Press release
27 Apr 2023  | Pittsburgh, PA, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023 East Central Finalists

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Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates ambitious entrepreneurs who are building bolder futures

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023 East Central Award. The East Central program celebrates entrepreneurs from Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Northeast and South-Central Ohio and Kentucky. Now in its 37th year, Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for transformative entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all.

These 28 entrepreneurs were selected as finalists by an independent panel of judges. The candidates were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.

The 2023 East Central finalists are:

Scott Arias | ACE Consulting Company, LLC | Nicholasville, Kentucky

Leigh Fox | altafiber | Cincinnati, Ohio

Jonathan Brooks IV | American Trailer Rental Group | South Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

Jeff Astley | Astley Precision Machine Company | Irwin, Pennsylvania

Teresa Whalen, RPh | CytoAgents, Inc. | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Dan Oliver | Dan-O's Seasoning | Louisville, Kentucky

Ryan Doyle | Doyle HCM Inc. | Gahanna, Ohio

Matt Newton and Mike Mackey | Everest Infrastructure Partners | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tim Miller Ph.D. | Forge Biologics | Grove City, Ohio

Max Shapira | Heaven Hill Brands | Bardstown, Kentucky

Helena Chaye and Steve Thorne | KaliVir Immunotherapeutics, Inc. | Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaChad Mattix | Kinettix, Inc. | Cincinnati, Ohio

Kurt Lesker IV | Kurt J. Lesker Company | Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania

Rick MacDonald | Lynk Packaging Inc. | Aurora, Ohio

Sara Makin M.S.Ed.,NCC,LPC | Makin Wellness | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Angela Phillips | Phillips Tube Group, Inc. | Middletown, Ohio

Charlie Goetz | Powercast Corporation | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Lauren Miladinovich and Chris Miladinovich | ProspHire | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Julia Regan | RxLightning | New Albany, Indiana

Chris Ratterman | Shady Rays | Simpsonville, Kentucky

Justin Tennant and Steve Darocy | Surgical Product Solutions | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Anthony Hughes | Tech Elevator | Cleveland, Ohio

Matt Brandenburg | Prince & Izant Company | Cleveland, Ohio

Dave Kennedy | TrustedSec | Fairlawn, Ohio

“This year’s finalists are ambitious entrepreneurs set on transforming their industries and communities,” said Mike Denove, East Central Program Co-Director and Partner, Ernst & Young LLP. “They have been carefully selected by our independent panel of judges for their unwavering commitment to their companies, customers and communities, and we are thrilled to recognize them.”

Regional award winners will be announced on June 14, 2023 during a special celebration. The winners will then be considered by the National judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual 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 World Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in June 2024.  

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized more than 11,000 entrepreneurs throughout the US since its inception in 1986, and it has grown to recognize business leaders across 145 cities in over 60 countries around the world.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, N.A.; SAP America; and the Kauffman Foundation. In East Central, sponsors also include Valuation Research Corporation, Donnelley Financial Solutions, and Frost Brown Todd LLC.

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 Award winners go on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® title. Visit

About EY Private

As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private professionals possess the experience and passion to support private businesses and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private teams offer distinct insights born from the long EY history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private enterprises including private capital managers and investors and the portfolio businesses they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs. Visit

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