2021 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Meet the Minnesota winners and finalists from EY's Heartland Division.
2021 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

EY is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its Entrepreneur Of The Year program, which recognizes CEOs and regional business leaders for their outstanding entrepreneurial accomplishments and major contributions to their communities.

2021 Entrepreneur of the YearEight business innovators from seven Minnesota companies received the Entrepreneur Of The Year Heartland Award during a second-ever virtual awards program on July 27. Seven states in the nation’s midsection make up EY’s Heartland region. 

Executives from 19 other Minnesota companies were finalists for the award.

Twin Cities Business profiles these accomplished business leaders in this issue, including an up-close look at the Minnesota winners, who were interviewed by TCB’s Gene Rebeck and Burl Gilyard.

Nominees were evaluated on the following six criteria: entrepreneurial leadership; talent management; degree of difficulty; financial performance; societal impact and building a values-based company; and originality, innovation, and future plans.

Minnesota’s Heartland winners are eligible to compete for national Entrepreneur Of The Year awards, which will be announced in November.

EY’s 2021 Heartland Judges

Individuals who compete for EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year awards are evaluated by an independent panel of judges.

In 2021, the eight-member panel of judges for the Heartland Region consisted of past Entrepreneur Of The Year award recipients and civic and community leaders.


Brian Allingham
Norwest Equity Partners

Robert Dunn 

Thompson Street Capital Partners

John Howe

Manna Pro Products LLC

Joe Keeley

College Nannies, Sitters & Tutors

Cindy Koebele
TitleSmart Inc.

Read more from this issue

Kari Rihm
Rihm Family Companies

Thomas Roos
UnitedHealth Group

Atif Siddiqi