Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 award winners in Upper Midwest Region announced

Snap Fitness

Minneapolis, MN – June 10, 2010 – Ernst & Young LLP is pleased to announce the winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the Upper Midwest Region.  This group of leading entrepreneurs was selected by an independent judging panel made up of regional business, academic and community leaders.  The winners were revealed at a gala event on Thursday, June 10 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“Ernst & Young believes in the power of entrepreneurship,” said William Miller, Partner and Strategic Growth Markets Leader with Ernst & Young’s Minneapolis office. “These Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners are best in class, and we are proud to honor their outstanding success.”

The Upper Midwest program recognizes companies based in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. The Upper Midwest winners for the Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur Of The Year award in 2010 are:

  • Lifetime Achievement – M. A. “Mort” Mortenson, M. A. Mortenson Company (Golden Valley, Minnesota
  • Master – Jack Link, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky (Minong, Wisconsin)
  • Emerging – Joe Keeley, College Nannies & Tutors (Wayzata, Minnesota)
  • Technology – John Romans, BioMedix Vascular Solutions (St. Paul, Minnesota)
  • Retail – Rollie Benjamin, ABRA Auto Body & Glass (Brooklyn Center, Minnesota)
  • Distribution – Jimmy Vosika, (Bloomington, Minnesota)
  • Consumer Services – Peter Taunton, Snap Fitness (Chanhassen, Minnesota)
  • Health Sciences – Jerome Ruzicka, Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
  • Consumer Products – Omar Ansari, Surly Brewing Co. (Brooklyn Center, Minnesota)

In addition to the awards presented, Jay Novak was honored with the distinction of 2010 Supporter of Entrepreneurship. Jay’s 40 year career has championed Minnesota business and its leaders.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year® program honors entrepreneurs regionally in June, leading up to the national awards in November.  Additionally, venture-backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year® award regionally are also eligible for the Venture Capital Award of Excellence on a national level.  The overall national US winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year title in June. 

This year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program celebrates its 24th anniversary.   The program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 135 cities in 50 countries throughout the world.  Awards are given to entrepreneurs who demonstrate extraordinary success in the areas of innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Entrepreneurs are nominated and evaluated by those in each region, including local business, academic and community leaders.

All regional honorees are invited to the national Entrepreneur Of The Year® gala, hosted by Jay Leno, on November 13, 2010 in Palm Springs, California.  The gala is the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.  For more information on the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, please visit

About Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award makes a difference through the unique way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 135 cities in 50 countries.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 144,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

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