Ernst & Young announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award winners in Central Midwest

Award recognizes entrepreneurial excellence in nine categories

Jun 20, 2013, 23:00 ET from Ernst & Young LLP

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ernst & Young LLP today announced the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award winners in the Central Midwest. The award recognizes outstanding high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. The finalists and winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and honored at a black-tie gala at the Sheraton, Overland Park on 20 June 2013.

Collectively, these winners grew their company's employment by 11% and their revenues by 18% between 2010 and 2012. They include:

  • Joe Burgess, President and CEO, Aegion Corporation, St. Louis, MO
  • Artur Wagrodzki, President and Tom Tokarczyk, President, Artur Express, St. Louis, MO
  • Mike Riggs, Chairman, Jack Cooper Holdings, Kansas City, MO
  • Jim Schwartz, Chairman and CEO, NPC International Inc., Overland Park, KS
  • Dr. Larry Sanders, President and CEO, Specialty Fertilizer Products, LLC, Leawood, KS
  • Robb Heineman, Owner, President, and CEO, Sporting Club, Kansas City, KS
  • Joseph Suhor III, Suhor Industries, Inc., Chairman and CEO, Overland Park, KS
  • David Gaboury, Terracon, President and CEO, Olathe, KS
  • Dan Reed, CEO, UnitedLex, Overland Park, KS

Now in its 27th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Arthur M. Blank of AMB Group, LLC (The Home Depot, Atlanta Falcons), Pierre Omidyar of eBay Inc., Ruth Fertel of Ruth's Chris Steak House, Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., Tom Adams of Rosetta Stone, Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and 2012 National Overall Award winner Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani Inc.

Central Midwest award winners now go on to compete at the national level. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 16, 2013. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In the Central Midwest, local sponsors include Enterprise Bank & Trust, Lockton Companies, Armstrong Teasdale, Stinson Morrison Hecker, Common Ground and Smart Business.

About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award recognizes the significant contributions of entrepreneurs who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.

About Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets practice

Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. Ernst & Young is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at, or follow news on Twitter at EY_Growth.

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SOURCE Ernst & Young LLP