Release Date: May 29,2017

RubberDucks Owner/CEO Ken Babby finalist for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Award® in Northeast Ohio

Ernst & Young (EY) announced that Akron RubberDucks Owner and Chief Executive Officer Ken Babby is a finalist for the coveted Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Northeast Ohio region. The awards program, which is celebrating its 31st year, recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Babby was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 22 at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland hotel.

Babby purchased the then-named Akron Aeros franchise in October 2012, and through his leadership, the team has garnered increased local and national attention. Attendance at Canal Park has increased more than 27 percent and Akron hosted the Eastern League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby for the first time in 2016. In 2014, Babby helped lead the franchise through a major identity change to the RubberDucks, and set new merchandise sales records, and on a national level, the team was honored in 2015 as the top promotional team by Minor League Baseball with the Larry MacPhail Award.  

While I am incredibly honored by this recognition, the real success in Akron belongs to our amazing team,” said Babby. “They work relentlessly to build the best in affordable family entertainment in Akron and throughout Northeast Ohio.”  

In the past, the EY program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, John Mackey of Whole Foods Market Inc., Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc., Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn Corporation and Mindy Grossman of HSN, Inc.

Now in its 31st year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall 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 Strategic Growth Forum™, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In Northeast Ohio, sponsors also include PNC Bank, Smart Business, Howard & O’Brien Executive Search, Oswald Companies and Alliance Solutions Group.