Meet the 2023 East Central honorees

Lifetime Achievement honoree

Cameron Mitchell

Cameron Mitchell
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
Columbus, OH

Entrepreneur Of The Year®
2023 East Central
Lifetime Achievement Award

Read the press release

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by EY US to a distinguished, renowned business leader who has made outstanding contributions as an entrepreneur.

Founded by Cameron Mitchell in 1993, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, LLC (CMR) has built a diverse portfolio of varied concepts, ranging from multi-location upscale destinations to single neighborhood favorites. Today, CMR operates 45 restaurants company-wide under 20 different concepts, with 23 restaurants located in Columbus, Ohio. In addition, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, the premier catering and event planning company in Central Ohio, oversees three venues in Columbus. The national Ocean Prime concept has 17 locations in 14 states plus the District of Columbia, and in summer 2023 will open its 18th location and first one in Las Vegas. The Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, a sister company of CMR, currently operates 22 locations in five states. CMR is partnering with Crawford Hoying to open a luxury boutique hotel in Dublin, OH in 2026. CMR and the various concepts have received numerous culinary, leadership, entrepreneur, community service and readers’ choice awards.

2023 East Central finalists

Congratulations to our region’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® finalists, who were selected by an independent panel of judges based on their demonstration of long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes. Regional award winners will be announced in June.

Read the press release

contributions and attributes. Regional award winners will be announced in June 2022.[ Watch the replay of the event ]Congratulations to the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Florida finalists. We recognized the achievements of these unstoppable entrepreneurs during a virtual awards celebration on Thursday, August 5 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

[ Watch the replay of the event ]

  • Scott Arias | ACE Consulting Company, LLC | Nicholasville, Kentucky

    Founded in 2008 by Dr. Scott Arias, ACE Consulting Company (ACE) is a construction consulting company in Kentucky. ACE operates on three core values: always do the right thing, work with extreme urgency and always strive to be the gold standard within the industry. From construction to security, ACE offers the competence, experience and knowledge necessary to get jobs done right. The company offers field staffing, pre-construction services, training services, security services, certification services and overall Division One services.

  • Leigh Fox | altafiber | Cincinnati, Ohio

    Cincinnati Bell is now doing business as altafiber in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The company delivers integrated communications solutions to residential and business customers over its fiber-optic network, including high-speed internet, video, voice and data. The company also provides service in Hawaii under the brand Hawaiian Telcom. In addition, the company’s enterprise customers across the United States and Canada rely on CBTS and OnX, wholly owned subsidiaries, for efficient, scalable office communications systems and end-to-end IT solutions.

  • Jonathan Brooks IV | American Trailer Rental Group | South Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

    American Trailer Rental Group, also known as ATRG, is a family of companies specializing in solving business needs in a multitude of industries by providing storage, cartage and over-the-road trailers. ATRG provides solutions to customers from the first mile to the second-to-last mile of their supply chain, and its purpose is to make customers’ lives easier. ATRG’s core values include doing the right thing and having a can-do attitude.

  • Jeff Astley | Astley Precision Machine Company | Irwin, Pennsylvania

    Astley Precision Machine is an ISO 9001:2015-certified manufacturing company near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that provides high-quality machined components. The company serves the medical, scientific and research industries.

  • Teresa Whalen, RPh | CytoAgents, Inc. | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    CytoAgents is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of life-threatening symptoms associated with cytokine release syndrome (CRS), an overreaction of the immune system causing systemic inflammation. There are many causes of CRS, and the company’s mission is to save lives by developing a broadly accessible treatment for multiple indications of high unmet need. CTO1681 is positioned to become a new leading practice in medicine.

  • Dan Oliver | Dan-O's Seasoning | Louisville, Kentucky

    Dan-O’s Seasoning was founded in 2017 by Louisville, Kentucky, native Dan Oliver. The company’s mission is to change the world one table at a time by offering the best all-natural, sugar-free, low-sodium seasoning products on the market. Dan-O’s goal is to provide customers with real flavors to make healthier food choices without ever sacrificing taste. The company’s all-purpose seasoning blends can be found in over 13,000 retailers nationwide.

  • Ryan Doyle | Doyle HCM Inc. | Gahanna, Ohio

    Doyle HCM offers a full-service payroll and HR solution that attempts to solve the lack of personalized payroll experience that plagues the industry. From the onboarding experience to the benefits and HR experience, the company’s goal is to help build a customized experience.

    Doyle HCM is knowledgeable in helping franchise and hospitality owners run efficient, profitable operations. The company provides a high-quality experience, making it possible for owners to continue to expand into other concepts or other markets.

    Each of the company’s clients is assigned a personal account representative. The Doyle HCM team is trained to handle requests and provide answers to clients quickly to help keep future payroll problems from surfacing.

    The company’s tax credit team is built to help clients find what benefits they can get from the people they hire. From the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to Empowerment Zone Credits, Doyle HCM helps find extra ways for owners to save money.

