EY recently recognized a beverage industry veteran with a considerable award.
EY honored Vern Underwood (above, far left) of Young’s Market Company — a leading distributor of wines, spirits and selected beverages in western United States — with a special Lifetime Achievement Award during this year’s Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Orange County.
Underwood has served in virtually every capacity at Young’s Market Company since beginning his career in the Young’s warehouse in 1955, according to the company. Currently, he is the chairman of its board of directors.
He is the fourth generation to lead the company, which is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the United States, according to the company. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Underwood supports local causes including Hoag Memorial Hospital, Mission Hospital of Orange County, Boys & Girls Club of America, Chapman University and Medical College of Wisconsin.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is an exclusive designation by the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year judging panel, the company says, and bestowed upon an individual who “distinctly outweighs the customary characteristics of an entrepreneur, exemplifies leadership at its best, drives a successful business or brand with notable longevity and greatly contributes to our local economy and community.”
The awards gala honoring entrepreneurs in Orange County and the Inland Empire was held on June 11, 2015 at The St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach, Dana Point, where Underwood was honored and all program award winners were announced.
This marks only the second occasion that an Orange County business leader received the Lifetime Achievement Award since the program’s inception in 1988, according to a press release. Kenneth, Daniel, and W. Henry Walker of Farmers & Merchants Bank were collectively honored with the first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.