Michigan Business Leaders Receive Entrepreneur of the Year Award

2025

Twelve Michigan-based business leaders have been awarded the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award.

EY, a global tax, transaction, and advisory firm, presented the awards on June 23 at a black-tie awards gala at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  

“This year’s winners have not only taken their companies to the top, but they have also acted as mentors to their employees and made impressive contributions to their communities,” says Angie Kelly, assurance partner and EY Entrepreneur of the Year program director for Michigan and Northwest Ohio.

An independent judging panel made up of previous winners, CEOs, and regional business leaders selected the winners of this year’s award.

Michigan-based winners for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award include:

  • Dale Watchowski, CEO of American House Senior Living Communities  (Bloomfield Hills)
  • Mark A. Jones, president and co-founder, and David N. Gahm, CEO and co-founder, of AmeriFirst Home Mortgage (Kalamazoo)
  • John Lowery, president of Applied Imaging (Grand Rapids)
  • Dr. Shri Thanedar, CEO and owner of Avomeen Analytical Services (Ann Arbor)
  • Cory Steeby, president, and Pat LeBlanc, chairman, of EBW Electronics (Holland)
  • Dan Musser, president of the Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island)
  • Donald Hicks, president and CEO of LLamasoft Inc. (Ann Arbor)
  • Julia Owens, president and CEO of Millendo Therapeutics Inc. (Ann Arbor)
  • Laurent Bresson, president and global COO, Nexteer Automotive (Saginaw)
  • Michael VandeMaele, CEO of Pro Services Inc. (Portage)
  • Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO, and Diana Russell, co-founder and creative director, of Rebel Nell (Detroit)

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif., in November.

The US Entrepreneur of the Year Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Monaco, June 2017.

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