A software company for lawyers. A website designed to help people make big life decisions. An artisanal bakery. Those are just a few of the companies represented by the winners of the 2016 Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Over 30 finalists convened last Friday during a gala at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where nine entrepreneurs from the Pittsburgh area took home awards for demonstrating success in their respective fields. Now in its 30th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) Award recognizes achievements in the areas of innovation, financial performance and commitment to business and community.
Awards were handed out for categories such as Health Care, Technology Software, and Retail and Consumer Products, as well as one for the emerging business leader of the year.
EOY co-director and EY partner Mike Denove says that while the finalists came from a variety of industries, one sector took up most of the spotlight.
“What stands out to me is the high number of tech companies that are part of this year’s program,” says Denove. “This region is so exciting as it’s nurturing and growing a new generation of technology innovators.”
Leaders from area tech companies Niche, Bellefield Systems, Petrosoft and BloomBoard were among the winners.
Notable figures from the Pittsburgh food and drink scene also won big. Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik of the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, the entity behind multiple trendy Downtown eateries, as well as a future location in Garfield, were acknowledged in the Services category. Also recognized was Nicholas Ambeliotis of Mediterra Bakehouse, the bread company that has been selling crusty loaves and baked goods since 2001.
See the complete list of winner below:
Gabriela Isturiz, President – Bellefield Systems, LLC
Retail and Consumer Products
Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, CEO – AcousticSheep
Dr. Todd Wolynn, CEO and Dr. Albert Wolf, CFO – Kids Plus Pediatrics
Jason Lange, CEO – BloomBoard, Inc.
Technology Data Solutions
Luke Skurman, CEO – Niche.com, Inc.
Sergey Gorlov, CEO – Petrosoft, LLC
Distribution and Manufacturing
Nicholas Ambeliotis, Founder and CEO – Mediterra Bakehouse
Richard DeShantz, Executive Chef and Owner and Tolga Sevdik, GM and Co-Owner – Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group
The ceremony included a special honor for Bill Flanagan, who accepted the Champion of Entrepreneurship Award. Flanagan, who serves as the chief corporate relations officer for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, has emceed the EY awards ceremony for 25 of the past 30 years.
The winners will go on to the Strategic Growth Forum in November to compete for the National Entrepreneur Of The Year award.