The University of Evansville’s Schroeder Family School of Business Administration’s chapter of Delta Sigma Pi bestowed its annual business awards on Tuesday, April 3. Mike Ciholas, founder and president of the high-tech research and engineering firm Ciholas, Inc., received the Business Leader of the Year award. Koch Enterprises, Inc. was named the Business of the Year. Trevor Gregory, a UE graduate, received the Young Business Leader of the Year award.
Ciholas earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and minors in mathematics and computer science from Centre College, and his master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He spent two years on a robotics startup, and two more years as a network hardware engineer for the Computer Science Laboratory at MIT. Ciholas was also a part-time consultant, designing electronic devices for clients. He later became a full-time consultant, moved to Newburgh, Indiana, in 1995 and continued his consultant work. He hired his first employee in 1999. The business now has 35 employees – many of whom are graduates of UE’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Koch Enterprises, Inc. began business in 1873 as the George Koch Son Tin Shop in Evansville. Now in its 145th year of operation, the company is overseen by fifth-generation family member Kevin Koch. Kevin’s father, Robert L. Koch II, is still very active in the company and serves as chair of the board. Over the years, the business has expanded and diversified into a total of seven separate businesses while its headquarters have remained in Evansville. Koch Enterprises is the parent company to Gibbs Die Casting Corporation, Uniseal, Inc., Audubon Metals LLC, Brake Supply Co. Inc., Koch Air LLC, George Koch Sons, LLC and Southwestern Communications, Inc. It is listed among Indiana’s top 10 private companies by Indiana Business Journal.
Trevor Gregory is an assurance manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multi-national professional services network ranked among the largest and most prestigious accounting services firms. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2010 from UE and his master’s degree in accounting from IU-Kelley School of Business in 2011. Gregory serves UE as a member of the Alumni Board, Indianapolis Purple Aces Club Board, and UE Connect. He belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of Black Accountants, Indiana CPA Society, and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Delta Sigma Pi is a professional fraternity organized to foster the study of business in universities; to encourage scholarship, social activity, and the association of students for their mutual advancement by research and practice; to promote a closer affiliation between the commercial world and students of commerce; and to further a higher standard of commercial ethics and culture and the civic and commercial welfare of the community.