Louisville, Ky. September 19, 2012 – George Garvin Brown, creator of Old Forester, America’s First Bottled Bourbon, was honored today for his major contributions to the bourbon industry with the second annual Founder’s Day celebration on the campus of Brown-Forman. The special event was created to recognize Brown’s ground-breaking work in the Kentucky Bourbon industry, his dedication to community, and as the founder of what is now the Brown-Forman Corporation.
As part of the Founder’s Day celebration, Old Forester honored Brown’s pioneering spirit by awarding the “George Garvin Brown Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation Excellence and Dedication to Community” award to two deserving individuals: the late Owsley Brown II, former chairman and CEO of Brown-Forman; and to Dan Wieden, founder of Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.
As leaders in their respective industries, Owsley Brown II and Dan Wieden each set the stage for future advancements, while operating with the highest standards and dedication to community. Owsley Brown II spent 40 years at Brown-Forman as an executive and board member and was a well-known community leader who was a major contributor to the city of Louisville’s growth and prosperity. Dan Wieden co-founded the now-global Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency, and also founded Caldera, a nonprofit arts education organization and camp for at-risk youth.
“This annual award was created to honor individuals who exhibited leadership traits that were evidenced in Brown-Forman founder George Garvin Brown – a passion for learning and leading without compromise who also recognized the importance of giving back,” said brand manager Therese McGuire.
More than 140 years ago, George Garvin Brown led the industry with his revolutionary ideas. His commitment to making quality bourbon resulted in putting Old Forster in a sealed bottle with his assurance of quality, along and his signature prominently displayed on it, just as it is today.
“Not only do we want to honor Brown’s legacy but we want to recognize those currently on the forefront of innovation and who hold the same values as Brown,” said McGuire. “We cannot think of better candidates for the George Garvin Brown Lifetime Achievement Award than this year’s recipients Owsley Brown II and Dan Wieden.”
During his 40-year tenure at Brown-Forman, Owsley led Brown-Forman’s transformation into an international company and introduced a number of new products, continuing his family’s legacy of building the organization from generation to generation. In addition to his service at Brown-Forman, Owsley served as both fund chairman and president of the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts and a long-time board member of Actors Theatre of Louisville, among many other civic endeavors. Owsley was also a preservationist who received numerous honors and awards, including the J. Russell Groves Citizens Laureates Award. In recognition of his philanthropy and preservation work, Owsley received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship.
In 1982, Dan Wieden, together with his creative partner David Kennedy, founded Wieden+Kennedy. Their first client was the upstart company Nike. Dan famously coined the Nike tagline ‘Just Do It’. Almost three decades later, that small agency now has offices around the world with nearly 1,200 employees and has produced advertising campaigns for brands like Nike, Honda motorcycles, Microsoft, ESPN, Southern Comfort, Chrysler, Coca Cola, Heineken and Target. Additionally, Wieden’s commitment to the community is evident through his creation and support of Caldera which has become a catalyst for transformation through innovative art and environmental programs.
About Old Forester Bourbon
George Garvin Brown was the founder of Old Forester Bourbon Whisky and Brown-Forman Corporation. Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky, is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, Tequila Herradura, el Jimador Tequila, Canadian Mist, Woodford Reserve, and Korbel California Champagnes.
For more information on Old Forester, visit the Old Forester website at www.oldforester.com or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/oldforester.
Love life. Sip responsibly.
Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky, 49% Alc. by Volume, Brown-Forman Distillery Company, Louisville, KY ©2012