Press release

14 Jun 2019 Orlando, US

EY announces winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019 Florida Award

EY builds on three decades of honoring unstoppable entrepreneurs in Florida

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Related topics Entrepreneurship

EY builds on three decades of honoring unstoppable entrepreneurs in Florida

EY is pleased to announce the winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in Florida. This group of unstoppable entrepreneurial leaders transforming our world was 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 13, 2019 at the Hilton Orlando.   

“We’ve seen many successful entrepreneurs come through this program, but I’ve been so impressed by our 2019 Florida finalists. The people they have impacted, barriers they’ve overcome and industries they’ve disrupted are testaments to their entrepreneurial journey,” said Mike Pattillo, Entrepreneur Of The Year Florida Program Director. “As part of that journey, EY is proud to honor the 2019 Entrepreneur Of The Year winners who are inspiring innovation without limitation and fueling growth and prosperity by being truly unstoppable.”

The winners for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Florida Award include:

  • Commercial services | Jack Cheng, Ph. D., AA Metals, Inc., Orlando, FL
  • Consumer products | Crystal Morris, Gator Co., Tampa, FL
  • Consumer services | Robert Ceravolo, Tropic Ocean Airways, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Family Business | Diego Valera and Vanessa Valera Nolte, Holstein Housewares (Distrivalto USA Inc), Miami, FL
  • Financial Services | John Thedford, SMART Financial, Orlando, FL
  • Health | Fred Hassan, IM HealthScience, Boca Raton, FL
  • Professional Services | Joe Marinucci, Digital Media Solutions, Clearwater, FL
  • Real Estate | Charles Whittall, Unicorp National Developments, Inc, Orlando, FL 
  • Technology | Jayson Dubin, PLAYWIRE, Deerfield Beach, FL

Since its founding in 1986, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 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 Awards. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 16, 2019. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in Monaco in June 2019.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year® Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In Florida, regional sponsors also include Platinum sponsors Greenberg Traurig, LLP and PNC Bank and  Silver sponsor the Orlando Business Journal.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. 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 more than 145 cities and 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

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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