Steelhaus Technologies Inc., an oilfield technology company providing innovative energy solutions; fusing field-proven experience, adaptable engineering and integrated manufacturing while uncompromising safety.
  • Hanif Joshaghani and Tiffany Kaminsky of Symend Inc., a company leveraging deep customer insights using a trifecta of behavioural science, data science and advanced analytics to empower customers to resolve past due bills before they reach collections.

“From sustainable hair products, to cloud-based learning, to oilfield technology — this year’s winners represent the full breadth and depth of Prairies innovation,” says Rob Jolley, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Co-Director. “We’re excited to see how they’ll build on this momentum and continue to help drive long-term social and economic growth for the region.”

In addition to the seven regional winners, the Prairies region is also recognizing two Special Citations.

Societal Impact: Mealshare

Jeremy Bryant and Andrew Hall founded Mealshare, a one of a kind, social enterprise with a collaborative “buy one, give one” program that brings Canadians together to help end youth hunger — simply, by dining out. Mealshare partners with restaurants and places their logo next to select menu items that, when purchased, provide one simple, healthy meal to a youth in need. For each Mealshare item sold, restaurants contribute funding to Mealshare who then forwards most of those funds to one of their partner charities to purchase groceries and ingredients needed for a meal. To date, Mealshare has shared over four million meals and works with over 1200 restaurants across Canada. While COVID-19 brought on unique challenges — including restrictions and restaurant closures that impacted partners — the team persevered with grit and determination to find new channels, program offerings and partnerships that allowed them to continue sharing meals and supporting local children.

Human Impact: Aomega Group Inc.

Margaret Adu founded Aomega Group Inc., a 24/7 supported living facility, that provides a unique accommodation experience designed to enable residents to expand their interests, fulfil social, physical and intellectual needs and live a more full and independent lifestyle — all in a home-like setting. Margaret immigrated from Ghana to Canada in 1993 with a master’s degree in architecture and was keen to continue building her career in the industry. Unfortunately, she was met with closed doors and a lack of opportunity. Margaret’s passion for people and desire to care for others led her to carve out her own path: a career in healthcare. And uniquely, her architectural background helped to differentiate her offering, where she could not only provide the best care, but also design the best homes. Margaret is a purpose-driven leader, who — literally — puts people at the heart of her work. She’s a true trailblazer, actively seeking to create opportunities for others and championing them to achieve the unthinkable.

More information

Follow @EYCanada, , #EOYCanada and #EOYPrairies on Twitter for the latest program updates. Visit for more program details.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. Winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year title.

The 2021 Prairies independent judging panel consists of Brenda Nowakowski, President of Brelin Holdings Ltd.; Mike Fata, CEO of Fata & Associates, Inc.; Linda McCurdy, President & CEO of K-Bro Linen Systems Inc.; James Boettcher, Chief Idea Officer, Custodian of Culture & CEO of Righteous Gelato; Desirée Bombenon, CEO & Chief Disruption Officer of SureCall; Ashif Mawji, Venture Partner and Angel Investor of Rising Tide; and Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates.

This year's national sponsor is TSX Inc. The Prairies regional sponsor is Canadian Western Bank.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP.