Ernst & Young LLP this week 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 in Danville, Kentucky. 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, Ernst & Young 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.
As an East Central award winner, Baker and Heist are 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.