EY Gala Award Winners for 2016

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia is one of the few awards ceremonies that local businesses get excited for. The black tie event honors entrepreneurs well into their journey with the sit down dinner diced up with nominations and awards. The ceremony is one of the few grand affairs that remind those attending what they’ve done is not only notable but exemplary.

This is an event that actually deserves a black tie. No, I don’t wear one, get too hot running around taking photos. In doing so, I was able to see the happiness and support that the nominees received from the guests at their tables. Employees, family, and friends, all gathered in support. They used noise makers and swung over sized cutouts of the heads of the nominees in the air.

Regardless of win or lose, EY has designed an event where networking focuses not only on relationship building but rewarding existing relationships. Having gone to a lot of these events, I can tell you that companies buy a table out of sponsorship and often don’t show up. Here – everyone showed up. The experience on stage too was a bonding moment for the winners that denote a milestone for the entrepreneurs to sit back, reflect, and strategize their next move.

TL;DR of all the companies:

2016 EY Champion of Entrepreneurship Award Recipient
Bill Flanagan, Chief Corporate Relations Officer of Allegheny Conference on Community Development – You might have seen him on TV talking with entrepreneurs.

Emerging Entrepreneur Award
Gabriela Isturiz, President of Bellefield Systems, LLC – Time tracking for legal professionals.

Retail and Consumer Products Award
Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, CEO of AcousticSheep – Comfortable headphones for sleeping and jogging.

Health Care Award
Dr. Todd Wolynn, CEO and Dr. Albert Wolf, CFO of Kids Plus Pediatrics – Doctors who treat kids with ease.

Technology Services Award
Jason Lange, CEO of BloomBoard, Inc.– Q&A site with resource sharing for teachers.

Technology Data Solutions Award
Luke Skurman, CEO of Niche.com, Inc. – Data driven rankings of schools and cities.

Technology Software Award
Sergey Gorlov, CEO of Petrosoft, LLC – Point of Sales software for fuel commodities and more.

Distribution and Manufacturing Award
Nicholas Ambeliotis, Founder of Mediterra Bakehouse – Daily bread made with care.

Services Award
Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik of Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group – Restaurants that premier Instagrammers flock to.

Foo is the founder of Jekko. Unlike other publishers, Foo attends thousands of events, interviews personalities from startups to Fortune 500s, and blows stuff up on YouTube.