The program highlights the accomplishments of the entrepreneurs in Utah and gives us an opportunity to tell their story.
Earlier this month EY announced the finalists for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Award in the Utah Region. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the prestigious program which recognizes business leaders in over 145 cities around the world. A panel of independent judges selected 21 finalists from Utah and 7 award winners will be announced at the celebratory gala at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City on June 4, 2016.
“The program highlights the accomplishments of the entrepreneurs in Utah and gives us an opportunity to tell their story,” says program director Shawn Goff. Goff describes the 21 finalists as “really dynamic leaders that have started fantastic companies that are growing fast.” These are leaders that have the ability to inspire other Utah entrepreneurs. “Success breeds success,” Goff says. “When you see another company succeed in this market, I think that gives confidence to other business leaders that are trying to do the same thing.”
The 2016 finalists include entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries such as education, beauty, automotive, healthcare, and technology. But while the companies they run differ greatly, these entrepreneurs share many of the same qualities. They lead socially responsible businesses, believe work should be fun and meaningful, and love doing business in Utah. “We have a very business friendly environment in Utah,” Goff says. “It allows entrepreneurs to maneuver and accomplish their goals and dreams.”
Goff explains that at the end of the program each year he finds himself thinking that next year’s applicants couldn’t possibly match the caliber of the current year’s finalists, yet he’s always surprised. “Every year I’m amazed at the companies we learn about. It really speaks to the strength of the business community and the quality of leadership we have here in Utah.”
The EY Entrepreneur of the Year program gives finalists the opportunity to take a step back and appreciate all that they’ve accomplished. It also provides an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to thank their team. “It brings the team together,” Goff says, and notes that most winners credit their team when accepting their award.
Tickets for the gala, which is the largest business celebration in the state, are available at EY.com. “We would love for the gala to bring the business community together and recognize these entrepreneurs,” Goff says. Regional winners will go on to compete in the national program in Palm Springs in November.
Over the next week we will profile some of the finalists and their tales of entrepreneurship. Visit EY.com for the complete list of finalists.