Press release

4 Jun 2021 Chicago, US

EY US Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Midwest Finalists

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Midwest Award.

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Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Midwest Award. The Midwest Region program celebrates entrepreneurs from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Now in its 35th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors audacious business leaders whose ambition, courage and ingenuity help catapult us from now to next and beyond. These 34 entrepreneurs from 27 noteworthy businesses were selected as finalists by a panel of independent judges.

Award winners will be announced during a special virtual celebration on July 28, 2021 and will join the ranks of a lifelong community of esteemed Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni from around the world.

The 2021 Midwest Region finalists are:

  • Jason VandeBoom | ActiveCampaign | Chicago, Illinois
  • Ben Domb | American Hip Institute & Orthopedic Specialists | Des Plaines, Illinois
  • Jamie Henry | Bee Line | Chicago, Illinois
  • Arsen Avakian | Cooler Screens | Chicago, Illinois
  • Rick Hammell | Elements Global Services | Chicago, Illinois
  • Mike Apostal | Factor 75 | Batavia, Illinois
  • Jeremy Neren | GrocerKey | Madison, Wisconsin
  • Nick Williams Esq. | Keplr Vision | Bloomington, Illinois
  • Gregg Maggioli | Lighthouse Autism Center | South Bend, Indiana
  • Felipe Capella, Ricardo Salgado | Loadsmart, Inc. | Chicago, Illinois
  • Andrew Silver, Matt Vogrich | MoLo Solutions | Chicago, Illinois
  • David Rice | New Home Star | Elmhurst, Illinois
  • Meg Cook | Painters USA Inc. | Glendale Heights, Illinois
  • Alan Petelinsek | Power Test Inc. | Sussex, Wisconsin
  • Melissa Melshenker Ackerman | Produce Alliance | Chicago, Illinois
  • Jett McCandless | Project 44 | Chicago, Illinois
  • Brad Benbow | Prolific | Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Greg Carlin, Neil Bluhm, Richard Schwartz | Rush Street Interactive | Chicago, Illinois
  • Arvind Kapur, Socka Suppiah | Saggezza | Chicago, Illinois
  • Scott Pauga | Second Life Mac | Skokie, Illinois
  • Paul Marushka | Sphera Solutions | Chicago, Illinois
  • Jesse Singh | The AZEK Company | Chicago, Illinois
  • Nosa Ehimwenman | The Bowa Group | Chicago, Illinois
  • Brian Durst | Tribe 9 Foods | Madison, Wisconsin
  • Clive Fields, Paul Martino, Tim Barry | VillageMD | Chicago, Illinois
  • Paul Darley | W.S. Darley & Co. | Itasca, Illinois
  • Phil Kenney | Wilhelm Construction | Indianapolis, Indiana

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: entrepreneurial leadership; talent management; degree of difficulty; financial performance; societal impact and building a values-based company; and originality, innovation and future plans. Since its launch, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries throughout the world.

“This year’s finalists are the next class in a long line of unstoppable visionaries,” said Ram Ramanan, Midwest Program Director, EY. “They have been carefully selected by our independent panel of judges for their unwavering commitment to their companies, customers and communities in a year of unprecedented change. We are thrilled to share their inspiring stories this year.”

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, to be announced in November 2021 at the Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies. 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 2022.

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners have 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.

Midwest Region focus

Each year, EY US showcases successful entrepreneurs from 20 regional competitions across the United States. In 2020, eight entrepreneurs from seven leading Midwest companies were selected as Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners.

For information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Midwest program, please visit this site.


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 Midwest Region, sponsors also include, Cresa Global, Inc., The LaSalle Network, PNC Bank, Becker Professional Education, and 1871.

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. National Overall winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title.

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