Skip to main content
Opens in a new tab External site


Winners for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 Award in Midwest Region Announced

-- Ernst & Young LLP is pleased to announce today the winners for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award in the Midwest area. This group of exceptional 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 26, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.

We congratulate this years winners on their success, said Randall Tavierne, Strategic Growth Markets Leader for the Midwest area. The Entrepreneur Of The Year award recognizes all of the hard work, ingenuity and care these leaders have put into building and improving their businesses and communities. This group of winners is truly remarkable for all that they have accomplished.

Special recognition was given to Patrick G. Ryan, Chairman of Aon Corporation as the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Presented with the award from Mayor Daley, Ryan was honored for his development of Aon Corporation into the global leader in insurance as well as his philanthropic and civic commitment to the City of Chicago. Dr. Dipak Jain, Dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago was also honored for his efforts in reinventing the Schools mission and encouraging the development of entrepreneurs.

The following category awards were also presented:

Turnaround Award Winner - Dr. Michael A. Evans, AIT Laboratories, Indianapolis, IN
Technology Award Winner Glen Tullman, Allscripts, Chicago, IL
Business Services Award Winner Patrick J. ORahilly, Aspen Marketing Services, West Chicago, IL
Emerging Award Winner Marcus A. Lemonis, FreedomRoads, Lincolnshire, IL
Private Equity/Venture Capital Award Winner Steven E. Zuccarini, InnerWorkings, Inc., Chicago, IL
Commercial Products and Services Award Winner Robert A. Peterson, Norcross Safety Products, L.L.C., Oak Brook, IL
Consumer Products Award Winner - Mike Domek, TicketsNow, Chicago, IL
Master Award Winner Richard Keyser, W.W. Grainger, Inc., Chicago, IL

In addition to the regional awards, recognition was given to three youths who received the Youth Entrepreneur Of The Year Scholarship award. Receiving $1,000 scholarship checks for their efforts in understanding entrepreneurism were Nate Greensphan, a senior from Highland Park High School in Chicago, Claire Helmen, a sixth grader from St. Thomas Aquinas school in Indianapolis, and Rixynes Rodriguez, a senior from West Ottawa High School in Grand Rapids. All three are actively involved in Junior Achievement.

Regional award winners will be eligible for consideration in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 national program. Winners in numerous national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 15, 2008. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nations most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

This year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program celebrates its 22nd 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.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year awards are pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America as national sponsors. In the Midwest, sponsors include Clifton Gunderson, Winston & Strawn, and Smart Business magazine as regional sponsors, and SolomonEdwardsGroup and Grand Valley State University as local sponsors.

About Ernst & Youngs Entrepreneur Of The Year
Ernst & Youngs Entrepreneur Of The Year is the worlds 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 130,000 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 potential.

For more information, please visit

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.

Ernst & Young LLP
Wendy Fox, 612-371-6703


Media Resources

Access international media contacts, the full library of Aon media releases, and a media kit with fact sheet and executive bios, via links below.

Media Contacts
Media Releases
Media Kit
Featured Updates