Press release

EY announces Finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Southwest Region

Dallas, 3 May 2017

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EY today announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Award in the Southwest 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 Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.

The finalists are:

  • Joseph DePinto, President and CEO, 7-Eleven, Inc.
  • Blake Walker, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Arcis Golf
  • Lewis L. Bird III, CEO, At Home
  • Chris Drake, Founder and CEO, Armor
  • Bruce Schultz, CEO, Boardroom Salon for Men
  • Gagan Sharma, President and CEO, BSI Financial Services
  • John Avila, Chairman of the Board, Byrne Construction
  • Bobby Sharp, Chief Marketing Officer, Coinsource
  • David Clark, Founder and CEO, Coinsource
  • Stephen King, CEO, Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc.
  • Dr. Sulman Ahmed, Founder and CEO, DECA Dental
  • Stephanie Alsbrooks, CEO and Founder, defi SOLUTIONS
  • Joshua Robertson, CEO, E-Mist Innovations, Inc.
  • Debbie Frazier, CEO, etc Group
  • Larry Johnson, CEO, Fogo de Chão
  • Bryan DeLuca, Co-Founder and CEO, Foot Cardigan
  • Craig Hall, Chairman, HALL Group
  • Kathryn Hall, Co-Proprietor, Vintner, HALL Group
  • James Rosengren, MHA, FACHE, Chairman of the Board and Executive Chairman, Heritage Health Solutions, Inc.
  • Corey Egan, Founder and CEO, ilumi
  • Dallas Tanner, Founder, EVP and CIO, Invitation Homes
  • John Bartling, President and CEO, Invitation Homes
  • Warren Ivie, CEO, Ivie & Associates, Inc.
  • Greg Brown, President and CEO, Learfield Communications, LLC
  • Nathan Sheets, President and Chief Steward, Nature Nate’s
  • Chris Bradford, President, Newline Interactive
  • Kevin Wang, CEO, Newline Interactive
  • Gregory Moran, CEO and President, OutMatch
  • Kent McKeaigg, Founder and CEO, OrderMyGear LLC
  • George Baker, Sr., Founder and CEO, ParkHub
  • Stephen Jones, Founder and CEO, Pegasus Technology Solutions
  • Suzy Bátiz, Founder and CEO, Poo~Pourri
  • Andrew T. Riess II, President and CEO, Popular Ink, LLC
  • Darnell Jones, President, POWERHANDZ Inc.
  • Nicholas Kennedy, Founder and CEO, RISE Air
  • Robert Michelson, CEO, RMG Networks, Inc.
  • Quincy Roberts, CEO, Roberts Trucking, Inc.
  • Sachin Nayyar, CEO, Securonix
  • Sam Darwish, CEO, Skinny IT
  • Barclay Berdan, CEO, Texas Health Resources
  • William Shaddock, President and CEO, The Bill Shaddock Companies
  • Aaron Graft, Founder, Vice Chairman and CEO, Triumph Bancorp, Inc.
  • Frank Gonzalez, CEO, TSP
  • Rick Skaggs, President of Emerging Business, Mergers and Acquisitions, TSP
  • Dan Flaherty, Founder, VARIDESK
  • Jason McCann, CEO, VARIDESK
  • Alexander Danza, President and CEO, Vonlane

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 the Southwest region, sponsors also include Colliers International, Haynes and Boone LLP, RHSB, M&M Special Events, Smith Frank & Partners, D CEO Magazine and SocialStrategy1.

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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