2015 Entrepreneurs Of The Year

This year's winners from the Upper Midwest: Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota

July 31, 2015

Through its Entrepreneur of the Year program, EY recognizes business people who can spot a market opportunity, devise a successful strategy to fill that market need and possess the strong leadership skills to motivate employees to rally around the company’s mission.

In the five-state Upper Midwest region, EY judges selected leaders from six Minnesota companies and three Iowa businesses for the Entrepreneur of the Year awards. EY credits them with “building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses” and holds them up as role models who can inspire others to channel their passions into groundbreaking business enterprises.

Ten leaders from those nine companies are profiled in the following pages of Twin Cities Business.

In addition, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former CEO and chairman of Carlson, was named master entrepreneur. She talks about her business approach in a TCB interview. In announcing the award, EY said that Carlson Nelson was recognized “for her extraordinary entrepreneurial achievements, leadership and vision in the hospitality industry, as well as her commitment to the community.”

The 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year awards were presented June 10 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis. The regional winners are now eligible for consideration for the EY national awards, which will be announced in November.

Archie Black

President and CEO, SPS Commerce

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Jon Carlson

CEO, Braun Intertec

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Jeff Gau

CEO, Marco Inc.

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Atul Gupta

President, Advanced Technologies Group LLC

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Hank Harris

Founder and CEO, Harrisvaccines

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Josh Hochschuler & Steven Gill

Talenti Gelato

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Christopher Klitgaard

CEO, MediRevv

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Cindy Koebele

President, TitleSmart Inc.

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Bill Szlaius

CEO, Logic Information Systems Inc.

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2015 Finalists

Finalists from the 2015 competition

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Marilyn Carlson Nelson

CEO and president, 1998-2008; Board chair, 1998-2013, Carlson

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Regional Judges

Chad Abraham
Global co-head of investment banking and capital markets
Piper Jaffray

Angela Busch
Senior vice president, corporate development
Ecolab

Sima Griffith
Founder and managing principal
Aethlon Capital

Dan Mallin
Co-founder and managing partner
Magnet 360

Killian Rieder
President and CEO
Killian Jewelry

Phil Smith
Managing director
Greene Holcomb Fisher

For more information on the Entrepreneur of the Year program, contact Jim Kowitz in EY’s Minneapolis office: jim.kowitz@ey.com, 612-371-8301. Or visit the program’s website: Ey.com/us/eoy/um

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