Press release

13 Nov 2021

Sheila Mikhail of AskBio Named Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 National Overall Award Winner as EY Celebrates Program’s 35th Anniversary

EY recognizes Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 National Award Winners

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EY Americas

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Related topics Entrepreneur Unstoppables

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Sheila Mikhail, Founder and CEO of AskBio has been named the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 National Overall Award winner. For 35 years, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized and celebrated the unstoppable and audacious entrepreneurial leaders who are transforming our world.

Sheila was selected by an independent panel of judges from 222 Entrepreneur Of The Year regional winners from 185 companies across the US. As the Founder and CEO of AskBio, Sheila transformed the company from an IP holding company to an operating company. She is responsible for increasing the employee base from 3 to more than 350 employees operating globally and has significantly increased the company’s revenues.  

“As a leader who has advanced genetic technology and AAV gene therapy to save lives around the world, Sheila exemplifies many of our Entrepreneur Of The Year values,” said Andrew (AJ) Jordan, EY Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year® Director. “Sheila has proven herself to be a savvy entrepreneur and her creativity, grit and agility has led AskBio on an incredible journey. Her dedication to advancing diversity and inclusion, both within her business and respective industry, along with her unwavering commitment to advancing life-saving cures across the globe, makes Sheila an outstanding addition to our Entrepreneur Of The Year community.” 

AskBio is a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company engaged in AAV gene therapy research and the development of drugs for rare genetic childhood and adult-onset diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, Pompe disease, heart failure and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. AskBio is a pioneer of adeno-associated virus (AAV) technology, which can be used as a delivery system for therapeutic genetic material into living tissues, curing disease. Bayer purchased the company in December 2020.

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the program, EY US commissioned its Impact Study, which provides an analysis and survey of past program winners and in-depth interviews. Findings highlight the impact that the Entrepreneur Of The Year community has had on the broader business community, including:

  • On average, the companies of program winners have a growth rate that’s approximately 50% faster and create jobs at nearly four times faster than the US economy.
  • On average, Entrepreneur Of The Year organizations go public approximately 100 times more than new US private organizations and have outperformed the US stock market in 26 of 29 years.
  • More than 70% of all winning companies self-reported outperforming their peers in 2020 and attribute this performance to decision-making speed and organizational flexibility.
  • Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners are driven to succeed and aspire to a higher purpose of leaving the world a better place than they found it.

In addition to Sheila Mikhail, EY US recognized 11 additional Entrepreneur Of The Year National Award winners from 9 companies in 2021, including:

  • Jesse Singh, CEO, The AZEK Company, Chicago, Illinois
  • John Keppler, CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder, Enviva Partners, LP, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Dastagir Nobel, Founder and CEO and Nipa Nobel, Co-Founder and CMO, MTX Group, Frisco, Texas
  • Abhi Ramesh, Founder & CEO, Misfits Market, Delanco, New Jersey
  • Marc Gorlin, Founder and CEO, Roadie, Suwanee, Georgia
  • Jared Isaacman, CEO, Shift4 Payments, Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Cherie Kloss, Founder and CEO, SnapNurse, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dr. Jason Wersland, Co-Founder and Benjamin Nazarian, Co-Founder/CEO, Therabody, Los Angeles, California
  • Mat Ishbia, Chairman and CEO, United Wholesale Mortgage, Pontiac, Michigan

The candidates were evaluated based on their entrepreneurial leadership, talent management, financial performance, societal impact, degree of difficulty in navigating and overcoming obstacles to make their companies successful, and originality, among other core contributions and attributes.

“In an unprecedented era for business, all of our national winners showed an exceptional level of resilience, agility and innovation,” said AJ Jordan. “Our national winners demonstrate the true spirit of entrepreneurial leadership, pivoting as necessary to keep their commitment to society at the forefront, while also continuing to build companies rooted in uplifting their people and community stakeholders.”

The winners were announced during a celebration held at the Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies. These entrepreneurs will go on to become lifetime members of the esteemed multi-industry community of award winners, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in more than 60 countries — all supported by a wide variety of unique EY resources.


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

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 title.

About EY Private

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