North Texas Startups Honored at EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Southwest Awards

The winners were chosen from a pool of 50 finalists, each based on his or her commitment to business and community.

In the North Texas region, startups and the founders behind them are unstoppable, and Ernst & Young knows it. So, in Dallas on Saturday, EY helped entrepreneurs celebrate a successful year at its annual Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards for the Southwest division.

Among the 50 finalists, 11 winners were chosen. Categories ranged from Technology Innovator to Family Business—encompassing everything in between— and honorees were chosen for their personal commitment to their businesses and communities, EY said.

“There are many successful entrepreneurs in this world, but to build something truly remarkable, you can’t let anything stand in your way,” EY Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director Debra von Storch said in a statement.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award is widely considered one of the most prestigious business award programs in the U.S. Victors who won regional awards are eligible for consideration in the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition, which will be held in Palm Springs, California this November during the Strategic Growth Forum.

“We’re celebrating the unstoppable entrepreneur—those leaders who never give up,” von Storch said.

Winners of Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Southwest Awards

Clark Hunt, Hunt Sports Group
Owner of FC Dallas and Kansas City Chiefs.

Beauty, Health & Wellness
Jamie O’Banion, BeautyBio
Rather than using small concentrations of key ingredients to save on costs, BeautyBio aims to give consumers an effective skincare formula with the right ratios.

Energy Services
Rhett Bennett, Black Mountain
Black Mountain Oil & Gas is an independent oil and gas company based in Fort Worth

Family Business
Thomas Hartland-Mackie, City Electric Supply Co

City Electric Supply Co. is a family-owned electrical wholesale business with over 550 locations across the United States.

Industry Disruptor
Jonathan Gross and Derek Harvey, Fusion Packaging

Launched in 2004, Fusion Packaging designs and manufactures luxury packaging for skincare clients such as L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, and Urban Decay.

Energy Exploration & Production
Jay Still, Guidon Energy
Guidon Energy is an oil and gas company in the Midland Basin.

Technology Innovator
Ben Lamm, Hypergiant Industries

Hypergiant Industries helps major institutions innovate with machine intelligence-driven technology.

Retail & Consumer Products
Michael Wittmeyer, JM Bullion

Established in 2011, JM Bullion is a gold and silver e-commerce business that sells physical gold and silver delivered directly to the buyer.

Pardeep Kohli, Mavenir
Mavenir is a end-to-end, cloud-native network software provider.

Social Technology
Richard Margolin, RoboKind

RoboKind develops robots that can be used as an educational tool for children with autism.

Real Estate, Hospitality & Construction
Michael Browning, Jr., Urban Air Adventure Parks
Urban Air Adventure Parks is a nationwide indoor adventure park with trampolines.

FinTech & Financial Services
Kate Richard, The Warwick Group

Founded in 2010, Warwick is an investment firm that manages alternative asset classes.

Since its founding in 1986, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries throughout the world. Read more about the selection process here.

Technology Innovator recipient Ben Lamm’s acceptance speech was shared on LinkedIn.

“I fundamentally believe that the people who listen to the universe, and the people who are awake, and the people who are willing to take a chance on what the universe has to say—those are the entrepreneurs, the dreamers,” he said at the event.

Some 50 finalists were considered for the awards. Get to know them below, and read their extended features in D CEO Magazine.


Jeff Richards, founder and CEO

Mooala makes organic plant-based milk that isn’t loaded with additives.

Josh Smith, CEO

Solovis is a cloud-based fintech platform for institutional investors that allows for multi-asset class portfolios, reporting, and analytics.

Groove Jones
Dale Carman, Partner, EVP Creative
Dan Ferguson, Partner, EVP Digital
Gary Banks, Partner, Executive Producer
Scott Howell, Partner
Groove Jones is a creative technology company that has created award-winning work in augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence for various brands.

StratiFi Health
Dr. Christopher Crow, co-founder and CEO

Lance Spivey, co-founder and president
Serving approximately 1,500 doctors, StratiFi Health is an integrated healthcare solutions partner that aims to support independent physicians and their business needs.

o9 Solutions
Chakri Gottemukkala, co-founder and CEO

o9 Solutions is an AI platform that serves businesses through integrated planning and operations management.

