Six Iowans were honored as Entrepreneurs of the Year Thursday night during an awards banquet in Des Moines.

Central Iowa recipients included Ronald Pearson, chairman of Hy-Vee, a Winterset couple who own a manufacturing business and Chris Clover, chief executive of Marshalltown-based MechDyne Corp.

A total of 10 Iowans and Nebraskans received awards at the 2001 Iowa/Nebraska Entrepreneur of the Year ceremony, sponsored by Ernst & Young. The banquet was held at the Embassy Suites on the River.

This year’s category winners are:

  • Technology: Chris Clover of MechDyne had built the company into a leader in virtual reality. MechDyne makes large-scale virtual reality systems for clients in a wide range of businesses, including aerospace, automotive design, consumer electronics and oil drilling.
  • Construction: Jack Bush of McCarthy-Bush Corp. in Davenport. The holding company’s businesses include highway construction and limestone mining.
  • Retail: Ronald Pearson of Hy-Vee. Pearson has been chairman and chief executive of the West Des Moines-based supermarket chain since 1989. Hy-Vee has more than 200 stores in seven midwestern states.
  • Manufacturing: Jerald and Janet Mayer, owners of Merchandising Frontiers. The Winterset company makes custom-designed carts, kiosks and retail merchandising units.
  • Health sciences: Clayton Korver Jr. of Orange City-based Med-Tec Iowa. Med-Tec designs and manufactures products for radiation treatment, including equipment that helps position cancer patients during treatment.
  • Master entrepreneur: William “Speedy” Smith of Speedway Motors in Lincoln, Neb. The international mail-order company sells specialized auto parts.
  • Service: Paul Hogan of Home Instead, based in Omaha. The company is a franchisor or non-medical in-home elder care and companionship services.

The regional winners will move on to the national competition. Awards will be presented in November in Palm Springs, Calif.