Ulland named Business Person of the Year
April 25, 2012
Bill Ulland of IKONICS Corp. in Duluth was named the Business Person of the Year at the 20th Annual Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards ceremony Wednesday.
Ulland, CEO of the imaging technology company, also was presented the Innovation Award, recognizing an entrepreneur who develops a new process that creates value by implementing a new idea or technology. Last year, IKONICS unveiled a new digital texturing technology that combines the company's ultraviolet photo-reactive chemistry with industrial inkjet printing to create textures on a variety surfaces.
“I’m very pleased. I’m humbled,” said Ulland, a geophysics engineer and certified geologist.
Awards for entrepreneurial achievement, entrepreneurial leadership in education and visionary, entrepreneurial leadership were presented to Rockie Kavajecz of Island Investments, Ron Ulseth of the Itasca Community College engineering program and Donald L. Negley, entrepreneur and Babbitt mayor, respectively.
Kavajecz’ current projects and investments include the Canal Park Lodge and the Rock Ridge Development. His company also is developing Canal Park Brewing Co.
Ulseth’s vision “provides opportunity and encourages our young regional professionals to stay in the region and provides regional companies with the young human capital they need to grow and expand,” event sponsors said.
Negley has started several businesses, and with his wife has formed a company that provides residences, family support and personal care for people who have life challenges.
In other categories:
• Lake Side Gourmet, an International Falls firm owned by Brenda Jones and Colleen Fletcher, won the Micro Entrepreneur Award.
• Mary F. Ives of Timberlake Lodge Hotel and Event Center Grand Rapids, was presented the Emerging Entrepreneur Award.
• Jaima and Tom Hanson of Duluth Grill won the Established Entrepreneur Award.
• Pam and Dick Backstrom of IDEA Drilling in Virginia won the Mature Entrepreneur Award.
More than 400 persons attended the annual event, including entrepreneur Joel Labovitz, after which it was named.
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