EY Announces Abdul Akel Of T-CETRA  As An Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 East Central Award Winner 

Celebration Honors Ambitious Pioneers Tackling Our Biggest Challenges 

DUBLIN, OH (June 20, 2022) – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Abdul Akel of Dublin, OH was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 East Central Award winner. Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who think big to succeed. An independent panel of judges selected Akel based on his entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes. 

“It is an honor to be named as an Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner for the East Central Region—a program that highlights innovation as well as community contributions. It’s programs like these that inspired me to tackle challenges that would ideally shape a better future filled with digital and financial inclusion,” said Akel.  “For over 35 years this award has recognized industry leaders and game-changers. It’s humbling to be recognized by a program with this kind of legacy.” 

Regional Finalists were recognized, and the winners were announced, at the East Central awards celebration on June 16, 2022 at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, PA. 

As an East Central award winner, Akel will now be considered by the National independent panel of judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022 National Awards. National finalists and winners, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum®. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2023.  

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has honored the inspirational leadership of entrepreneurs such as:

  • Cherie Kloss of SnapNurse  
  • Saeju Jeong of Noom  
  • Joe DeSimone of Carbon, Inc. 
  • Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company 
  • Jodi Berg of Vitamix 
  • Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn Corporation 
  • Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani, Inc. 
  • Kendra Scott of Kendra Scott LLC 
  • Andreas Bechtolsheim and Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks 
  • James Park of Fitbit 
  • Daymond John of FUBU  
  • Sheila Mikhail of AskBio  


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are presented by PNC Bank. In East Central, sponsors also include Valuation Research Corporation, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP and Frost Brown Todd LLC.  

About T-CETRA 

T-CETRA is a leading financial technology enabler that converts cash payments into secure, auditable, cashless transactions at over 10,000 retail locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that primarily serve cash preferred customers. Our payment solutions bridge the digital divide for these underserved communities and are used by Fortune 500 companies within the wireless, online marketplace, subscription based premium service, transportation, healthcare, charitable, and government sectors, connecting them to the 84.8 million un/derbanked individuals in the U.S. 

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®  

Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. National overall winners go on to compete for the EY  

About EY 

EY exists to build a better working world, helping 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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Ernst & Young LLP is a client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited operating in the US. 



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