CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EY announced at a black-tie gala on June 26 the award recipients of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 Award for the Southeast, which includes Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The prestigious award program recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
The award recipients in their respective categories are:
Mort O' Sullivan, Founder and CEO, ARCA, Mebane, NC
With the world's largest selection of cash handling devices, ARCA has come a long way from being a one-man operation in Mort O'Sullivan's small New York apartment. When the recession struck, Mort completely redesigned its sales process — reflecting his commitment to continuous improvement. Its technology, used in bank branches, retail stores and self-service kiosks, is now used in more than 50 countries, and between 2012 and 2013, the company's sales nearly doubled, driven by a commitment to staying lean and a dedicated sales team.
Health Care and Life Sciences
Michael V. Mullen, President and CEO, Atherotech Diagnostics Lab, Birmingham, AL
With a background as a lab technician and an accountant, Mike Mullen was well-suited to grow Atherotech, a cardio-diagnostic company that aims to improve health outcomes by providing more comprehensive test results, spurring better patient behaviors. Its leading product, the VAP®+ Lipid Panel, is a cholesterol assessment that shows direct links to causes of heart disease, and 1.2 million were administered last year alone. The company is now developing a new blood-testing product with physicians and scientists to show more direct links to factors that could cause certain cancers.
Claire Whitfield Tucker, President and CEO, CapStar Bank, Nashville, TN
On weekends, Claire Tucker inspected properties with her banker dad, an education that began her ascent to the top of the Tennessee banking industry. She's also a leader in nonprofits thanks to her problem-solving skills. By building customer relationships and tailoring solutions and products to clients, CapStar Bank experienced greater growth than any other bank in Tennessee by the end of 2011. Since then, the diversified community bank has merged, doubled its sales and quadrupled its EBITDA — not bad for a company founded in the depths of the financial crisis.
Distribution and Manufacturing
R. Michael Johnson, President and CEO, Cox Industries, Orangeburg, SC
For decades, Cox Industries has manufactured and distributed treated outdoor wood products used in decks and much more, becoming a leader in the industry. Through Mike Johnson's hard work and astute knowledge of the industry, the family-owned business has continued to thrive amid stiff competition from big-box home improvement chains. He led the push to branch out from residential building and into the marine, industrial and utility markets and taken the lead in sustainability issues. Through it all, gross revenue has now hit an all-time high.
Media and Communications
Lew Dickey, Chairman and CEO, Cumulus Media, Inc., Atlanta, GA
The recent economic crisis was particularly unkind to advertising-dependent media companies. When Cumulus Media needed flexibility, Lew Dickey contacted all the lenders in his bank group to forge an alternative to the initial offer and overcome the odds. Today, Cumulus Media is nation's the fastest-growing radio company and the second-largest operator of radio stations, its growth fueled by aggressive acquisitions, including Westwood One in 2013. The company is also innovating to maximize the value of audio, such as through a digital music app that works in more than 50 countries.
Food and Beverage
Karl A. Schledwitz, Chairman and CEO, Monogram Foods, Memphis, TN
Named as Memphis Business Quarterly's CEO of the Year in 2012, Karl Schledwitz has founded three companies that have appeared on the Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest-Growing Companies. For Monogram, other companies' "problems" are its opportunities. With strong existing relationships and a dedicated sales force, the company acquires underutilized packaged-meat brands and manufacturing facilities, deftly adding them to their infrastructure to capitalize on their full potential. In 2013 alone, the company realized 21 percent revenue growth, and it has generated significant job growth at its acquired production facilities.
Hospitality and Retail
Steven B. Tanger, President and CEO, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc., Greensboro, NC
Steve Tanger was the fourth employee of the company that bears his name. Tanger, the first factory outlet REIT to go public, has 44 outlet centers in 26 states and Canada, including tenants such as Nike, Banana Republic and more. Over three decades, Steve has been diligent in developing new properties and expanding its international footprint. More than 185 million shoppers are drawn to these centers each year, with the company maintaining at least 95 percent occupancy at its properties for the past two decades.
Lynn Massingale, MD Executive Chairman, TeamHealth, Knoxville, TN
As the first person in his family to attend college, Lynn Massingale, the founder of TeamHealth, completed undergraduate and medical school in six years, showing his drive to succeed and make a difference. With more than 9,000 clinicians who see more than 12 million patients each year, TeamHealth is now a leading provider of hospital-based clinical outsourcing. At the start, Lynn even worked in each of TeamHealth's emergency departments. Part of its patient-centric model includes investing in IT to hone its processes, utilizing big data.
"For 28 years EY has recognized the remarkable efforts of business leaders and the dedication to the communities they serve," said Connie Austin, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Southeast program partner. "This group of award recipients truly demonstrates the passion, dedication and vision it takes to achieve remarkable success, and we are excited to honor them and share in the celebrations."
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Program honors entrepreneurs regionally in June, leading up to the national awards in November. Regional award recipients are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Program. Award recipients in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif. on November 15, 2014. The awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum, the national's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Additionally, venture-backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year Award regionally are also eligible for the Venture Capital Award of Excellence at the national level.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year National overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. Now in its 28th year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries throughout the world.
The 2014 award recipients were selected by a panel of independent judges made up of previous award recipients, leading CEOs and other regional business leaders. The members of that panel are:
Becky Blalock, Managing Partner, Advisory Capital, Atlanta, Ga
Bill Boyd, Chairman, Agility Recovery, Charlotte, NC
Mike Cote, Vice President and General Manager, Dell SecureWorks, Atlanta, Ga
Amy Medendorp, Corporate Executive, Community Leader, Board member, Atlanta, Ga
Karen Robinson, EVP of Business Development, NanoLumens, Atlanta, Ga
Joe Scarlett, Retired Chairman and CEO of Tractor Supply Company, Founder of the Scarlett Leadership Institute, Nashville, TN
Richard Staub, President, Novella Clinical, Durham, NC
Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
In the Southeast, regional sponsors include King & Spalding, Merrill Communications LLC, PNC and Vaco.
About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award 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 award 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 more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.
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