2010 Entrepreneurs Of The Year

Meet this year's group of successful entrepreneurs who have discovered and profited from a distinctive opportunity.

by Dan Haugen, Gene Rebeck, and Phil Bolsta

August 1, 2010

The selection of the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas started with hundreds of suggestions, which in turn led to dozens of formal nominations. The panel of judges then conducted site visits and interviews, which narrowed the field to 24 finalists. From this group, the judges made the difficult determination of who the eight winners would be.

The stories of the winners and the other finalists—each a successful entrepreneur who has discovered and profited from a distinctive opportunity—are told on the following pages. In addition, this year’s awards recognize M. A. (Mort) Mortenson, Jr., chairman of Golden Valley–headquartered construction firm M. A. Mortenson Company, for his lifetime of entrepreneurial achievement; and Twin Cities Business Editor and Publisher Jay Novak for his longtime support of entrepreneurship. Their stories are told here as well.

The 2010 Entrepreneurs of the Year were honored June 10 at the Marriott City Center Hotel in Minneapolis. They now are candidates for the national Entrepreneur of the Year awards, which will be announced in November in Palm Springs, California.

For more information on the Entrepreneur of the Year program, contact Wendy Fox in Ernst & Young’s Minneapolis office at wendy.fox@ey.com, or 612-371-6703.

Jay Novak

Supporter of Entrepreneurship, Twin Cities Business Magazine

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Jerome Ruzicka

Health Sciences Category, Starkey Laboratories

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Jimmy Vosika

Distribution Category, ShopJimmy

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Joe Keeley

Emerging Category, College Nannies & Tutors

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John Link

Master Category, Jack Link's Beef Jerky

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John Romans

Technology Category, BioMedix Vascular Solutions

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M. A. "Mort" Mortenson, Jr.

Lifetime Achievement Award, M. A. Mortenson Company

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Omar Ansari

Consumer Products Category, Surly Brewing Company

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Peter Taunton

Consumer Services Category, Snap Fitness

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Rollie Benjamin

Service Category, ABRA Auto Body & Glass

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