EY announces winners for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Southwest Region Award

Exemplary entrepreneurs were honored at program's gala event

Jun 23, 2014, 13:42 ET from EY

DALLAS, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EY is pleased to announce the winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in the Southwest Region.  This group of leading entrepreneurs was selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous winners of the award, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders. The winners were revealed at a special gala on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas. 

"EY has honored outstanding entrepreneurs for the past 28 years," said Debra von Storch, Partner, Strategic Growth Markets Leader, Ernst & Young for the Southwest Region.   "These accomplished entrepreneurs have demonstrated innovation, passion and an unwavering commitment to drive growth in the economy."

Kenneth A. Hersh, co-founder and CEO of NGP Energy Capital Management, a premier investment franchise in the natural resources industry was recognized as the Master Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner.  Mr. Hersh has pioneered ways to fund hundreds of independent operators in the oil and gas industry and seed their own entrepreneurial abilities.  Founded in 1988, NGP and its affiliates have managed approximately $13 billion of cumulative committed capital and made over 260 investments in natural resources companies. A trailblazer in the private equity energy industry, Mr. Hersh was recognized for pioneering the "owner manager" investment model, which is now commonplace throughout the business. The Master Entrepreneur Of The Year award singles out an individual whose achievements over time stand as a role-model for entrepreneurship and involvement in solving the issues of their industries and communities.

Philip J. Romano was honored for his serial entrepreneurship. He is responsible for creating 30+ restaurant concepts, six of which have grown into national chains, including Fuddruckers, Romano's Macaroni Grill and eatZi's.  He has invested millions as a passionate venture capitalist, and serves the community through activities in Lemonade Day and Hunger Busters.  Less well known is that Romano and two doctors commercialized the PALMAZ coronary stent which has global impact on extending lives.  He is also an abstract expressionist artist, having sold over a million dollars of his works.  Currently he is pursuing yet another endeavor, a restaurant "incubator" with the Trinity Groves restaurant and real estate development. The serial award recognizes Mr. Romano's extraordinary creativity in generating entrepreneurial success, over and over again.

In addition to Mr. Hersh and Mr. Romano, the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 Southwest Region Award winners are:

  • Honorable John Carona, Sr., President and CEO, Associa, Dallas, Texas
  • Clane LaCrosse, President and CEO, Bosque Systems, LLC, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Christopher J. Durovich, President and CEO, Children's Health System of Texas, Dallas, Texas
  • John C. Goff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Crescent Real Estate, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Gary Wojtaszek, President and CEO, CyrusOne, Carrollton, Texas
  • Don R. Daseke, President and CEO, Daseke Inc., Addison, Texas
  • Thomas J. Hook, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greatbatch, Inc., Frisco, Texas
  • Sarah Palisi Chapin, CEO and Partner, Hail Merry LLC, Dallas, Texas
  • Susan O'Brien, Founder, Hail Merry LLC, Dallas, Texas
  • Nabil Taleb, Co-Founder, Nexius Solutions, Inc., Allen, Texas
  • Ned Taleb, Co-Founder, Nexius Solutions, Inc., Allen, Texas
  • Kenneth A. Hersh, Chief Executive Officer, NGP Energy Capital Management, Irving, Texas
  • Brian Williams, Co-founder and CEO, OneSource Virtual, Irving, Texas
  • Philip J. Romano, Investor and Entrepreneur, Romano Enterprises, Dallas, Texas
  • Erik Anderson, Executive Chairman, TopGolf International, Dallas, Texas
  • Brian Reinsborough, Founder, President and CEO, Venari Resources LLC, Addison, Texas

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.  Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Program.  Award winners 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, California, on November 15, 2014.

The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.  The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in June 2015


Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards is sponsored in the United States by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America.

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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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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, an EY member firm serving clients in the US.

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