SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Nikita Ivanov, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton

News Feed Item

Nothing But Good: Chobani Founder Hamdi Ulukaya Named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Retail and Consumer Products Award Winner and Overall Award Winner

Ulukaya honored for creating a nutritional trend while harnessing his entrepreneurial vision to build a start-up into the number one Greek yogurt brand in America

NORWICH, N.Y., Nov. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of Chobani, has been named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Retail and Consumer Products Award winner. Ulukaya was also awarded the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Overall Award, chosen from a group of 10 separate category finalists. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is the country's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.

Ulukaya was recognized for bringing together his passion and entrepreneurial vision to turn a start-up yogurt company into a catalyst for America's Greek yogurt boom that has since changed the way U.S. consumers think about and eat yogurt, ultimately initiating a health revolution. He was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Springs, Calif. The Forum is the nation's premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. All Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from 244 regional award recipients. 

"Entrepreneurs continue to be a driving force in leading the economic recovery. Their ability to see around corners and find new, better ways of doing things makes them an engine of growth," said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP." Ulukaya's ability to not only see an opportunity in the market, but to turn that opportunity into a nutritional phenomenon is inspiring at a time when the news is frequently doom and gloom on market growth."

Hamdi Ulukaya: a journey of passion and unparalleled leadership

After leaving his family's dairy business in Turkey to pursue higher education in the United States, Ulukaya recognized a gap in America's dairy offerings and the opportunity to tap a relatively untouched market: Greek yogurt. Instinctively following his gut, he purchased an old Kraft yogurt plant in 2005 with the goal of bringing superior products to the U.S. market. He spent his days endlessly perfecting a yogurt recipe that would eventually, in 2007, come to be known as Chobani, or "shepherd" in Turkish. Ulukaya worked with his four ex-Kraft employees to hand package yogurt and fill orders. Seven years later, Ulukaya still walks the floor every day to oversee operations and prides himself on finding employees who share his same passion and work ethic.

Grassroots marketing done right

In less than four years, Ulukaya took Chobani's sales from $50 million to almost $700 million per year. While other competitors focus largely on mass marketing and TV advertising, Ulukaya has kept his brand different from the rest. He has instead taken a more creative, grassroots approach, capitalizing on social media and word of mouth marketing to build a cult following around the brand. With almost 600,000 Facebook fans, Chobani prides itself on being engaged and connected with its growing community.

Nothing But Good: a champion for positive change

Despite rapid expansion of the Chobani brand, Ulukaya sticks by his company's philosophy: "Nothing But Good." His philanthropic initiatives have supported more than 50 groups globally. In 2010, Ulukaya created the Shepherd's Gift Foundation, an independent 501c(3) in honor of his mother. The foundation contributes 10 percent of all Chobani post-tax profits to those working for positive, long-lasting change.

Ulukaya's also using his vision to expand into new product lines and grow Chobani's domestic and global footprints. He recently launched Chobani Champions, the first Greek yogurt for kids. Ulukaya is also undertaking a major expansion of the current New York plant and is constructing a new plant in Idaho that, when finished, will be the largest yogurt plant in the country. On a global scale, Ulukaya acquired Bead Foods in Australia in 2011 and is planning to move into Canada as well.

Ulukaya's hard work, creativity, passion and leadership have enabled him to be an inspiring global leader. Despite his success, he will always stay true to his promise to make high quality, fairly priced products so that everyone can have access to the best tasting yogurt.

National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Retail and Consumer Products finalists

In addition to Ulukaya, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Retail and Consumer Products national finalists were: Kyle Krause, President and CEO, Kum & Go, L.C., based in West Des Moines, Iowa, a U.S.-based, family-owned company that is the 5th largest privately-held convenience store chain and currently has over 425 stores; David Overton, Chairman and CEO, The Cheesecake Factory, based in Calabasas Hills, Calif., a small mom-and-pop restaurant that grew into a national chain with 170 locations that now leads the industry in sales per restaurant; Andrew Thomas Mack, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Teavana Holdings, Inc., based in Atlanta, Ga., the first national, multi-channel retailer focused on the fastest growing segment in the tea industry, specialty loose teas.

Overall finalist awards were also given in the following nine categories: Media, Entertainment and Communications; Real Estate, Construction and Lodging; Distribution and Manufacturing; Emerging; Energy, Cleantech and Natural Resources; Financial Services; Life Sciences; Services; and Technology.

Video and photos

To view video clips of all of the Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, please visit ey.com/us/eoy. Photos of the winners are also available by request.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the United States by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year

Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in 50 countries.

About Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets practice

Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. Ernst & Young is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter at EY_Growth.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a client-serving member firm of Ernst Young Global Limited operating in the US.

 

 

 

SOURCE Ernst & Young

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to th...
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
This builds on Puppet Labs' first class Windows support, including native .MSI packages for x32 and x64 operating systems, modules to extend common Windows server management tools, including Powershell, and integrations with Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio. By automating common Windows administration tasks, Puppet Labs is enabling users to adopt DevOps practices, thereby reducing the time needed to deploy applications from weeks to hours.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.