First flooring industry leader to be presented with nation’s most prestigious entrepreneurial award
Lorberbaum joined Mohawk Industries in 1994 after the company merged with Aladdin Mills, the carpet and rug company his parents founded in Dalton, Ga. Under his leadership as first CEO and then Chairman and CEO, Mohawk has grown to become the world’s largest flooring company with 2015 sales of more than $8 billion and more than 34,000 employees worldwide.
“I began my career in a small family business, which has grown into a large public company, and the success of both depended on talented, dedicated people,” Lorberbaum said. “I’m here tonight because of thousands of individuals who create, sell and deliver innovative flooring products to our customers around the globe.”
The EY awards honor entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. The awards are selected by a panel of independent judges, most of whom are past Regional Entrepreneur of the Year award winners.
EY, the world’s third largest professional services firm, pioneered the concept of recognizing entrepreneurs in 1986 when the company spotlighted business leaders in the Midwest U.S. The awards program is now global in scope, and during the past three decades more than 10,000 emerging entrepreneurs have been recognized within 60 countries. The Lifetime Achievement Awards more selectively honor those individuals who have delivered extraordinary success in the field of business.
Past Southeast Regional lifetime achievement honorees include CNN founder Ted Turner, Spanx founder Sara Blakeley, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathey and Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank. Lorberbaum will be one of the finalists for EY’s national Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
The black-tie award ceremony was June 23 in Nashville’s award-winning Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and attracted an audience of several hundred business leaders from across the region.
In his remarks, Lorberbaum explained that his success was an extension of the important work of many people within Mohawk’s business. Even with the dramatic growth of Mohawk’s business, Lorberbaum expressed that part of what drives his entrepreneurial perspective is viewing success as being “halfway there.”
“Mohawk has become a successful business through the exceptional work of many people, but we remain dissatisfied with the status quo,” Lorberbaum said. “For us, entrepreneurship is not about celebrating what we did yesterday; it’s the excitement about what we can achieve tomorrow.”
Lorberbaum expressed his gratitude for the EY honor but reinforced that the Lifetime Achievement Award only served as further motivation to continue the good work that has led to Mohawk’s growth and that has benefited the company’s customers around the world.
“All of us at Mohawk are proud of our past, but we’re more excited about our future,” Lorberbaum said. “We continue to invest in the business at record levels, to drive innovation in all product categories and to develop programs and services that help our customers succeed. We’ve made great progress, but we’re still only halfway there.”
Lorberbaum concluded his remarks by thanking Mohawk’s employees for their commitment to excellence, the company’s thousands of customers for their trust and support and his family for their encouragement.
Winners of EY’s national Entrepreneur of the Year awards will be announced in November during the firm’s strategic conference in Palm Springs, Calif.
Mohawk Industries is the leading global flooring manufacturer, creating products that enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone and vinyl flooring. Our industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate our brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Our brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include American Olean, Bigelow, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Karastan, Lees, Marazzi, Mohawk, Pergo, Quick-Step and Unilin. During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world’s largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
EY Entrepreneur of the Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award 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 award 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 more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services EY delivers helps build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. EY develops outstanding leaders who team to deliver on the firm’s promises to all stakeholders. In so doing, EY plays a critical role in building a better working world for its people, for its clients and for its communities.
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