CLEVELAND, Nov. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Jodi L. Berg, President and CEO of Vita-Mix Corporation (Vitamix), has been named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 National Family Business Award winner.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, a leading business award for entrepreneurs, encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Berg was recognized for transforming her family's nearly century-old business into a purpose-driven organization. She and her team needed to adjust the company's vision, brand, culture, business model, distribution model, product strategy and organizational structure, without compromising the company's traditions and values. She was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Springs, Calif. The Forum is the nation's premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in 10 additional categories.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and from more than 250 regional award recipients.
"Jodi Berg led Vitamix down a truly innovative transformation — a path that wasn't without risks, one of the true marks of an entrepreneur. She balanced honoring the past while fully engaging in the future, and she stayed true to her family tradition and values. In her case the risk was worth the reward, as her vision proved to be incredibly fruitful for the company," said Mike Kacsmar, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Americas Program Director.
Capitalizing on a rising trend
Berg took note as the world started to recognize the link between health and whole food nutrition. Vitamix, however, wasn't quite ready to tackle this trend head-on. Berg knew changes needed to be made, and she risked four generations of family legacy to transform Vitamix from a product to a brand, beginning with revamping a currently stable business plan. Innovation would be the key to success during this process, and Berg drove purposeful innovation with a focus on business intelligence and market analysis.
Since Berg became President in 2009 and CEO in 2011, Vitamix sales have grown over 400 percent or five times in volume, and the company's international sales have increased more than 270 percent. Current customers include leading retailers like Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table and Costco, as well as quick-serve restaurants and smoothie chains, including Starbucks, McDonald's and Jamba Juice. In the past two years, the Vitamix workforce has nearly tripled, and the company expanded into a new 175,000-square-foot operations facility and a 46,000-square-foot contact center.
Berg has nurtured the culture of Vitamix as an established family business throughout the organization. She considers every member of her team to be family and truly embraces this mentality.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 National Family Business finalists:
In addition to Berg, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Family Business finalists in the US were: Jeff Braverman, CEO of Nuts.com, Inc., based in Cranford, N.J.; J.M. Schapiro, CEO of Continental Realty Corporation, based in Baltimore, MD; and Kristy Taddonio Mullins, President of Mile Hi, based in Denver, Colo.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 National Overall Award winner
Dr. David Hung of Medivation was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 National Overall Award winner.
Video and photos
To view photos of all of the Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, please visit ey.com/us/eoy.
Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The program 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 awards program 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. ey.com/eoy
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