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Business Leaders of the Year

WBJ announces the 2019 Business Leaders of the Year awards

March 4, 2019
Matt Wright
Matt Wright
From left: Ken Bates, TIna M. Sbrega, Curtis Stillman, Halley Stillman, Sonny Vo.

Son Vo can't wait for you to visit his latest restaurant, Chashu Ramen+Izakaya, slated to open in Downtown Worcester sometime in the first half of this year. The Central Massachusetts restaurateur has already made his mark through the Sturbridge mainstay Kaizen Sushi Bar & Grill and the busy Shrewsbury eatery Pho Sure. Now, with his tried-and-true method of putting an insane amount of detail and perfection into each of his establishments before handing them off to people he trusts, Vo is building a mini regional restaurant empire.

Likewise, the other winners of Business Leaders of the Year awards have made similar bold choices on the path to success. Jeff Robinson started an autism therapy provider right as the disease was becoming more widespread. Ken Bates merged his nonprofit, doubling its size. Tina M. Sbrega became the first Massachusetts banker to serve the $1-billion state marijuana industry. Curtis & Halley Stillman turned a rundown farm into a thriving operation with produce, a brewery and potentially a distillery.

For these bold moves and many others, WBJ will honor these Business Leaders of the Year at our April 4 event at Cyprian Keyes in West Boylston. At the same ceremony, we will honor the third class of inductees into the WBJ Hall of Fame.

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- Brad Kane, editor