LISNR® Leadership Named 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year
When something is broken, it takes innovator to find a solution or simply create a whole new approach. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® annual awards recognize that innovative spirit in business leaders, and two of LISNR®’s own were so honored in June – Eric Allen, president and Rodney Williams, founder and CEO.
“Winning Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Connected World Communications category is a tremendous validation,” says Eric Allen. “The need for electronic devices to recognize and communicate with each other has only grown over the years. This recognition of the LISNR® technology which solves that problem is shared by our entire team.”
The 2017 Ohio Valley awards presentation, held in Louisville, KY on June 15, was one of 25 regional events around the country celebrating “those with the ingenuity to invent the future.” LISNR® is now among the finalist for the national awards, which will be presented in November.
The Making of an EY Entrepreneur
EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. As one of one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, EY knows what it takes for a business to succeed. The firm’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® program is one example of its commitment to “building a better working world — with increased trust and confidence in business, sustainable growth, development of talent in all its forms, and greater collaboration.”
Founded in 1986, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® includes regional programs across the U.S. and 140 others around the world. The rigorous evaluation process begins with an application. A panel of regional and independent judges, including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from academia, business and the media, reviews each application. And that panel determines the award categories and recipients based on the quality and quantity of the nominations.
With this award, LISNR® has joined the ranks of more than 9,500 business leaders who have gone on to produce some of the products and services we use every day. Two notable examples are James Park of Fitbit who won the Technology Venture Capital Impact category, and Ben Chestnut of MailChimp who won the Media, Entertainment and Communications category.
In a recent report, EY quantified the very real impact made by the companies of Entrepreneur Of The Year® winners.
- Job creation: Created an estimated 14 million jobs in 2015 alone
- Longevity: 40 percent are still in business 15-20 years later; 22 percent is the U.S. average
- Stable leadership: 45 percent of CEOs remain after 15-20 years; 14 percent is the U.S. average
- Serial entrepreneurs: 46 percent of winners go on to found two or more new companies
That entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the Ohio Valley, and LINSR® is pleased to share the Entrepreneur Of The Year® spotlight with some of our neighbors. Bryant Goulding and Robert Bonder of Rhinegeist Brewery (Cincinnati, OH) were recognized in the Retail and Consumer Products category. Virginia Drosos of Assurex Health, Inc. (Mason, OH) beat out the competition in Specialty Health Care Services. Mark Lanwehr of Car Keys Express (Louisville, KY) came out on top in Manufacturing. And John Waggoner of HMS Global Maritime (New Albany, IN) won in Automotive & Transportation.
Leading what is described as “one of the most disruptive companies in the IoT space and world of mobile connectivity” is a labor of love for Rodney Williams. But he also appreciates what accolades like this one mean for LISNR® as a whole.
“Being named Entrepreneur Of The Year is a stamp of approval,” he says. “We set out to create the industry standard for transmitting data via sound, and we’re doing it. I was thrilled to represent LISNR® at the Ohio Valley Awards and look forward to building on this success.”
LISNR® will represent Ohio in the Entrepreneur Of The Year® competition at this year’s National Gala. The Entrepreneur Of The Year® U.S. National Awards gala is held at the end of the EY Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Beach, FL in November. The by-invitation-only CEO event “brings together more than 2,000 of the nation’s top executives, entrepreneurs, advisors, investors and other business leaders.”