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EY announced that Ben Gray, Jeff Gray, and Scott Gray of Creative Apparel Concepts, Inc., an apparel designer and wholesaler, received the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Upper Midwest. The award recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Ben, Jeff, and Scott were selected by an independent panel of judges, and the award was presented at a black tie gala on June 8 in Minneapolis.

“EY has been recognizing leading entrepreneurs for over three decades,” said Joe McCarney, Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director for the Upper Midwest. “The class of winners in 2017 represent new ways of thinking, disruptive business models and overall dynamism that make this country a great place to do business.”
Creative Apparel Concepts designs, manufacturers, and markets apparel for women, men, and children. They offer unique, fashionable t-shirts and sleepwear to major retailers and specialty stores around the country, from Target to Nordstrom.

Since 1986, EY has honored entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation and discipline have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries and made a positive impact on their communities. Now in its 31st year, the program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as:
• Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company
• Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc.
• Douglas Baker Jr. of Ecolab, Inc.
• Richard Schulze of Best Buy
• Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn
• Steve Gill and Josh Hochschuler of Talenti Gelato
• Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani
• James Park of Fitbit

As an Upper Midwest award winners, Ben, Jeff and Scott are now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum™, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monaco in June 2018.
Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the U.S. by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
In the Upper Midwest, region sponsors include Padilla, Twin Cities Business, Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, Salo, Lockton, Pohlad Companies and ThreeBridge Solutions.

About Creative Apparel Concepts, Inc.
Creative Apparel Concepts offers design, sourcing, and distribution services in several apparel markets. We design customized apparel and graphics for souvenir, private label, team sports, and sleepwear that fits our clients’ needs. In addition to our proprietary brands Munki Munki sleepwear and Faux Real photorealistic t-shirts, we create apparel for over 400 popular licensed properties including NCAA, NBA, Disney, Star Wars, rock & roll bands, Saturday Night Live, and many more. As a company, we place the upmost importance on creating products that will wow our retail customers and exceed expectations for our wholesale customers through creativity, transparency, and performance. You’ve seen our work anywhere from Target to Nordstrom, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to Amazon.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance and the local community. The program 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 awards program 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 over 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Learn more at ey.com/eoy.

About EY’s Growth Markets Network
EY’s worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage, venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/sgm or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member of the global EY organization that provides services to clients in the U.S.

For more information, please visit ey.com.