Press release

24 Aug 2020 Austin, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Central Texas Award Finalists

Celebrating the unstoppable entrepreneurs whose ambitions transform our world

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EY Americas

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

Celebrating the unstoppable entrepreneurs whose ambitions transform our world

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Central Texas Award. Now in its 34th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors successful business leaders whose ambitions deliver innovation, growth and prosperity as they build and sustain groundbreaking companies that transform our world. These 23 business leaders were selected as finalists by a panel of independent judges.

Award winners will be announced during a special virtual event on October 8 and will join the ranks of a lifelong community of esteemed Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni from around the world. This year, unstoppable entrepreneurs who have provided extraordinary support to their communities, employees and others during the COVID-19 crisis will also be recognized for their courage, resilience and ingenuity.

The 2020 Central Texas finalists are:

  • Blake Garrett | Founder & CEO, Aceable Inc., Austin, Texas
  • Fumihide Esaka | Chairman & CEO and Scott Hanson | Founder & CTO, Ambiq Micro, Austin, Texas
  • Dr. Amy Myers | Founder & CEO, AMMD LLC, Bee Caves, Texas
  • Darin Brannan | Co-Founder & CEO, ClearDATA, Austin, Texas
  • Michael Farlekas | President & CEO, E2open, Austin, Texas
  • Juan Rodriguez | Co-Founder & CEO, FlashParking, Austin, Texas
  • Joyce Durst | Co-Founder & CEO, Growth Acceleration Partners, Austin, Texas
  • Barrett Foster | CEO and Seth Robinson | Founder & President, In Charge Electrical Services, Round Rock, Texas
  • Greg Mercer | Founder & CEO, Jungle Scout, Austin, Texas
  • Justin Mares | Co-Founder & CEO and Nick Mares | Co-Founder & President, Kettle & Fire, Austin, Texas
  • Michael Kiolbassa | President, Kiolbassa Smoked Meats, San Antonio, Texas
  • Will Conway | CEO, Mailgun Technologies Inc., San Antonio, Texas
  • Doss Cunningham | CEO, Nutrabolt, Austin, Texas
  • Oliver Plunkett | Co-Founder & CEO, Ocean Infinity, Austin, Texas
  • John Berkowitz | CEO, OJO Labs, Austin, Texas
  • Dr. Jasen Trautwein | Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer, Pathway Vet Alliance, Austin, Texas
  • Brad Heath | President & CEO, VIRTEX, Austin, Texas
  • Clayton Christopher | Co-Founder, Sean Cusack | Co-Founder and Jason Shiver | CEO, Waterloo Sparkling Water, Austin, Texas

Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. Finalists were evaluated based on six criteria, including overcoming adversity; financial performance; societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company; innovation; and talent management. Since its launch, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries throughout the world.

“The finalists were carefully selected for their grit, persistence and boundless ambition. Now more than ever, we need to share the stories of incredible entrepreneurs that are on a transformational journey to create, innovate, grow and build a better world,” said Anna Tallent, Entrepreneur Of The Year Central Texas Co-Director.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, to be announced in November during a virtual awards gala. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2021.

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners become lifetime members of a global, multi-industry community of award winners, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.

Central Texas Focus

Each year, EY US showcases successful entrepreneurs from 20 regional competitions across the United States. In 2019, 10 entrepreneurs leading companies from Central Texas were selected as Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners.

For information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Central Texas program, please visit


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

In Central Texas, sponsors also include Broadway Bank, Colliers International, Shearman & Sterling LLP, ADP, Bridgepoint Consulting, Watkins Insurance Group, Jackson Walker, Austin Business Journal and San Antonio Business Journal.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

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. 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.

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