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Alltech founder to receive 2014 Henry Clay Medallion

Dr. Pearse Lyons founded Alltech in 1980

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation has selected Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, as this year’s recipients of the 2014 Henry Clay Medallion for Distinguished Service.
 The Medallion will be awarded on Dec. 11 at the Governor’s Mansion.

From left, Bill Giles, chairman, Henry Clay Memorial Foundation; Dr. Pearse Lyons; George McGee, Henry Clay Chautauqua Performer; and Nancy Ireland Bishop, president, Henry Clay Memorial Foundation.

The Henry Clay Medallion recognizes, honors and celebrates individuals of exceptional merit who share characteristics of the life and work of Kentucky statesman Henry Clay.

Lyons was selected for his accomplishments within Kentucky as well as for bringing the best of Kentucky to the attention of people throughout the U.S. and the world.

Lyons founded Alltech in Kentucky in 1980 with $10,000, and it is now a $1 billion company operating in 128 countries with more than 3,500 employees.

Lyons participates in a number of community and education-focused initiatives, such as the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, which annually awards more than a half-million dollars in University of Kentucky Opera Theatre scholarships; a commitment with his wife, Deirdre Lyons, the director of Alltech’s corporate image and design, to construct at least one Kentucky primary school laboratory each year; and an annual Innovation Competition that sets Kentucky university business teams against one another to promote economic growth within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

In what has become Lexington’s largest annual hotel booking with an estimated economic impact of $7.2 million, more than 2300 people trek into the heart of the Bluegrass for the Alltech International Symposium. The food and feed industry’s premier Symposium typically attracts company executives, governmental officials, university faculty and students, and researchers from over 70 countries.

Lyons is likely best-known for his leadership role in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which brought more than a half-million spectators from all 50 states and 63 countries to Lexington for the 16-day world championship event.

Henry Clay Medallion recipients:

  • 1993: Dr. Thomas Clark
  • 1995: Speaker of the House Thomas Foley
  • 1996: Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor
  • 1997: Gov. Wendell Ford
  • 1998: Sen. Trent Lott
  • 1999: Gov. Edward Breathitt
  • 2000: William T. Young
  • 2001: Lucille Little
  • 2002: Ambassador William Farrish
  • 2004: Robert E. “Ted” Turner
  • 2005: Hillary Boone
  • 2006: Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao
  • 2008: HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
  • 2009: Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy
  • 2010: Dr. Charles Shearer
  • 2011: Speakers of the House John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Dennis Hastert and Newt Gingrich
  • 2012: Itzhak Perlman
  • 2013: Dr. Pearse Lyons