Two Tampa Bay area entrepreneurs named winners at annual Ernst & Young awards

Two Tampa Bay area businesspeople have come out on top at the annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

Crystal Morris of Gator Cases Inc. and Joe Marinucci of Digital Media Solutions both took home the “Entrepreneur of the Year 2019″ award on Thursday night in Orlando. The awards are meant to highlight entrepreneurs excelling in innovation, financial performance and commitment to the community. The two won out of five other Tampa Bay executives selected as finalists.

“We’ve seen many successful entrepreneurs come through this program, but I’ve been so impressed by our 2019 Florida finalists,” Mike Pattillo, Entrepreneur Of The Year Florida program director, said in a statement. “The people they have impacted, barriers they’ve overcome and industries they’ve disrupted are testaments to their entrepreneurial journey.”

Tampa-based Gator Cases was named a finalist for the 2013 Florida Entrepreneur of the Year as well. In 2015, the Tampa Bay Business Journal listed Gator Cases as a TBBJ 200, a roundup of Tampa Bay’s largest privately held companies, for its specialty cases for storing and transporting specialized equipment.

Clearwater-based Digital Media Solutions is one of the largest marketing firms headquartered in Tampa Bay and it was its first time being nominated.

Other winning entrepreneurs include Tropic Ocean Airways in Fort Lauderdale, SMART Financial in Orlando and IM Healthscience in Boca Raton.