EY Announces LanzaJet CEO Jimmy Samartzis as Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Midwest Award Finalist

Entrepreneur 2024 R1

Entrepreneur Of The Year Celebrates Ambitious Entrepreneurs Who Are Shaping the Future

CHICAGO, IL, April 22, 2024 – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) has announced LanzaJet Jimmy Samartzis as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2024 Midwest Award finalist. The Midwest program celebrates entrepreneurs from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. 

Now in its 38th year, EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year is the preeminent competitive business award for audacious leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize sectors and have a transformational impact on lives. Over the past four decades, the program has recognized the daring entrepreneurs with big ideas and bold actions that reshape our world.

Samartzis was one of 30 regional entrepreneurs selected as finalists by an independent panel of judges. The candidates were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.

For nearly four decades, this program has celebrated transformative leaders who are not afraid to disrupt industries and pave new paths,” said LanzaJet CEO Jimmy Samartzis. Being acknowledged by such a storied program underscores the impact of our collective efforts at LanzaJet, where we strive daily to innovate and push the Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) industry forward.”

As a leading SAF technology company and sustainable fuels producer, LanzaJet’s patented ethanol-to-SAF technology offers one of the most promising paths for decarbonizing the aviation industry. Earlier this year, LanzaJet celebrated the grand opening of Freedom Pines Fuels, the world’s first ethanol-to-SAF production facility, which will soon begin producing 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel per year from ethanol. LanzaJet’s technology uses a range of sustainable, low carbon intensity ethanol, including from waste-based feedstocks, to substantially increase SAF production in the United States and around the world. 

Entrepreneur Of The Year honors many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage and entrepreneurial spirit. The program celebrates original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organization to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

Regional award winners will be announced on June 12th during a special celebration and will become lifetime members of an esteemed community of Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni from around the world. The winners will then be considered by the National judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.

In addition to Entrepreneur Of The Year, EY US supports other entrepreneurs through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program and the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network to help connect women founders and Black and Hispanic/​Latino entrepreneurs, respectively, with the resources, network and access needed to unlock their full potential.



Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards include presenting sponsors PNC Bank, Cresa, Marsh USA, SAP and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Midwest, sponsors also include regional Platinum sponsor LaSalle Network, regional Gold sponsor Becker, and regional Silver sponsor ADP.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year® 

Founded in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year® has celebrated more than 11,000 ambitious visionaries who are leading successful, dynamic businesses in the US, and it has since expanded to nearly 80 countries and territories globally.

The US program consists of 17 regional programs whose panels of independent judges select the regional award winners every June. Those winners compete for national recognition at the Strategic Growth Forum® in November where National finalists and award winners are announced. The overall National winner represents the US at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year® competition. Visit ey​.com/​u​s/eoy.

About LanzaJet

LanzaJet is a leading sustainable fuels technology company dedicated to accelerating the clean energy transition. As a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) technology provider and producer with patented ethanol-based alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology, LanzaJet is creating an opportunity for future generations by accelerating the deployment of SAF and other clean technologies critical to addressing the climate crisis and transforming the global economy. Further information is available at https://​www​.lanzajet​.com/

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping to create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

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