Jones is Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year

Paul Jones, executive chairman of Milwaukee-based A. O. Smith Corp., has been named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Midwest.

Jones was recognized in the industrial/distribution category. As a regional award winner, he will go on to compete at the national level. The national award recipients will be announced Nov. 16 as part of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum , held in Palm Springs, Calif.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Jones was one of three Wisconsin award recipients. Also recognized were Jim Sartori and Jess Schwager of the Sartori Company in Plymouth.

Under Jones’ leadership, A. O. Smith has made a successful transition to a global water company with 2012 sales of nearly $2.0 billion and net earnings of $234 million.

Jones also is the co-founder of the Milwaukee Water Council, a partnership of industry, education and government that seeks to capitalize on the city’s unique strengths in the fresh water industry.

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