45 North Texans Named as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2024 Southwest Award Finalists

In its 38th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year award is the preeminent competitive business award for "audacious leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize industries, and have a transformational impact on lives," EY said. Here's who made the list.

Professional services firm Ernst & Young has announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2024 Southwest Award, including 45 from Dallas-Fort Worth. Only two finalists on the list are from outside of North Texas.

In its 38th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year award is the preeminent competitive business award for “audacious leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize industries, and have a transformational impact on lives,” EY said.

“This year’s finalists are innovating, disrupting, and delivering results for their stakeholders, and the economy at large,” Rex Alexander, partner and Southwest program director at EY, said in a statement. “They’re a powerful representation of the entrepreneurial spirit that has made the region one of the nation’s economic leaders.”

“Selected by an independent panel of judges, these CEOs and founders demonstrate unwavering dedication to their companies, customers and communities,” he added. “We’re honored to recognize their successes and help share their stories.”

Selected by a panel of judges

The 47 Southwest entrepreneurs were selected as finalists by an independent panel of judges. They were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.

EY said the program honors many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage and entrepreneurial spirit.

The firm said that Entrepreneur Of The Year honors original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organization to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year trophy [Image: Ernst & Young]

The 2024 finalists are:

  • Steve Burke, Agora Data, Arlington
    Agora Data is a financial services and data analysis company specializing in automotive lending.

  • Jodi Parker and Tom Parker, All American Tire Recyclers, Fort Worth
    All American Tire Recyclers provides environmentally friendly tire recycling services.

  • Jason Signor, Big Sky Asset Management, LLC, Dallas
    Big Sky Asset Management specializes in real estate and private equity investments.

  • Chintan Shah, Brainvire Infotech Inc, Irving
    Brainvire Infotech offers digital transformation services with expertise in AI, IoT, and cloud solutions.

  • Romy Cheema, CanTex RE, LLC, Dallas
    CanTex RE is a real estate investment firm focusing on property development and management.

  • Sam Scoten, Checksammy, Dallas
    Checksammy provides tech-enabled sustainability solutions focused on waste management and recycling.

  • Srikanth Chakkilam, Cigniti Technologies, Irving
    Cigniti Technologies offers software testing and quality assurance services.

  • Edison Chen, Clapper Media Group Inc., Carrollton
    Clapper Media Group operates a social media platform that emphasizes user interaction and content sharing.

  • John Zutter, Employer Direct Healthcare, Dallas
    Employer Direct Healthcare offers healthcare solutions aiming to improve access to high-quality care for employees.

  • J. Brooks, Glassview, Fort Worth
    Glassview is a media sharing and advertising platform focusing on innovative video solutions.

  • Robin Alex, Shaun Clark, and Varun Vairavan, HighLevel, Dallas
    HighLevel provides a marketing automation platform designed to enhance customer engagement for agencies.

  • Chris Gronkowski, Ice Shaker Inc, Southlake
    Ice Shaker produces stainless steel, insulated bottles that are versatile for everyday use.

  • Eric Fortenberry, JobTread Software, Dallas
    JobTread Software develops end-to-end construction management software helping builders manage their operations.

  • Ken Luce, LDWW, Dallas
    LDWW is a marketing and communications firm offering strategic branding and crisis management services.

  • Cole Gahagan, Learfield, Plano
    Learfield deals with collegiate sports marketing, providing multimedia rights management, sponsorship, and broadcasting services.

  • Pedro Lerma, LERMA/ Advertising, Dallas
    LERMA/ is a creative agency that emphasizes cultural insights to drive brand recognition and consumer loyalty.

  • Flip Howard, Lucid Private Offices, Dallas
    Lucid Private Offices offers flexible, luxury office spaces for professionals and businesses.

  • Dave Marcinkowski, Madera Residential, Lubbock
    Madera Residential focuses on multifamily real estate investment and property management with a technological approach.

  • Dr. Chris Villanueva, MB2 Dental Solutions, Carrollton
    MB2 Dental Solutions provides dental practice management services while focusing on autonomy and personal growth for dentists.

  • Jean Baik and Kenneth Baik, Miss A Stores, Inc., Dallas
    Miss A Stores is a beauty and cosmetics retailer known for its affordable products.

