Press release

27 Aug 2020 Detroit, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award Finalists

Celebrating the unstoppable entrepreneurs whose ambitions transform our world

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Related topics Entrepreneur Unstoppables

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 Michigan and Northwest Ohio 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 29 business leaders were selected as finalists by a panel of independent judges from a competitive pool of nominations.

Award winners will be announced during a special virtual event on Thursday, October 8 at 6 p.m. EST 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 Michigan and Northwest Ohio finalists are:

  • Ryan Greenawalt | Alta Equipment (Livonia, Michigan)
  • Raj Vattikuti | Altimetrik (Southfield, Michigan)
  • Eli Crotzer | Arch Global Precision (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan)
  • Brad Baxter and Jacob Zuppke | AutoPets (Auburn Hills, Michigan)
  • Sam Beznos | Beztak Companies (Farmington Hills, Michigan)
  • Justin Mast | Bloomscape (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Mathew Vachaparampil | Caresoft Global, Inc. (Southfield, Michigan)
  • John Sammut and Jochen Lipp | Firstronic, Inc (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  • Eric Erwin | FloraCraft (Ludington, Michigan)
  • Pat Gillespie | Gillespie Group (Lansing, Michigan)
  • Lisa Lunsford | Global Strategic Supply Solutions (Livonia, Michigan)
  • Tony Mira | MiraMed Global Services (Jackson, Michigan)
  • Uma Sharma | MMS Holdings (Canton, Michigan)
  • Garrett Morelock | Monroe Engineering Products (Rochester, Michigan)
  • Kerry Ann Rockquemore and Robin Mohapatra | National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity, LLC (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Gwen Jimmere | Naturalicious (Livonia, Michigan)
  • Tom Shea | OneStream Software (Rochester, Michigan)
  • Meredith Bronk | OST (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  • Tricia Ruby | Ruby+Associates, Inc. (Bingham Farms, Michigan)
  • Jon DeGaynor | Stoneridge, Inc. (Novi, Michigan)
  • Daryl Adams | The Shyft Group (Novi, Michigan)
  • Greg Kiley | Velocity, A Managed Services Company, Inc. (Holland, Ohio)
  • Billy Hall, Dan McMurtrie and Chris Mattina, Jr. | VESTA Modular (Southfield, Michigan)
  • Alina Morse | Zolli Candy (Commerce Township, Michigan)

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.

“Our finalists have been carefully selected for their grit, persistence and ambition coupled with care and concern for their employees, companies and other stakeholders,” said Shannon Crone, Entrepreneur Of The Year Michigan and Northwest Ohio program co-director.

“Now more than ever, we need unstoppable entrepreneurs to inspire innovation, fuel growth and deliver long-term value for their communities and lead us to what’s next,” added Joe Lenglet, Entrepreneur Of The Year Michigan and Northwest Ohio program 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.

Michigan and Northwest Ohio Focus

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

For information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Michigan and Northwest Ohio 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 Michigan and Northwest Ohio, sponsors also include Citizens Bank, Donnelley Financial Solutions, Trion Solutions, Oswald Companies, Stanton Chase, and Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications.

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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