Press release

13 Aug 2020 Atlanta, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Southeast 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 Southeast Award. The Southeast program celebrates entrepreneurs from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. 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 31 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 in early October 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 Southeast finalists are:

  • Greice Murphy | Advanced Care Partners, Atlanta, GA
  • Matt Dircks | BeyondTrust, Johns Creek, GA
  • Justin Bellante | BioIQ, Atlanta, GA
  • Brett Anderson | Catalyst Nutraceuticals, Alpharetta, GA
  • Dustin DePanicis | Catalyst Nutraceuticals, Alpharetta, GA
  • J. Kelly Ganjei | Cognate BioServices, Memphis, TN
  • Geoff Foster | Core Technology Molding Corporation, Greensboro, NC
  • Marius Andersen | Creative Snacks Co., High Point, NC
  • Pat Mackin | Cryolife, Kennesaw, GA
  • Rusty Hutson, Jr. | Diversified Gas & Oil, Birmingham, AL
  • Scott Ellyson | East West Manufacturing, Atlanta, GA
  • Jeff Sweeney | East West Manufacturing, Atlanta, GA
  • Craig Fuller | FreightWaves, Chattanooga, TN
  • Sandeep Gauba | GoProcure, Inc., Duluth, GA
  • Johnson Cook | Greenlight Financial Technology, Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • Tim Sheehan | Greenlight Financial Technology, Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • Darcy Curran | Highline Aftermarket, Memphis, TN
  • Gabe Damiani | iVision, Atlanta, GA
  • George Azih | LeaseQuery, Atlanta, GA
  • Michael Landreth | MacStadium, Atlanta, GA
  • Greg McGraw | MacStadium, Atlanta, GA
  • Lenny Castiglione | Ob Hospitalist Group, Greenville, SC
  • Judy Smith | Octapharma Plasma, Charlotte, NC
  • Gary Cooper | Palmetto Infusion Services, Pawleys Island, SC
  • David Goodall | Palmetto Infusion Services, Pawleys Island, SC
  • Stephen Wakeling | Phobio, Atlanta, GA
  • Josh Collins | PresPro Homes, Harrisburg, NC
  • John Sears | PresPro Homes, Harrisburg, NC
  • Dr. Dale Yake | PT Solutions Physical Therapy, Atlanta, GA
  • Michele Perry | Relatient, Franklin, TN
  • Matthew Lopes | The DVI Group, Atlanta, GA

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. We are extremely impressed with their leadership and care for their employees through this challenging time,” said Chevy Arnold, Southeast Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director. “Now more than ever, we need unstoppable entrepreneurs to inspire innovation, fuel growth and deliver long-term value for their communities.”   

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.

Southeast Focus

Each year, EY US showcases successful entrepreneurs from 20 regional competitions across the United States. In 2019, 11 entrepreneurs leading companies from the Southeast were selected as Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners. Past award winners in the Southeast include: Michael Praeger, AvidXchange; Ben Chestnut, MailChimp; Jack Springer, Malibu Boats; Tricia Wallwork, Milo’s Tea Company; Richard Hagins, US&S; and Phyllis Newhouse, Xtreme Solutions.

For information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Southeast 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 the Southeast, sponsors also include Platinum sponsor King & Spalding LLP and Silver sponsors Chatham Financial and Cresa.

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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