For Immediate Release
DANVILLE, KY, OCTOBER 9, 2020 – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Shane Baker and Patrick Heist of Wilderness Trail Distillery were named as Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 East Central Award winner. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program is one of the preeminent competitive awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. The award recognizes those entrepreneurial leaders who are excelling in overcoming adversity; financial performance; societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company; innovation; and talent management. Baker and Heist were selected by an independent panel of judges. The award was announced through the program’s first-ever virtual awards celebration, hosted by Deborah Norville, anchor of Inside Edition, on October 7, 2020.
Baker and Heist started Wilderness Trail Distillery in 2012. It followed their first company, Ferm Solutions, which they started in 2006. Ferm Solutions offers analytical laboratory services and sells yeast and other products used by distillers and brewers.
Since 1986, EY US has honored entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation and tenacity have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries and made a positive impact on their communities. Baker and Heist will go on to become a lifetime member of the esteemed multi-industry community of award winners, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has honored the inspirational leadership of entrepreneurs such as:
- Bryan Salesky of Argo AI, LLC
- Molly North of Al. Neyer
- Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani
- Mark Evans of Confluence
- Dale Wollschleger of ExactCare Pharmacy
- James Park of Fitbit
- Daymond John of Fubu
- Kendra Scott of Kendra Scott LLC
- Frank Alderman of MedExpress Urgent Care
- Shelly Ibach of Sleep Number Corporation
- Jodi Berg of Vitamix
As an East Central award winner, Baker and Heist is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 National Awards. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced November 19, during a virtual awards gala. The awards are the culminating event of this year’s virtual Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2021.
Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Kauffman Foundation. In East Central, sponsors also include PNC Bank, VRC, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Oswald Companies, and Smart Business.
About Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. Winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title. ey.com/us/eoy
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Contact: Emily Toadvine
Company: Wilderness Trail Distillery