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EY Announces Young's Market Company Chairman Vernon O. Underwood as 2015 Lifetime Achievement Honoree in Orange County

Posted on June 22, 2015

ORANGE COUNTY, California, June 18, 2015 – EY announced that Vern Underwood of Young’s Market Company, a leading distributor of fine wines, spirits and selected beverages in the western United States, was honored with a special Lifetime Achievement Award during this year’s prestigious Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program in Orange County.

This marks only the second occasion that an Orange County business leader received the Lifetime Achievement Award since the program’s inception in 1988. Kenneth, Daniel, and W. Henry Walker of Farmers & Merchants Bank were collectively honored with the first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

Underwood has served in virtually every capacity at Young’s Market Company since beginning his career in the Young’s warehouse in 1955. 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. 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 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.

Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. Now in its 29th year, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in 60 countries. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs and business leaders who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and commitment to their businesses and communities. In previous years, Entrepreneur Of The Year has recognized the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc. and Mindy Grossman of HSN. Entrepreneur Of The Year Orange County past winners include leaders from companies such as YogurtLand, Zappos, Arbonne, Yard House Restaurants, SkyMall and Vizio.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP Americas and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In Orange County, sponsors include: Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Co., Union Bank, Stradling Law, Smart Business magazine, Merrill Datasite, Scherzer International and HKA, Inc. Marketing Communications.

About Young’s Market Company

Founded in 1888, Young’s Market Company is the premier distributor of fine wines, spirits and selected beverages in the western United States. With operations in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, we are proud to represent industry-leading brands and supplier partners. Our best-in-class team of wine and spirits professionals represent a collection of unique life experiences, world views, and ideas all focused on our core values: Integrity, Family, Quality, and an Entrepreneurial Spirit. We are committed to adding value to our customers, providing exemplary professional representation of our suppliers, reaching the highest standards of respect for our employees, and supporting the communities we serve.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets practice

EY’s Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practices guide leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at, or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit

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