    Starting in 2023, the company began offering bookkeeping services to its clients.

  • Matt Newton and Mike Mackey | Everest Infrastructure Partners | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Wireless connectivity is rapidly changing the world. Utilizing a data-driven approach, Everest has developed one of the largest and most efficient aggregation platforms focused exclusively on wireless infrastructure assets. The company is a creative and entrepreneurial team operating in multiple countries around the world. Everest’s vision is to be the global partner of choice for wireless infrastructure assets and to embrace technology evolution to deliver exceptional value to network provider customers, wireless communications users, and all participants in the growth of mobile infrastructure networks. The company operates more than 1,250 communications tower sites in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, making it one of the wireless industry’s fastest growing and largest private tower companies.

  • Tim Miller, Ph.D. | Forge Biologics | Grove City, Ohio

    Forge Biologics is a hybrid gene therapy contract manufacturing and clinical-stage therapeutics development company. The company’s mission is to enable access to life-changing gene therapies and help bring them from idea to reality. Forge’s 200,000-square-foot facility, the Hearth, utilizes 20 cGMP suites in Columbus, Ohio, to serve as its headquarters. The Hearth is a custom-designed cGMP facility dedicated to AAV manufacturing and hosts scalable, end-to-end manufacturing services. Offerings include process and analytical development, plasmid DNA manufacturing, viral vector manufacturing, final fill, as well as regulatory consulting support to accelerate gene therapy programs from preclinical through clinical and commercial stage manufacturing. By taking a patients-first approach, Forge aims to accelerate the timelines of these transformative medicines for those who need them the most.

  • Max Shapira | Heaven Hill Brands | Bardstown, Kentucky

    Founded in 1935, Bardstown, Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Brands is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and led spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny, and Henry McKenna Bourbons; Rittenhouse Rye Whisky; Deep Eddy Vodka; Admiral Nelson’s Rum; Black Velvet Canadian Whisky; Lunazul Tequila; HPNOTIQ Liqueur; Carolans Irish Cream Liqueur, plus the newly acquired Samson & Surrey portfolio. Heaven Hill Brands has grown beyond its traditional roots as a bourbon distiller to become the country’s fifth largest overall distilled spirits producer and marketer with a portfolio of well-known, innovative and relevant products. In addition, Heaven Hill has seen its export business grow significantly with products now shipped to over 60 countries worldwide. Heaven Hill remains the world’s second largest holder of bourbon whiskey and produces some of the most successful distilled spirits brands in the US.

  • Helena Chaye and Steve Thorne | KaliVir Immunotherapeutics, Inc. | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    KaliVir Immunotherapeutics is a biotechnology company that is dedicated to developing novel oncolytic viral therapies, or oncolytic viruses, for the treatment of cancer. Oncolytic virus is a unique type of cancer treatment in which a genetically modified virus is used to specifically target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. KaliVir has developed a novel approach, Vaccinia Enhanced Template (VET) platform technology, to greatly enhance the natural ability of the vaccinia virus to kill cancer cells. Using its proprietary VET platform technology, KaliVir is now advancing multiple oncolytic virus candidates toward the clinic.

  • Chad Mattix | Kinettix, Inc. | Cincinnati, Ohio

    Kinettix provides global IT field services to companies in a variety of industries. Having a field services partner that serves as an arm of their organization allows companies to expand to regions or countries in which they previously could not install or maintain IT equipment.

    Kinettix has provided services in over 120 different countries through its global alliance of technicians. The company’s experienced management team handles extremely complex multi-site installation projects and oversees technicians break/fix services to some of the world’s largest companies.

  • Kurt Lesker IV | Kurt J. Lesker Company | Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania

    Kurt J. Lesker Company (KJLC) is a dynamic, rapidly growing international manufacturer and distributor of thin film deposition systems and components for the vacuum technology market. The company’s products and technologies are used for various applications, including semiconductors, space exploration, automotive, solar, medical devices and several other world-changing technologies. KJLC’s strong team culture and dedication to sustainability enables the company to continue to innovate and expand each year. As a private, woman-owned small business, KJLC is focused on the long term and investing in the future. This has allowed the company to be on the cutting edge, while providing stability and growth for its employees for the last 70 years.

  • Rick MacDonald | Lynk Packaging Inc. | Aurora, Ohio

    Lynk Packaging designs and manufactures custom corrugated packaging solutions for food manufacturers, automotive component producers, consumer packaging goods, e-commerce distributors, metal stamping industry, plastic injection molders and many others.

  • Sara Makin M.S.Ed., NCC, LPC | Makin Wellness | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Makin Wellness is on a mission to help millions heal and become happy again. The company provides specialized online therapy covered by insurance.

  • Angela Phillips | Phillips Tube Group, Inc. | Middletown, Ohio

    For over 55 years, Phillips Tube Group (PTG) has been a top manufacturer of steel tube for a wide variety of industries, including automotive, HVAC, appliance and construction markets. A woman-owned company, PTG produces precision steel tube that is found in everyday products. From today’s vehicles to home heating and appliances, PTG customers rank among some of the most respected names in America. 

