Talking Rain CEO Named Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year

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Kevin Klock, CEO, Talking Rain Beverage Co.

SEATTLE — Ernst & Young (EY) today announced that Kevin Klock, president and CEO of Talking Rain Beverage Company, headquartered in Preston, Washington, received the coveted EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Award in the Retail and Consumer Products category in the Pacific Northwest.  The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Klock was selected by an independent panel of judges, and the award was presented at a special gala event at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue on Friday, June 20, 2014.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by Ernst & Young as an entrepreneurial leader,” said Klock. “I share this award with our entire Talking Rain family, who have been paramount in the company’s success.”

Klock spearheaded the strategy to reposition Talking Rain® as a competitive beverage company back in 2010. He set a goal to establish Talking Rain as an industry pioneer – and now industry insiders, like Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), have called the company a “rising star.” Klock’s decision to eliminate underperforming products and focus almost entirely on the Sparkling ICE® brand was a “Hail Mary” that not only turned the company around, but positioned Talking Rain for ultimate success. It was a huge risk and a cultural shift for the company, but Klock successfully coordinated investment, marketing and supply chain efforts to re-focus Talking Rain, sending retail sales of the Sparkling ICE Sparkling Mountain Spring Water sky-high – from $10 million to more than $350 million in less than three years. Today, Talking Rain’s Sparkling ICE® is the fastest growing beverage in the U.S., according to IRI, with an upward trajectory that shows no signs of slowing down.

As a Pacific Northwest award winner, Klock is eligible for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California onNovember 15, 2014. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are sponsored in the United Statesby the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America. In the Pacific Northwest, regional sponsors include Merrill Corporation, Perkins Coie LLC, Puget Sound Business Journal, Scherzer International, The Big Picture Video Film & Arts and Union Bank.

About Talking Rain

The Talking Rain family of beverages includes thirst-quenching product lines: Sparkling ICE Sparkling Mountain Spring Water, Talking Rain Fusions™, Talking Rain Mountain Spring Water and Talking Rain Sparkling Essence Water, all of which are created to refresh the body and renew the mind. For 27 years, Talking Rain has stayed true to its vision and its commitment to community by continually creating great tasting, refreshing beverages. For more information, visit www.talkingrain.com and www.sparklingice.com.

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 ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, 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.

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