Winnebago CEO named Entrepreneur Of The Year

Michael Happe, president and CEO of Winnebago Industries, Inc. has been named the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 National Overall Award winner by Ernst & Young LLP. The award elevates ambitious entrepreneurs and business leaders who think big and act boldly. Happe was recognized for redefining the Winnebago brand from a single brand, product-oriented manufacturer to an outdoor recreational lifestyle company while creating a sustainable business and thriving culture.

“It is a significant privilege to be recognized by Ernst & Young, amidst a group of fantastic business leaders,” said Michael Happe, president and CEO at Winnebago Industries. “We are grateful for the honor and appreciate EY’s efforts through this incredible program to highlight hard working entrepreneurs and their teams. This recognition is a sign of our continued transformative journey at Winnebago Industries to Be Great, Outdoors.”

Happe continued, “I also want to express clearly that this award is a shared testament to the hard work, dedication, and innovation of every member of our remarkable team and the outstanding portfolio of premium outdoor recreation brands and businesses. I am deeply grateful for their passion every day to build our future, and for the unwavering support of our dealers, strategic partners, and end customers.” 

Happe’s leadership has solidified Winnebago’s future by building trust with employees, creating a culture of ownership, and making investments to support the company’s longevity. The award also recognized his focus on employee engagement.

“Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates ambitious leaders who disrupt markets, revolutionize industries and transform lives,” said Andrew (AJ) Jordan, EY Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year director. “Michael keeps employees and the community at the forefront. We are so excited to celebrate him as the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 National Overall Award winner.”

This year’s Ernst & Young US competition recognized 11 other winners from nine companies. Happe was selected by an independent panel of judges made up of entrepreneurs and other notable business leaders from across the US.

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