Press release
21 Jun 2024 

EY Announces Winners for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Heartland Award

Press contact

Celebrating the bold leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize industries and transform lives

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) is pleased to announce the winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® Heartland Award. The Heartland program celebrates entrepreneurs from the Dakotas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska. This prestigious award program recognizes the ambitious leaders of high-growth companies who are creating a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for future generations.

The regional winners were chosen by an independent judging panel made up of previous award winners, leading CEOs and other business leaders. Candidates were evaluated based on their success in creating long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to their purpose and the demonstration of growth and substantial impact, among other key indicators.

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 Entrepreneur Of The Year Heartland Award winners are exceptional business leaders fueling innovation within their industries and growth within their companies,” said Dominic Iannazzo, Program Director. "These entrepreneurs are shining examples of how to lead a scaling business and also care for their employees, customers and communities.”

The Entrepreneur Of The Year 2024 Heartland Award winners are:

  • Alex French and Andrew Healy | Bizzy Cold Brew | Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Ron Konezny | Digi International | Hopkins, Minnesota
  • Erin Pash | Ellie Mental Health | Mendota Heights, Minnesota
  • Brad Batz | Fike Corporation | Blue Springs, Missouri
  • Rick Bauerly | Granite Partners | Saint Cloud, Minnesota
  • Beth Wozniak | nVent | St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  • Joseph Dunham | OneroRx | West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Marco Assis | Propio Language Services | Overland Park, Kansas
  • Gayle Packer | Terracon | Olathe, Kansas
  • Jimmy, Conrad, and Lan Sansone | The Normal Brand | Saint Louis, Missouri

Learn more about the winners at

These regional award winners will now move on to be considered for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, set to 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 represent the US as they compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in June 2025. 

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners become lifetime members of a global, multi-industry community of entrepreneurs. They receive exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of program alumni and other ecosystem members in more than 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.

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, Marsh USA, SAP and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Heartland, sponsors also include regional Platinum sponsor, Twin Cities Business; regional Gold sponsor, Padilla; and regional Silver sponsors, Brillect and Robert Half.

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

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 member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit