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Two from Southern Illinois among entrepreneurs of year

KANSAS CITY, MO. – A Swansea builder and a Chester food manufacturing executive are among winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in the Central Midwest.

holland bruce2017Bruce Holland and Donald Welge were selected by an independent judging panel comprised of previous award winners, leading CEOs, investors and other regional business leaders. The winners were announced at a black-tie gala on Thursday, June 15, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland in Kansas City, Mo.

welge donDonald Welge (right) is a longtime executive with Gilster-Mary Lee Corp., a private label, contract and food service manufacturing firm.

Bruce Holland (left), is the founder and head of Holland Construction Services.

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the U.S. by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, and one of the largest accounting firms in the world.

In the Central Midwest, region sponsors include PNC, Lathrop & Gage and Common Ground Public Relations.

“For more than three decades, EY has been recognizing talented, leading entrepreneurs,” said Scott McVicker, Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Co-Director for the Central Midwest. “This year’s class of winners represents new ways of thinking, disruptive business models and overall dynamism that make this country a great place to do business.”

The other winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Central Midwest Award are:

• Allan Connolly, Aclara
• Dan Geraty, Clearent
• Peter Mallouk, Creative Planning
• Marty Bicknell, Mariner Holdings, LLC
• John Goodbrake, Master’s Transportation Inc.
• David Johnson, Maxus Properties Inc.

In addition to the winners listed above, David Lockton, chairman of the Board of Lockton Companies, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lockton was recognized for his extraordinary entrepreneurial leadership, achievements and vision demonstrated through the success of Lockton Companies – the world’s largest privately held independent insurance broker.

Since its founding in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities in more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif., on Nov. 18, 2017. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monaco in June 2018.

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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