Press release
28 Apr 2023  | Chicago, IL, US

EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023 Midwest 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 Midwest Award. The Midwest program celebrates entrepreneurs from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. 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 35 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 Midwest finalists are:

Julie Ross | Advanced Clinical | Deerfield, IL 

Vaughn Moore | AIT Worldwide Logistics | Itasca, IL

Dennis Devine | Alliant Credit Union | Chicago, IL

Scott Mayer | Ambulatory Management Solutions | Chicago, IL

William Waltz | Atkore | Harvey, IL

Tracy Graham | Aunalytics | South Bend, IN

Gregory Harris | Backhaul Direct | Indianapolis, IN

Ryan O’Donnell | Ballyhoo Hospitality | Chicago, IL

Ryan Close | Bartesian | Chicago, IL

Stephanie Klein | Braviant Holdings | Chicago, IL 

Shelly Sun | BrightStar Care | Gurnee, IL

Jeff Meredith | Chamberlain Group | Oak Brook, IL

Matthew Ebert | Crash Champions | Westmont, IL

David Stern | Experity | Machesney Park, IL

Scott Fitzgerald | FitzMark | Indianapolis, IN

Stephen Hagerty | Hagerty Consulting | Evanston, IL

Frank Ravndal | HAVI | Chicago, IL 

Bob Oros | Hightower Advisors | Chicago, IL

Patrick Trippel | Inventus Power | Woodridge, IL

Brandon Barnholt | KeHE Distributors Holdings, LLC | Naperville, IL

Sean Harper | Kin Insurance | Chicago, IL 

Dr. Jennifer Holmgren | LanzaTech | Skokie, IL

R.J. Melman | Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants | Chicago, IL

Chad Peterman | Peterman Brothers | Greenwood, IN

Austin Rabine | Rabine Group | Schaumburg, IL

Kevin Williamson | RJW Logistics | Romeoville, IL

David Meirick | Roadsafe Traffic Systems | Chicago, IL 

Jeffrey Shapack | Shapack Partners | Chicago, IL

Robert Onorato | Shorr Packaging | Aurora, IL

John Williamson | Songfinch | Chicago, IL

Frank Tortorella | TAFCO Corporation | Melrose Park, IL

Michael Stomberg | The Planet Group | Deerfield, IL

Paul Reitz | Titan International | West Chicago, IL 

Jamie Teets | Transportation One, LLC | Chicago, IL

Stan Chia | Vivid Seats | Chicago, IL

“This year’s finalists are ambitious entrepreneurs set on transforming their industries and communities,” said Ram Ramanan, Program Director, “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 21, 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 the Midwest, sponsors also include regional Platinum sponsors, Cresa Global, Inc., DLA Piper, LaSalle Network, and Marsh-McLennan; regional Gold sponsor, Becker Professional Education; and regional Silver sponsor, ADP.

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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