Carrollton, TEXAS, May 6, 2018 – EY announced today that Merrilee Kick is a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Award in the Southwest region. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs with a commitment to innovation, achievement and growth for their business and community. She will join other finalists at the awards gala on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, where regional winners will be announced.
Kick, who has been a finalist for the award in previous years, said the honor recognizes her humble beginnings in the liquor business to becoming a leader in the marketplace. “From the beginning, my focus was to grow a family-oriented business and make great tasting products. In addition, as a result of my scientist parents, it is important to me to be environmentally sound. We grew this company into making global brands with global audiences, and we are very proud of that accomplishment,” said Kick.
Now in its 32nd year, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries. It is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, who are chosen by an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders in business, finance, and the local community.
Kick will be featured along with other regional finalists in the August 2018 issue of D CEO, a D Magazine publication. Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur of the Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur of the Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 17, 2018. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.
About BuzzBallz/Southern Champion:
BuzzBallz began in 2009, by the edge of a backyard pool in between a pile of papers to be graded and, of course, a cocktail. Merrilee Kick was a high school teacher working on her master’s degree when she realized she was on to something big. The poolside drink sparked an idea that would revolutionize American cocktail culture and shake up the liquor industry in more ways than one.
Fast forward to 2018, Kick has successfully created one of the fastest growing ready-to-drink brands nationwide, with distribution in 42 states and seven international countries. She has also expanded her business’ portfolio to include premium spirits and wines under the name Southern Champion, one of the only women-owned distilleries in the country. Based out of Carrollton, Texas, Kick’s family owned and operated facility continues to prosper with a team of creative, dedicated people who share her vision. We hope you join us on our journey! Cheers from our family to yours. To learn more about BuzzBallz/Southern Champion, visit https://www.southern-champion.com/.