  • Ryan Kent, Mizzen and Main, LLC, Dallas
    Mizzen+Main specializes in performance fabric menswear, combining function and style.

  • Veena Somareddy, Neuro Rehab VR, Fort Worth
    Neuro Rehab VR develops virtual reality software to assist in neurological physical therapy and rehabilitation.

  • Alexander Kunz, OP2 Labs, Fort Worth
    OP2 Labs manufactures nutritional products aimed at improving performance, recovery, and overall health.

  • Thomas John, Plutus Health Inc, Dallas
    Plutus Health provides end-to-end revenue cycle management solutions to healthcare providers.

  • Brandon Schwertner, Priority Power Management LLC, Arlington
    Priority Power Management offers energy management and consulting services to help businesses optimize their energy procurement and usage.

  • Sanjay Jupudi, Qentelli LLC, Dallas
    Qentelli focuses on delivering digital transformation solutions through automation, analytics, and AI.

  • Kendall Koff, Railpros, Inc., Irving
    Railpros provides engineering and field services for the rail and transit industries.

  • Mickey Leech, Schumacher Electric Corporation, Fort Worth
    Schumacher Electric Corporation designs and manufactures battery chargers and automotive accessories.

  • Alfonso Montiel, SilverStone Health, Dallas
    SilverStone Health offers innovative healthcare solutions focusing on elderly care.

  • Mike Beckham, Simple Modern, Moore, Oklahoma
    Simple Modern creates stylish and functional drinkware and lifestyle products aimed at enhancing daily living.

  • Joshua Curlett, Sound Productions LLC, Irving
    Sound Productions specializes in providing professional audio, video, and lighting equipment.

  • Daniel Powell, Spark Biomedical, Dallas
    Spark Biomedical develops wearable medical devices for neurological and pain management therapies.

  • Ashli Blumenfeld and Ben Rosenthal, Standard Meat Company, Fort Worth
    Standard Meat Company supplies high-quality meats and meat processing services.

  • Jaryd Stein and Ben Weinstein, Stride Healthcare Management LLC, Dallas
    Stride Healthcare Management offers healthcare facility management services focusing on efficiency and quality care.

  • Rob Holmes, Texas Capital Bank, Dallas
    Texas Capital Bank provides a wide range of financial services including commercial banking and wealth management.

  • Luke Hejl, TimelyCare, Fort Worth
    TimelyCare provides telehealth services specifically designed for college students.

  • Mark Caputo, U.S. Renal Care, Plano
    U.S. Renal Care operates clinics that provide crucial dialysis services.

  • Karthik Koduru, USMLE Galaxy, LLC (Doing Business as Archer Review), Dallas
    USMLE Galaxy offers comprehensive online review courses and resources for medical licensing exams.

  • Jeff Jones, VIRA Insight, LLC, Lewisville
    VIRA Insight designs and manufactures custom retail displays and fixtures.

  • John Steinmetz, Vista Bank, Dallas
    Vista Bank offers banking services with a focus on community and local business support.

  • Lorie Welch, Woodwright, Dallas
    Woodwright is a company specializing in high-end architectural woodwork and custom flooring solutions.

June 15 regional winners can compete for national and world honors

Regional award winners will be announced on June 15 during a special celebration, EY said. Winners then will be considered by the national independent panel of judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.

In addition to Entrepreneur of The Year, EY U.S. supports other entrepreneurs through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program and the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network to help connect women founders and Black and Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs, respectively, with the resources, network and access needed to unlock their full potential.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young, the Entrepreneur of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, Cresa, SAP, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Southwest program, sponsors also include Platinum sponsors DFIN and Haynes and Boone LLP, Gold sponsors BGSF, Marsh and Roach Howard Smith & Barton, and Silver sponsors Big Picture Inc., Pierpont Communications, and The Slate.

Entrepreneur of The Year began in 1986 and has celebrated more than 11,000 visionaries who are leading successful, dynamic businesses in the U.S. It has since expanded to nearly 80 countries and territories globally.

The US program consists of 17 regional programs whose panels of independent judges select the regional award winners every June. Those winners compete for national recognition at the Strategic Growth Forum in November where National finalists and award winners are announced.

The overall national winner represents the United States at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year competition.

More finalists and winners

Go here to see last year’s finalists and winners.

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