The founders of an insurance giant and a restaurant chain, and the past leader of a landmark bourbon company are among the inductees of the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
This year's class, the hall of fame's second, numbers five, down from the inaugural celebration honoring nine.
"We thought it was important to start off with a large number like that," said Brian Raney, founder of business incubator Awesome Inc. and one of the organizers of the Hall of Fame.
This year's inductees are:
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■ Dana Bowers, who co-founded iPay Technologies, an electronic bill-pay provider, in Elizabethtown.
■ David Jones Sr. and the late Wendell Cherry, who co-founded Louisville-based Humana.
■ Kent Taylor, founder of Louisville-based Texas Roadhouse.
■ Bill Samuels Jr., former president of Maker's Mark, who oversaw dramatic growth in the company.
Among the qualities considered, Raney said, were revenue and profit growth, innovation, contributions to the community, and job creation.
All but Jones will attend a ceremony at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with speeches by restaurant entrepreneur and former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown, who was inducted last year, and Carey Smith, founder of Big Ass Fans in Lexington.
Space is limited. Those interested in attending may email Raney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event also will honor five emerging entrepreneurs: Wayne Yeager of Webalytics, Vidya Ravichandran of GlowTouch, Zak Boca of SingleHop, Heather Howell of Rooibee Red Tea, and Rob May of Backupify.
"All of the people who are being inducted into the Hall of Fame were at the same stage as these up-and-coming ones at one point," Raney said, "so we felt like in an effort to encourage more entrepreneurs at that level, it would be great to recognize these five."