EY Announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Southwest Award Finalists

17 Apr 2024

Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates ambitious entrepreneurs who are shaping the future

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Southwest Award. Now in its 38th year, Entrepreneur Of The Year is the preeminent competitive business award for audacious leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize industries and have a transformational impact on lives. Over the past four decades, the program has recognized the daring entrepreneurs with big ideas and bold actions that reshape our world.

These 47 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.

“This year’s finalists are innovating, disrupting and delivering results for their stakeholders, and the economy at large. They are a powerful representation of the entrepreneurial spirit that has made the region one of the nation's economic leaders.,” said Rex Alexander, partner and Southwest program director at EY. “Selected by an independent panel of judges, these CEOs and founders demonstrate unwavering dedication to their companies, customers and communities. We are honored to recognize their successes and help share their stories.”

Entrepreneur Of The Year honors many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage and entrepreneurial spirit. The program celebrates original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organization to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

The 2024 Southwest finalists are:

Steve Burke | Agora Data | Arlington, Texas

Jodi Parker and Tom Parker | All American Tire Recyclers | Fort Worth, Texas

Jason Signor | Big Sky Asset Management, LLC | Dallas, Texas

Chintan Shah | Brainvire Infotech Inc | Irving, Texas

Romy Cheema | CanTex Capital | Dallas, Texas

Sam Scoten | Checksammy | Dallas, Texas

Srikanth Chakkilam | Cigniti Technologies | Irving, Texas

Edison Chen | Clapper Media Group Inc. | Carrollton, Texas

John Zutter | Employer Direct Healthcare | Dallas, Texas

J. Brooks | Glassview | Fort Worth, Texas

Robin Alex, Shaun Clark and Varun Vairavan | HighLevel | Dallas, Texas

Chris Gronkowski | Ice Shaker Inc | Southlake, Texas

Eric Fortenberry | JobTread Software | Dallas, Texas

Ken Luce | LDWW | Dallas, Texas

Cole Gahagan | Learfield | Plano, Texas

Pedro Lerma | LERMA/ Advertising | Dallas, Texas

Flip Howard | Lucid Private Offices | Dallas, Texas

Dave Marcinkowski | Madera Residential | Lubbock, Texas

Dr. Chris Villanueva | MB2 Dental Solutions | Carrollton, Texas

Jean Baik and Kenneth Baik | Miss A Stores, Inc. | Dallas, Texas

Ryan Kent | Mizzen and Main, LLC | Dallas, Texas

Veena Somareddy | Neuro Rehab VR | Fort Worth, Texas

Alexander Kunz | OP2 Labs | Fort Worth, Texas

Thomas John | Plutus Health Inc | Dallas, Texas

Brandon Schwertner | Priority Power Management LLC | Arlington, Texas

Sanjay Jupudi | Qentelli LLC | Dallas, Texas

Kendall Koff | Railpros, Inc. | Irving, Texas

Mickey Leech | Schumacher Electric Corporation | Fort Worth, Texas

Alfonso Montiel | SilverStone Health | Dallas, Texas

Mike Beckham | Simple Modern | Moore, Oklahoma

Joshua Curlett | Sound Productions LLC | Irving, Texas

Daniel Powell | Spark Biomedical | Dallas, Texas

Ashli Blumenfeld and Ben Rosenthal | Standard Meat Company | Fort Worth, Texas

Jaryd Stein and Ben Weinstein | Stride Healthcare Management LLC | Dallas, Texas

Rob Holmes | Texas Capital Bank | Dallas, Texas

Luke Hejl | TimelyCare | Fort Worth, Texas

Mark Caputo | U.S. Renal Care | Plano, Texas

Karthik Koduru | USMLE Galaxy, LLC (Doing Business as Archer Review) | Dallas, Texas

Jeff Jones | VIRA Insight, LLC | Lewisville, Texas

John Steinmetz | Vista Bank | Dallas, Texas

Lorie Welch | Woodwright | Dallas, Texas

Learn more about the finalists at ey.com/us/eoysouthwest.

Regional award winners will be announced on June 15 during a special celebration. The winners will then be considered by the National independent panel of 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.

In addition to Entrepreneur Of The Year, EY US supports other entrepreneurs through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program and the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network to help connect women founders and Black and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs, respectively, with the resources, network and access needed to unlock their full potential.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, Cresa, SAP and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Southwest program, sponsors also include Platinum sponsors DFIN and Haynes and Boone LLP, Gold sponsors BGSF, Marsh and Roach Howard Smith & Barton and Silver sponsors Big Picture Inc., Pierpont Communications and The Slate.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Founded in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year® has celebrated more than 11,000 ambitious visionaries who are leading successful, dynamic businesses in the US, and it has since expanded to nearly 80 countries and territories globally.

The US program consists of 17 regional programs whose panels of independent judges select the regional award winners every June. Those winners compete for national recognition at the Strategic Growth Forum® in November where National finalists and award winners are announced. The overall National winner represents the US at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® competition. Visit ey.com/us/eoy.

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping to create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.