EY Names 40 Entrepreneur of the Year Southwest Finalists for 2020

The finalists chosen for the prestigious business award program were named in a special "at-home edition" virtual announcement. EY Partner Morgan Watson and Program Manager Candice Moody will take the EOY reigns from longtime leader Debra von Storch, who had a cameo appearance on the video.

EY has announced the 2020 Southwest Finalists for its Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, one of the most prestigious business award programs in the U.S., that annually honors leaders who are committed to their businesses and communities.

From a pool of more than 80 nominations, 40 finalists were chosen by the Entrepreneur Of The Year Southwest Team and an esteemed panel of judges. The group represents a range of industries and a variety of entrepreneurs who are all dedicated to building and growing successful, dynamic companies.

Victors who win regional awards—to be revealed virtually on Friday, Oct. 2—are eligible for consideration in the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition culminating in November. The national winner will go on to compete in the global program next June.

All finalists will be featured in the October issue of our sister publication, D CEO.

The video announcement was shared on LinkedIn by Morgan Watson, an EY partner who is taking the reigns with Candice Moody (EOY Southwest Program Manager) from its longtime leader, Debra von Storch.

Watson was joined by the program’s platinum sponsors: David Wetherington, executive vice president of Colliers International; Lee Anne Sexton, managing director of Donnelley Financial Solutions; Tom Harris, partner at Haynes and Boone; and Brandon McGuire, North Texas president of PNC Bank. 

“As EY and Entrepreneur of the Year adapt to the ‘new normal’ along with all of you, we are bringing you our Southwest 2020 finalist announcement in our at-home edition,” Watson said in the video. He acknowledged that the group is full of the region’s “best and brightest innovators and disruptors.”

“We along with the independent judges would like to toast all of our unstoppable entrepreneurs for rising up to build a better working world,” Watson said. “We look forward to celebrating with you and everyone else on October 2. Best of luck to all our nominees as they continue to reinvent and innovate—and improve our wonderful community.”

In true von Storch fashion, the longtime EY partner also made a cameo from retirement. 


READ NEXT The End of an Era at EY: Debra von Storch Says ‘Hello’ to Her Next Chapter


“While I wish I could have said goodbye to the fabulous Entrepreneur of the Year ecosystem in person, I’m confident you’ll be in great hands,” she said in the video. “In my next chapter, aka ‘retirement,’ I will continue to support you—our great entrepreneurs. Best wishes for a bright future ahead, and congratulations.”

Meet the 2020 Southwest Regional Finalists

Andrew Schaap, CEO, Aligned

Craig Michael Silverman, CEO, Antuit.ai

Jason Peter McLaughlin, Principal, ARCO/Murray

Beth Garvey, CEO, BG Staffing

Caitlin Wilson, Founder, Caitlin Wilson Design

Christopher Crow, CEO, and Lance Spivey, President, Catalyst Health Networks

Rob Davis, Founder and CEO, Critical Start

Cade Griffis, Founder and CEO, D-BAT Sports

Jason Harvison, CEO, Elevate Credit

John Merris, CEO, Frontline Advance LLC (dba Solo Stove)

Melissa Townsley-Solis, CEO and Co-Founder, and Merlin Bise, CTO and Co-Founder, GIACT Systems

Calvin Crowder, President and CEO, GridLiance

Biju Nair, President and CEO, HYLA Mobile

Gregory Alan Bird, CEO and President, Jetta Operating Co. Inc.

Brad Hunstable, CEO, and Fred Hunstable, CTO, Linear Labs Inc.

Amanda L. Elms, Founder and CEO, Metis Genetics

Robert Noah Curran, Founder and CEO, Monkedia

Sabari Raja, CEO and Co-Founder, Nepris

Bill Baker, CEO, Nextlink Internet

Bryan Perkins, Founder, CEO and President, Novaria Group

Kevin Clark, CEO and President, NOWDiagnostics Inc.

Ray Greer, CEO, Omnitracs

Patrick Halbert, CEO, OTR—On The Rocks Premium Cocktails

John Griggs, CEO and Co-Founder, Presidium

Karen Aldridge, Founder and President, Rebel Athletic

Michael Paladino and Joe Saumweber, Co-founders, RevUnit

Sarah Jane Shadonix, Founder and CEO, Scout & Cellar

Jim Shoppa, Owner, Shoppa’s Material Handling

John Christian Roby, CEO, Teal Natural Resources

Kathy Kipriotis, Co-founder and CEO; Nasiba Hartland Mackie, Co-Founder; Amy Ditchman, Co-Founder and COO, The Tot

Prasad Reddy, CEO, Twisted X

Chandra Pemmasani, Founder and CEO, UWorld

Mike Kinder, Co-Founder and CEO, Veryable Inc.

Matt Gabriel, CEO, XRI Fountain Quail

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