Michael G. O'Neill, founder and CEO of Preferred Sands, was named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 “Energy, Cleantech and Natural Resources Category Award” winner. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is the country's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs.
The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
O'Neill's business strategy – combined with his team's collective core competencies and expertise in engineering, finance and environmental compliance – catapulted Preferred Sands first to market with innovative and environmentally sensitive clean fracturing sand. He was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, Calif.
“In an industry that is often scrutinized over environmental issues, O'Neill and his team have found a way to enter as market innovators, bringing many new developments into the supply of sands into this industry that is so important for our energy needs,” said Bryan Pearce, Americas director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP. “O'Neill's leadership ability, as well as the investment he's made in his people and community, has allowed him to create a highly efficient and motivated team that is poised for continued future growth.”
In December 2007, during the onset of what has become one of the largest recessions in our country's history, O'Neill led his team to create Preferred Sands, an owner-operated frac sand and proppant company, providing the widest array of proppants to the oil and gas industry. O'Neill's insight and vision has led Preferred Sands to dramatically increase its revenue in just over three years.