Switchpoint executive director announced as finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Utah

ST. GEORGE — Carol Hollowell, the executive director of the nonprofit Switchpoint Community Resource Center in St. George, is one of 23 Utah finalists for EY’s 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Utah Region.

Carol Hollowell (right), executive director of the Switchpoint Community Resource Center, was one of the driving forces behind getting the RiverWalk Village affordable housing project to the groundbreaking stage, St. George, Utah, May 3, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler. St. George News

EY, a London-based multinational professional services network, announced the 2020 finalists for Utah last month.

According to a press release from Switchpoint, the EY award program is “widely considered one of the most prestigious business awards programs in the U.S.”

“The program recognizes entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities, while also transforming our world.”

Hollowell told St. George News she felt honored to be counted among the finalists in a state with so much competition.

“It’s been an incredible experience to fit in with a class of people who have done some amazing things,” she said, adding that she is in a “social entrepreneur” subcategory with two other finalists: Ian Acker, CEO of founder of Fit To Recover, and Lindsey Kneuven, executive director and chief impact officer of Pluralsight One.

Award winners will be announced at a virtual celebration on Oct 2.

Carol Hollowell, executive director of Switchpint Community Resource Center, St. George, Utah, March 15, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Hollowell said being considered for the award involved a lot of interviews and questions from a panel of judges about what the next steps are for Switchpoint and what its plans for growth entailed. The social entrepreneur aspect of the award also had judges asking the finalists what they have done to change lives and have an impact in the community.

“I really think Switchpoint has done that,” Hollowell said.

Switchpoint was started fall 2014 by Hollowell and two other women with the support of the city of St George. Its goal has been to better serve those experiencing homelessness while also helping them find ways to become self-sufficient.

Since its opening, Switchpoint has grown to include a 24/7 shelter with case management and 84 beds, a food pantry, soup kitchen, transitional housing, recovery treatment center and clinical mental health therapy services.

Macro-enterprises, such as a thrift store, dog daycare and more recently a small engine repair shop, were added to bring in revenue to support Switchpoint’s operations and provide job shadowing and training for clients. Switchpoint also has two other business ventures in the works, Hollowell said, though she is playing those particular cards close to her chest at this point.

The Switchpoint Community Resource Center, St. George, Utah, Aug 21, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Additionally, a satellite resource center and pantry have opened in Tooele, with plans to open a shelter similar to Switchpoint in September, Hollowell said, adding that it will be similar in size and scope to the shelter in St. George.

Though Switchpoint isn’t exactly planning on expanding to other parts of the state, Hollowell said she’s been called by five cities recently asking for help on setting up ways to aid the homeless in their communities. Given that these cities may not have the same level of experience or facilities and programs as those of Hollowell and others at Switchpoint, she said they’re willing to help where possible.

As she said in the press release: “We are setting a new standard and best practices, successfully implementing innovative solutions to community problems.”

Now in its 34th year, EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Joining Hollowell in the 23 Utah finalists is Southern Utah businessman Stephen Wade, the CEO of Stephan Wade Auto Center in St. George. To learn more about the Utah Region program, please visit, EY.com’s Utah Region website.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards in November.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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