West Cork Distillers co-founder John O'Connell has been named "Industry Entrepreneur of the Year 2020" by EY in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2020.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme is a global recognition programme that is run in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. The purpose of the programme is to recognise, promote and build a supportive community around Ireland's high-growth entrepreneurs.
West Cork Distillers was founded in 2008 and is one of the largest wholly Irish-owned distilleries in Ireland, with a distillation capacity of four million litres of pure alcohol. Its West Cork Irish Whiskey and Garnish Island Gin products are currently sold in almost 70 countries.
In addition to O'Connell being named "Industry Entrepreneur of the Year 2020" in this year's EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Nicola Mitchell of Life Scientific was named "Overall and International Entrepreneur of the Year", co-founder of Inflazome Dr. Matt Cooper was named "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year", and the 2020 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Special Award, which is presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to life on the island of Ireland through their vision, innovation and commitment to excellence, went to frontline workers of the HSE and An Garda Síochána, representing all frontline workers whose selfless commitment and contribution have helped to protect vulnerable members of Irish society during the COVID-19 pandemic.
EY Entrepreneur of the Year partner lead Roger Wallace stated, "As we emerge from the pandemic, the island's entrepreneurs will play a pivotal role in the recovery of our economy and our communities, and we are firmly committed to supporting them however we can in the months and years ahead. On behalf of EY, I'd like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to each of our three winners. They are unstoppable leaders with integrity, purpose and agility, who each lead exceptional businesses. They are innovators who exemplify the characteristics that drive positive change in business and in society, and we’re privileged to have them in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year community."
"Testament To The Entrepreneurial Spirit That's So Prevalent Across The Island"
Meanwhile, chairperson of the judging panel Anne Heraty commented, "The standard of competition between this year's finalists was incredibly high. It is brilliant to see so many home-grown entrepreneurs at the forefront of their industries, which is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that's so prevalent across the island. Each of the winners' vision and innovation has been critical to the success of their respective businesses, and we look forward to following their continuing success into the future. I'd like to welcome them all warmly into the EOY alumni community."
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