WASHINGTON, DC – The George Washington Spirits Society inducted three new members at an industry heritage celebration this evening at Historic Mount Vernon, the Distilled Spirits Council announced. The new members are: Herman I. Merinoff, Co-Chairman of the Board of the Charmer and Sunbelt Group of companies and Service-Universal Distributors, Inc.; Bill Samuels, Jr., President and CEO of Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc.; and Harold A. “Hal” Gershman, President and Owner of Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops, Inc. “The George Washington Spirits Society was created in 2002 to recognize distinguished inductees who best exemplify the outstanding qualities exhibited by our nation’s first President in his life, his business enterprises, and his service to his country,” said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter H. Cressy. The honorees were inducted into the George Washington Spirits Society during a special reception and dinner at Mount Vernon attended by more than 600 guests including legislators, ambassadors, industry leaders and the media. The evening, which raised $225,000 for Mount Vernon’s educational campaign “To Keep Him First,” also included a special auction of commemorative bottles tapped from the barrels the industry has been aging at Mount Vernon. Each honoree was inducted as “Guardian of His Spirit” and presented a medal created by the world-renowned Lenox designers. The medals, made through an antique process using burnished silver over pewter, featured an image of George Washington with the words “Heritage, Responsibility, and Integrity” on one side and a replica of George Washington’s copper pot still on the other side. The inductees were selected by the Board of Trustees of the George Washington Spirits Society, which is made up of representatives of America’s leading distillers and Historic Mount Vernon. The George Washington Spirits Society Inducts Three New Members Pg 2 THE NEW MEMBERS OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON SPIRITS SOCIETY: • Herman I. Merinoff Herman Merinoff, Co-Chairman of the Board of the Charmer and Sunbelt Group of companies and Service-Universal Distributors, Inc., has distinguished himself by his extraordinary leadership of the distilled spirits industry and his remarkable service to his state, region and community for over 40 years. A former editor of the Harvard Law Review, his outstanding career has included service as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a successful law practice, Chairman of the Board of James M. McCunn and Company and Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Renfield Corporation. Merinoff is widely recognized for his philanthropic activities and over the years has received numerous awards including the American Cancer Society’s Dr. Louis Berger Memorial Award, the UJA Federation Samuel Bronfman Memorial Award, the Fund for Higher Education’s Flame of Truth Award, and Man of the Year Award from the Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse. • Bill Samuels, Jr. Bill Samuels, Jr., President and CEO of Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc. in Loretto, KY, and a seventh generation distiller, is being honored for his dedicated and brilliant leadership of the distilled spirits industry and for his great service and his involvement in many charitable and civic efforts throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He has brought great innovation to the spirits industry and has worked effectively to preserve the industry’s rich history and heritage. Mr. Samuels has been Chairman of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of Overseers for Bellarmine College, Chairman of the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board, and Chairman of the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board. • Harold A. “Hal” Gershman Hal Gersham, Owner of Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops, Inc. in North Dakota has distinguished himself as a leader in the retail sector of the spirits industry, his commitment to responsibility and his active public service. Long active in state and local government affair, he is the President of the City Council of Grand Forks. Mr. Gershman has been extremely active in establishing centers for performing arts throughout North Dakota ensuring that every needy child in Grand Forks has the opportunity to participate in music education. He is also a major supporter of the Cancer Center of Grand Forks, the Y Center, and the Historical Society. The previous inductees of the George Washington Spirits Society are: Ambassador W.L. Lyons Brown, Jr., former Brown-Forman CEO; General Alfred M. Gray, USMC (Ret.), former Commandant of the Marine Corps; A. Raymond Tye, Chairman, The United Group; Charles Bailes, Jr. of ABC Fine Wine and Spirits; U.S. Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY); and Harvey Chaplin, Chairman and Chief Executive of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.