Episode 28. Bill Samuels, Jr.– Past President & CEO, Maker’s Mark (1976-2011)
Bill Samuels, Jr., is wired to achieve and seeks opportunities that have a beginning, end, and outcome.
Bill is the president and CEO of Maker’s Mark Bourbon in Loretto, Ky. Bill comes from a long line of whiskey makers tracing his distilling heritage to Robert Samuels who came to Kentucky in 1784.
He never intended to work for the family business. After earning a law degree at Vanderbilt University, he agreed to spend a year helping out at the company and never left. Bill began his career in 1967 and became president and CEO in 1975.
The Wall Street Journal profiled Maker’s Mark on its front page in 1980 which was a catalyst for growth that would make Maker’s Mark one of the most iconic bourbons in the world.
Bill is active in his community lending his talents and expertise to various organizations. He is chairman of the board of trustees of Bellarmine University, chairman of the board of Greater Louisville, Inc., and was past chairman of the University of Louisville board of trustees.