Press release

EY announces Finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region

Detroit, 26 April 2017

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EY today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Award in the Michigan and Northwest Ohio region. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. These business leaders were selected by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala on June 21 at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

The finalists are:

  • Jan Akervall and Sassa Akervall | Akervall Technologies, Inc. (Saline, MI)
  • David C. Dauch | American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. (Detroit, MI)
  • Adrienne L. Way | Edcor Data Services, LLC ( Troy, MI)
  • Denise Crawford | Family Health Center (Kalamazoo, MI)
  • Jason Wenk | FormulaFolio Investments (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Laura Varon Brown | Gilda's Club Metro Detroit (Detroit, MI)
  • Chris McCuiston and Jenny McCuiston | Goldfish Swim School Franchising, LLC (Troy, MI)
  • Damien Rocchi | Grand Circus Detroit (Detroit, MI)
  • Jeff Grasman | Grand Equipment Company (Hudsonville, MI)
  • Lon Offenbacher | Inteva Products (Troy, MI)
  • Wade Wyant | ITS Partners (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Matthew J. O'Bryan | KLA Laboratories, Incorporated (Dearborn, MI)
  • Brad Oleshansky | M1 Concourse (Pontiac, MI)
  • Brent Parent | Material Handling Services, LLC (Perrysburg, OH)
  • Doug Armstrong | North Star Reach (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Alan Mack | NxGen MDx (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Tom Shea and Bob Powers | OneStream Software (Rochester, MI)
  • Kirk Vercnocke | Phoenix Innovate (Troy, MI)
  • Charles Stocking and Carol Stocking | Principle Business Enterprises, Inc. ( Bowling Green, OH)
  • Steve Peacock | PRO-VISION® Video Systems (Bryon Center, MI)
  • Chris Rizik | Renaissance Venture Capital Fund  (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Barry Spilman and Peter Osten – RPM (Royal Oak, MI)
  • Mike Jennings | Secure-24 (Southfield, MI)
  • Royce Neubauer | Service First Logistics, Inc. (Auburn Hills, MI)
  • Molly MacDonald | The Pink Fund (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
  • Birgit M. Klohs | The Right Place, Inc. (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Phil Brabbs | Torrent Consulting (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Jason Vazzano and Kurt Steckling | Vectorform (Royal Oak, MI)
  • Carla Walker-Miller – Walker-Miller | Energy Services (Detroit, MI)

Now in its 31st year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world. 

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year national program.  Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth ForumTM, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monaco in June 2018.


Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In Michigan and Northwest Ohio sponsors also include Citizens Bank, Colliers International, Foley & Lardner, Oswald Companies, Crain’s Detroit, Tanner Friedman and WJR.

Company Boilerplate

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and the local community. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries.

About EY’s Growth Markets Network

EY’s worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage, venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed. For more information, please visit us at or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member of the global EY organization that provides services to clients in the US.

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