Isabel Rafferty, CEO de Canela Media.
One more recognition for the Latina media leader. Photo: Ernst & Young Global Limited.

Isabel Rafferty, Canela Media CEO, received the 2022 National Entrepreneur Of The Year Award

It is a recognition for entrepreneurs and pioneers who seek to change the world.


Eva Longoria & Siete Foods

Latin digital creators

An Entrepreneurial Latina

USHCC Conference in Orlando

Latina launches toy line

Reducing Philly food waste

Let's Buy Local

The Story of Ocoa Beauty


Ernst & Young LLP (EY) recently announced Canela Media Founder and CEO Isabel Rafferty Zavala as the recipient of this distinction following her selection as the New York Regional Award recipient in June.

Selected from a pool of 206 regional winners from 190 companies across the U.S., the nominees are tireless entrepreneurs who “dream up the services and products that disrupt markets and transform industries, all while improving lives,” explained EY.

37th Edition

Rafferty stated:

I am so humbled to have been given this incredible honor and be among this prestigious group of entrepreneurs.

National finalists and winners were announced during a celebration held at the Strategic Growth Forum, one of the country's most prestigious events for market-leading, high-growth companies.

Upon receiving the award, they become lifelong members of the esteemed multi-sector community of awardees, with exclusive and ongoing access to the experience, knowledge and wisdom of fellow alumni and other members of the EY ecosystem in more than 60 countries.

About Canela Media

Canela Media has had a successful year after closing an oversubscribed $32 million Series A funding round in February to kick off a series of new product and content launches.

The launches of original programming on Canela.TV, Canela Music, Canela Sports and Canela Kids have boosted user participation and increased the firm's user base. In addition, Canela launched its Silicon Valley-based innovation lab to improve the user experience.

“This further reiterates and validates the mission and vision behind making Canela Media a new and authentic option for Latino entertainment. We will continue to build on our success in the industry and stay true to our purpose to elevate the voices of our audience, creators and talent.” added Rafferty. 

The founder of Canela Media joins the following leaders from across the country as recipients of this award:

  • Coley Brady and Ryan Brady, Co-Founders, Alliance RV, Elkhart, Indiana
  • David Heath, CEO, Bombas, New York, New York
  • Othman Laraki, CEO, Color, Burlingame, California
  • Barbara Smith, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Commercial Metals Company, Irving, Texas
  • Haroon Mokhtarzada, Co-Founder and CEO, Truebill (now Rocket Money), Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Jan Bednar, CEO, ShipMonk, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Holly Thaggard, Founder, and Amanda Baldwin, CEO, Supergoop!, San Antonio, Texas (overall National winners)
  • Joe Kudla, CEO, Vuori, Carlsbad, California
  • Wade Foster, Co-Founder and CEO, Zapier Inc., San Francisco, California

“Even in the face of extreme adversity and an uncertain business landscape, this year’s National Award winners were able to achieve incredible growth, shake up industry standards, and provide products and services their communities needed. They embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship – grit, ambition and above all else, passion for their employees, their missions and the clients they serve. They are a shining example of business ingenuity, and we are proud to honor them,” said Andrew (AJ) Jordan, EY Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year Director.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards include sponsors PNC Bank, SAP America and the Kauffman Foundation.


  • Join the discussion! Leave a comment.

  • or
  • to comment.

  • Join the discussion! Leave a comment.

  • or
  • to comment.