HENDERSON, Ky. - Bill Samuels Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Maker's Mark distillery, will be the featured speaker at the Kyndle Small Business of the Year Awards breakfast, set for 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 11 at Henderson Country Club.
Samuels was president of Maker's Mark for 35 years and led the bourbon brand's ascension into one of the most iconic and popular Kentucky-made products in the world. More than 1.4 million cases of the distinctive bottles of whiskey, dipped in red wax, were sold around the globe in 2013, an increase of 17 percent over the previous year. Annual sales are expected to top 2 million cases later this decade, and Maker's Mark Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels, Bill's son, announced earlier this year a $67 million expansion at the distillery in Loretto, Ky., to keep up with growing demand.
Bill Samuels also sits on the board of LIFT Kentucky, an advocacy group formed to push for the adoption of the local option sales tax in the state.
"We're so excited to have Bill Samuels visiting Henderson to speak on two subjects that are strongly supported by Kyndle - entrepreneurship and the local option sales tax," Kyndle CEO Brad Schneider said. "Bill's message will include lessons in small business management he learned while building Maker's Mark as well as his thoughts on the benefit the local option sales tax could have on Kentucky communities looking to invest in themselves."
More than three dozen states allow communities to utilize local option sales taxes to fund specific projects approved and chosen by their residents through referendums. The additional sales tax, typically an additional 1 percent or less, goes away after the designated project is finished.