Two Corridor business leaders are among the finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 award in the Upper Midwest region.
Dawn Ainger, president and chief executive officer of Genova Technologies in Cedar Rapids, and Bruce Lehrman, founder and CEO of Involta in Cedar Rapids, are among 29 entrepreneurs selected from 61 nominations by a panel of independent judges.
Ainger purchased majority ownership of the former Computer Solutions in 2001 and changed the name of the business to Genova Technologies. The company specializes in project management, custom software development, requirements capture and multilevel information technology consulting nationwide with clients in the private and government sectors.
Lehrman launched Involta in 2007 and opened the company’s first data center in Marion in 2008. The company provides data center facilities, and manages and protects companies’ mission-critical computer systems and data.
Under Lehrman’s leadership, Involta also has established data centers in Ohio, Minnesota, Arizona and Idaho.
The awards program recognizes high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 13 at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center.
Other Iowa entrepreneurs selected as finalists are Jerry Foster of Foster Group in West Des Moines, Jim Masterson of LightEdge Solutions in Des Moines and Jon Troen of Rock Communications and Colorfx in Newton.
The Upper Midwest region includes companies based in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Collectively, this year’s finalists created nearly 4,000 jobs over the past three years, providing employment for 19,588 at the end of 2012.
The companies generated more than $9.6 billion of revenue in 2012, and grew their employment by nearly 20 percent and revenues by 40 percent between 2010 and 2012.