The founders and CEOs of a disaster preparation business, a family-owned firm that sells, rents and leases construction equipment and a mortgage bank headed by a former Carolina Panthers player are among the five Charlotte-area entrepreneurs named finalists in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Southeast Program.
EY, the global accounting firm formerly known as Ernst & Young, started the Entrepreneur of the Year program 29 years ago. The award honors entrepreneurs in more than 145 cities worldwide, recognizing them for starting businesses that are industry leaders. The Charlotte-area companies chosen were founded here but have grown into national or global firms with offices elsewhere.
Twenty-five winners of the Southeast program, which includes entrants from the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, will be announced at a black-tie gala June 24 in Nashville and go on to compete nationally. Charlotte-area finalists include:
▪ Casey Crawford, CEO, Movement Mortgage: Crawford, a former Carolina Panthers tight end, founded the mortgage firm in 2008. The company is headquartered in Virginia although Crawford is in Charlotte. It broke ground on a new headquarters in Indian Land, S.C., in March to take advantage of that state’s $53 million tax incentives.
▪ Edward Innes Weisiger Jr., CEO, Carolina Tractor & Equipment Co. (CTE): Weisiger leads the family-owned business that sells, rents and leases construction equipment. The company was founded in Salisbury in 1926 and bought by the Weisiger family in 1930. It’s now headquartered on Old Statesville Road in Charlotte.
▪ Bob Boyd, CEO, Agility Recovery Solutions: Boyd joined the firm as CEO in 2004. The company helps businesses develop plans to prepare for every type of disaster before it happens and get back on their feet once it does. It has a corporate office in SouthPark with satellite offices in Atlanta, Colorado and Canada.
▪ Paul Thompson, founder, Transportation Insight in Hickory: Thompson, who has founded six companies total, founded this global provider of manufacturing and distribution logistics in 1999 and serves as company chairman.
▪ Charles Lingenfelter, CEO, Industrial Distribution Group (IDG) in Belmont: Lingenfelter co-founded IDG, which provides industrial products to manufacturing, construction and energy markets in North America, Europe and Asia. The firm was recently acquired by Charlotte-based Sonepar North America.