EY Announces Winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 Southwest Award

One of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies, this year's EY Entrepreneur of the Year Southwest Award has 14 winners. Twelve of them are from Dallas-Fort Worth, including a logistics leader, a datacenter innovator, a top restaurateur, and more.

Ernst & Young has announced the winners of its Entrepreneur Of The Year Southwest Award for 2023—and 12 of the 14 winners are from Dallas-Fort Worth. The winners were unveiled during a celebration event on Saturday.

One of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year’s Southwest program celebrates entrepreneurs across North Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Wichita, Kansas.

“Every year, we’re completely blown away by the accomplishments of our Entrepreneur Of The Year Regional Award winners, and 2023 is no different,” AJ Jordan, EY Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year Program director, said in a statement.

“They are change-makers and champions of business and community, and we are so proud to be honoring them,” he added. “We can’t wait to see how these leaders will continue to improve lives and disrupt industries.”

Winners were selected from 46 Southwest finalists

This year’s 14 Southwest winners were selected from among the 46 finalists who were announced in April. You can see all the North Texas finalists in Dallas Innovates’ April story here.

Meet the Winners

The winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 Southwest Award include Carter Malloy of AcreTrader in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Lauren Brooks of Bakery Bling, in Oklahoma City. But 12 of the 14 winners are from North Texas, and they are:

Darron Eschle

Chairman, CEO, and Owner
Andrews Logistics Texas LP
Southlake-based Andrews Logistics is a top-five U.S. family-owned and operated asset-based bulk liquid transportation and logistics company.

Tanya Biggers, Big Star Transit, LLCTanya Biggers

Co-Founder, Managing Member, and CEO
Big Star Transit
Dallas-based Big Star Transit is a non-emergency medical transportation company that provides specialized passenger transportation services.

Ahmed Qureshi and Nate Henderson

Grapevine-based BILT Incorporated is an interactive 3D instruction app that provides step-by-step instructions for assembling products.

Chris Crosby

Founder and CEO
Compass Datacenters
Dallas-based Compass Datacenters provides custom, move-in ready data centers from the edge to core.

Elyse Dickerson

Co-founder and CEO

Fort Worth-based Eosera is a biotech company that develops ear care products.

Jack Gibbons

FB Society
Dallas-based FB Society is a boutique, independent hospitality group that creates imaginative restaurant concepts and operates brands. 

Sheldon Arora, LiquidAgents HealthcareSheldon Arora

LiquidAgents Healthcare
Plano-based LiquidAgents Healthcare is a healthcare staffing agency that provides staffing solutions for healthcare facilities across the United States.

Chris Bradford (left) and Kevin Wang of Newline InteractiveChris Bradford and Kevin Wang

Newline Interactive

Allen-based Newline Interactive is an interactive display technology company that provides interactive displays for businesses and educational institutions.

Tom Brennan, Sol-Ark [Photo: Sol-Ark]Tom Brennan

Co-founder, CEO, and CTO
Plano-based Sol-Ark is a solar and energy storage technology firm.

Bryan Redmond

Co-founder and CEO
Suntex Marinas
Dallas-based Suntex Marinas owns and operates marinas in Texas and across the U.S.

Acknowledging the Power of Teamwork: Entrepreneurs credit collective efforts

These entrepreneurs understand the power of collaboration and the pivotal role played by their teams in driving their businesses forward. This year’s winners attribute their success to the collective efforts of their dedicated teams.

Compass Datacenters’ Chris Crosby expressed his appreciation to the “incredible team that I work with every day.” He emphasized how the team’s collaborative spirit and adherence to core values has enabled Compass to set higher standards for sustainability, water conservation, and more. “Together, we have built the most innovative company in the data center industry,” he said. “Our corporate cultural convictions of humility, accountability, curiosity, and continuous improvement are helping us transform the way that mission-critical infrastructure is built

For Tom Brennan of Sol-Ark, the award is a humbling experience. He acknowledged his business partner and COO, Bhawna Oberoi, as well as the entire Sol-Ark team, for their work in transforming energy storage solutions to bring energy independence to families and businesses.

Nate Henderson and Ahmed Qureshi, leaders at BILT, are proud to “stand shoulder to shoulder with entrepreneurs who are creating jobs, innovating solutions, and building the economy,” said Henderson. The chairman & CEO thanked the entire BILT team for “empowering user experiences every day.” Qureshi, president and COO, echoed the sentiment, and thanked the business leaders, sponsors, and judges who “foster a community of support and cooperation.”
The innovators were also recognized in Dallas Innovates’ Future 50 feature in January 2023.

Benefits for winners, who’ll now move on to the national competition

This year’s regional winners were selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous award winners, leading CEOs, investors, and other regional business leaders, EY said.

EY said that the candidates were evaluated on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth, and impact, among other key contributions and attributes.

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners become lifetime members of a global, multi-industry community of entrepreneurs, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight, and wisdom of program alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries—all supported by vast EY resources, Ernst & Young said.

Since 1986, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized more than 11,000 US executives.

Next, the regional winners will be considered by the National 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.

EY said that the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in June 2024.

D CEO published profiles of all 46 finalists 

D CEO profiled all 46 of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Southwest Award finalists in a wide-ranging article published Monday. You can read it by going here.

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