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Mon April 11, 2011
A Changing Of The Guard At Makers Mark
By Alan Lytle
Lexington, KY – There's about to be a changing of the guard at one of Kentucky's most famous bourbon distilleries. Bill Samuels, longtime president and CEO of Makers Mark in Loretto, is stepping down at the end of this week and handing the reins over to his son, Rob Samuels.
"This is going to be the easiest transition in the history of our industry. Normally fathers and sons are very different and it causes issues. Rob is my youngest son and we are like, twins. I expect all the innovation to keep up. He's very motivated, very community-minded. He went to Harvard Business School. They wouldn't let me in. So that ought to tell you something."
Samuels says he will have a limited role with the company as a brand ambassador. His final duty as president will be an autograph session Friday morning at Keeneland. He'll be signing special bottles commemorating the 75th anniversary of the racing venue, prior to the Makers Mark Mile. The bottles went on sale late last week.