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EY today named the finalists for its 2017 Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards, recognizing entrepreneurs who excel in innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their business and communities.

The finalists, selected by an independent panel of judges, are:

  • Active Interest Media – Andrew Clurman, President & CEO (Boulder)
  • Aleph Objects, Inc. – Jeffrey Moe, CEO (Loveland)
  • Avella Specialty Pharmacy – Rebecca Shanahan, CEO (Phoenix)
  • Bobo’s – Beryl Stafford, Founder & President (Boulder)
  • Choozle – Andrew Fischer, CEO (Denver)
  • Circle Graphics – Andrew Cousin, CEO (Longmont)
  • Digital Air Strike – Alexi Venneri, Co-founder & CEO (Scottsdale)
  • Equality Health – Hugh Lytle, Founder & CEO (Phoenix)
  • ezpz – Lindsey Laurain, Founder (Castle Rock)
  • IMA Financial Group, Inc. – Robert Cohen, Chairman & CEO (Denver)
  • International Cruise & Excursions, Inc. – John Rowley, Co-founder & CEO; and Marcia Rowley, Co-founder and COO (Scottsdale)
  • Madwire – JB Kellogg, Co-Founder & Co-CEO (Fort Collins)
  • Mission Yogurt, Inc. – Rod Tafoya, President (Westminster)
  • PaySimple – Eric Remer, CEO (Denver)
  • Punch Bowl Social – Robert Thompson, Founder & CEO (Denver)
  • RK Mechanical, Inc. – Rick L. Kinning, President, CEO & Chairman (Denver)
  • SendGrid – Sameer Dholakia, CEO (Denver)
  • Sleep Shepherd LLC – Dr. Michael Larson, Founder & President ( CO Springs)
  • Snooze, A.M. Eatery – David Birzon, CEO (Denver)
  • Sovrn – Walter Knapp, CEO (Boulder)
  • Teriyaki Madness – Michael Haith, Chairman & CEO (Denver)
  • Travelers Haven – Elia Wallen, CEO & Founder (Denver)
  • Velocity Global – Ben Wright, CEO (Denver)
  • WebPT – Dr. Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder & President (Phoenix)

Now in its 31st year, the program is part of Ernst & Young LLP’s ongoing efforts to identify and support business leaders who demonstrate extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment.

For example, the 2016 class of EOY winners collectively employed over 482,000 people and demonstrated significant job growth of more than 21 percent. They also generated revenue over $354 billion, exceeding 57 percent growth.

Overall, EOY nationally recognized more than 9,000 executives estimated to have created over 14 million jobs in 2015 alone.

The Mountain Desert Region includes Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

Winners are selected in a number of industry categories by a panel of independent regional judges, including previous winners of the award, leading CEOs and private capital investors and other regional business leaders. Entrepreneurs may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers and other business leaders.

Entrepreneurs eligible for consideration include not only company founders, but also leaders of multi-generation family businesses and transformational public and private company CEOs. Additionally, the nominee’s company must be at least two years old. There is no fee. The deadline is March 10. To nominate a candidate, please visit the secure application site.

For information on the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in the Mountain Desert region visit the webpage or contact Courtney Story at or 720-931-4411.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP Americas, Merrill Corporation, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Mountain Desert region, local sponsors include Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Colliers International, Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. and the Denver Business Journal.

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