Two members of Washington and Lee's Class of 2000 — Stephanie Leffler and Ryan Noble — are Central Midwest finalists in Ernst & Young's 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year awards, which are billed as the most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs.
According to an announcement of the honor, Ernst & Young annually recognizes business leaders whose contributions inspire people with their leadership, vision and achievement. Each finalist from the Central Midwest region in this year's awards grew their individual company's employment numbers by over 12 percent in 2012, and revenues by 24 percent between 2010 and 2012.
Stephanie and Ryan founded Juggle.com in 2008 and have grown it from a reference resource website with 10 employees to an umbrella organization with eight different tech companies, including CrowdSource, ROIMedia and ClickableNames. Today Juggle.com has more than 50 team members and builds websites, software and services to help businesses save time and money.
In describing the company's philosophy, Ryan said: "We are continually motivated to find ways to leverage speed and scale to solve internal business problems. The ability to remain forward-thinking and strive to make process improvements is a daily goal within our company."
Both Stephanie and Ryan have received other honors for their work. Stephanie was named one of St. Louis Business Journal's Most Influential Business Women and also made the magazine's "40 under 40" list earlier this year, while Ryan became one of the St. Louis Business Journal's "30 under 30" young entrepreneurs back in 2004.
Juggle is headquartered in Swansea, Ill., about 20 miles from St. Louis.