Distillery owners win in East Central Region

We say that Wilderness Trail Distillery co-owners Shane Baker and Pat Heist have a pioneering spirit. Now they have been recognized for the innovative endeavors.

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) announced that Shane Baker and Patrick Heist of Wilderness Trail Distillery were named as Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 East Central Award winners. 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

“We are very honored to share this prestigious award nomination with so many great entrepreneurs and businesses that have been built from the unwavering entrepreneurial spirit. To be recognized as winners in the extremely competitive Ernst and Young competition is without a doubt another major milestone our team has accomplished,” says Baker.

Wilderness Trail Distillery, LLC, a Kentucky producer of fine Bourbon, Rye Whiskeys and other spirits located in Danville, Ky., is a proud member of the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Wilderness Trail Bourbons and whiskeys are highly rated and are among the top 10 American whiskeys on the market found in 28 states and within parts of the EU and UK.

Date: Oct 08, 2020 — Oct 08, 2020