MD America Energy
Eric Waller, CEO

MD America Energy is an oil and gas development company that is on track to hit a revenue of $105 million this year.

CAF Cos.
Chris Faulkner, CEO

Trent Wood, president
CAF Cos. focuses on real estate investment with three separate entities dedicated to management, capital, and multifamily opportunities.

Jason L. Signore, partner and CEO
Caddis is a real estate development, management, and investment firm that focuses on healthcare real estate.

Naturally Slim
Marcia Upson, founder
Naturally Slim is a digital counseling program that helps people change their eating habits, with an average 10.6 pounds lost per participant.

Biju Nair, president and CEO

HYLA Mobile incentivizes users to trade-in their cell phones and allows carriers and retailers to reduce subscriber churn, increase retail traffic, and drive higher sales.

Brenda Stoner, founder and CEO

PICKUP provides instant pickup and delivery of furniture through an app that allows users to choose when and where they’d like their things delivered.

Solo Stove
Jeff Jan, founder and CEO

Spencer Jan, founder and CEO
Solo Stove sells portable, wood-burning stoves, and fire pits designed for campers.

Callbox Storage
Dan Slaven,founder
Kyle Bainter, co-founder and CEO
Callbox Storage is disrupting the self-storage industry by providing clients a convenient, app- based way to store and retrieve their personal belongs.

Mike Williams, CEO and founder
Excel-health develops electrotherapy devices for pain relief and generated $6.9 million in revenue last year.

Gameday Couture
Shawnna Latham-Feddersen, CEO

Gameday Couture creates game-day apparel options for women. It has experienced revenue growth of over 155 percent in just three years.

Linear Labs Inc.
Brad Hunstable, founder and CEO 

Linear Labs develops technology for electric motors, electric generators, and linear and rotary actuators.

PCORE Exploration & Production
Mark Hiduke, CEO

Founded in 2014, PCORE Exploration & Production offers oil and gas exploration and production services.

Community Beer Co.
Kevin Carr, founder, president, and CEO

Founded in 2013, Community Beer Co. is a craft brewery that ranks among the 10 largest in Texas.

Newline Interactive
Chris Bradford, president

Kevin Wang, CEO
Founded in 2012, Newline Interactive creates user-friendly touch displays and expects to hit $55 million in sales this year.

Cardinal Midstream
Doug Dormer Jr., CEO
Dallas-based Cardinal Midstream focuses on crude oil gathering, compression, processing, treating and condensate stabilization and vapor recovery. 

Asset Panda
Rex Kurzius, CEO
Frisco’s ASset Panda provides mobile and cloud platform solutions to track and manage millions of assets.

Curtis Hite, CEO

This IT services firm offers training, consulting, recruiting, and project services.

Skip Howard, CEO
Spacee augments reality to revolutionize the future of the retail industry. Look inside its innovative Addison headquarters.

Paradigm Midstream
Troy Andrews, CEO
Paradigm Midstream gathers and transports Crude Oil, Natural Gas and Gas Liquids in the Bakken and Eagle Ford Shales.

Baseline Energy Services
Graham Radler, president
Baseline Energy Services provides efficient, cost-effective gas, propane, and diesel power solutions.

Bubbl Investments
Paul Adams, founder and CEO
Bubbl is a ride service that operates on a preschedule service model.

Gary Laben, CEO
Dynata is an online sampling and digital data collection company specializing in market research insights.

King Operating Corporation
Jay Young, president
King Operating Corporation is a Dallas-based Texas oil and gas operator.

Michael Pusateri, CEO
Siepe provides financial data management and IT solutions for asset managers in today’s investing landscape.

Z Constructors Nationwide
Seth Williams, CEO
Richardson-based Z Constructors Nationwide provides full-service commercial preconstruction, construction management, design-build and general construction solutions.

Quincy Preston contributed to this report.

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