    PTG is the No. 1 automotive fuel-filler tube manufacturer in the world and the recognized leader in steel tube production for residential furnace markets. The company is also the largest producer of tubes for the gas-fired appliance industry. 

    PTG has expanded from the small garage machine shop Ralph Phillips started in 1967 to over 800,000 square feet of manufacturing space located in Ohio and Indiana, employing 243 team members.

    PTG actively participates in community development, whether it is providing substantial food donations during and after the pandemic, to helping with school playgrounds, Earth Day cleanup and Arbor Day planting.

  • Charlie Goetz | Powercast Corporation | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Powercast is the pioneer and leader of long-range, power-over-distance wireless charging technology using broadcasted RF energy (radio waves) converted into DC power. Since 2003, the company has provided solutions combining its FCC-approved transmitters and receiver chips to enable automatic, over-the-air charging of multiple devices — no charging mats or direct line of sight needed.

  • Matt Brandenburg | Prince & Izant Company | Cleveland, Ohio

    Prince & Izant Company provides precious metal and brazing alloy solutions to its global customers, helping them create diverse products used throughout the world. The company is committed to investing in the equipment, talent and other resources necessary to provide customers with a leading-class experience.

  • Lauren Miladinovich and Chris Miladinovich | ProspHire | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    ProspHire is a management consulting firm focused on health care advisory, project delivery and strategic resourcing. Founded on the core value of relationships with the goal to “prosper together,” the firm partners with clients to identify and solve their most significant people, process and technology challenges.

  • Julia Regan | RxLightning | New Albany, Indiana

    RxLightning is a digital platform that streamlines the historically complicated and manual specialty drug enrollment process. Specialty drugs are expected to make up 65% of new medication launches through 2023. With RxLightning, health care providers can quickly and easily complete the enrollment process for every specialty drug in every therapeutic area, reducing paperwork, streamlining communication and accelerating speed to therapy for patients.

  • Chris Ratterman | Shady Rays | Simpsonville, Kentucky

    Shady Rays is one of the largest and fastest-growing mid-priced lifestyle eyewear brands in the US and the No. 1 fastest-growing company in the eyewear category (Inc. 5000 2020).

    Shady Rays is an independent, American-owned, direct-to-consumer sunglasses company with a mission to give back to individuals and organizations who make meaningful impacts in their communities.

    All shades are made with high-quality, polarized lenses in a variety of sunglass frame styles that come with Shady Rays’ Limited Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty and Lost & Broken Replacement Program. Shady Rays also sells high-quality lifestyle gear, including snow goggles, UV shirts, prescription glasses, blue light glasses and more.

  • Justin Tennant and Steve Darocy | Surgical Product Solutions | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Surgical Product Solutions (SPS) provides high-quality, cost-saving surgical solutions to health care facilities across the US. SPS is a leader in providing cost-saving solutions for health care facilities across the US that choose to save money without sacrificing quality of care. SPS accomplishes this by presenting hospitals and surgery centers with two ways to save on their high-volume surgical disposables. SPS provides a liquidation solution for surgical disposables when they become non-moving and are no longer being used by the facility. This can be due to product conversions, contract changes, or physician departures. SPS purchases these surgical disposables that would otherwise remain un-used and eventually expire on the shelves of the operating room, injecting cash directly into the hospital’s budget.

    SPS is an independent distributor of unused, out-of-date surgical disposables. The company sells the same high-volume products that facilities are currently buying from vendors at an even greater discount than top-tier pricing. SPS also provides the option to purchase in flexible quantities rather than in cases, which helps in the unique case of a preferential product that is outside normal buying patterns.

  • Anthony Hughes | Tech Elevator | Cleveland, Ohio

    Tech Elevator is a nationally ranked coding bootcamp headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and a catalyst for workforce transformation in the United States. Through its full-time and part-time consumer programs, Tech Elevator gives adult learners from diverse backgrounds the skills, education and connections they need to land meaningful and lucrative careers in software development. Tech Elevator is also a solutions provider to companies nationwide, reskilling and upskilling current employees to build reliable tech talent pipelines from within. Since its inception, Tech Elevator, and its hiring network of more than 750 companies have placed nearly 3,000 graduates in tech jobs.

    Guiding this work is Tech Elevator’s commitment to transparency in outcomes reporting. In an industry with inconsistent reporting standards, Tech Elevator prides itself on being accountable to the people, companies and communities it serves by reporting outcomes biannually through the nonprofit Center for Integrity in Results Reporting.

  • Dave Kennedy | TrustedSec | Fairlawn, Ohio

    As security threats increase in sophistication and complexity, trying to keep up can mean falling behind. Strengthening your security program requires foresight into when, where and how attacks will occur. TrustedSec is a full-service information security consulting organization dedicated to helping its customers prioritize what matters to decrease risk and evolve their businesses beyond threats.