NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a nationwide search to grant $100,000 to an innovative idea, Ketel One and GQ Magazine are proud to announce carpenter and furniture craftsman Corbin Clay as the winner of "A Gentleman's Call." Evaluated based on how his idea demonstrates entrepreneurship, craftsmanship and philanthropy in the modern world while raising society's behavioral bar, Clay's furniture design startup was chosen from thousands of entries as the idea that best answered the call.
Innovators seized the opportunity to submit their ideas to be judged by leading entrepreneurial mentors including actor and philanthropist, Ian Somerhalder, Hispanic celebrity and businessman, Carlos Ponce, and Co-Founder and CEO of Movember, Adam Garone. Along with Carl Nolet, Jr., Executive Vice President of Nolet Spirits USA and Chris Mitchell, Publisher of GQ Magazine, Somerhalder, Ponce and Garone selected five finalists whose concepts best personified the values of Ketel One in the modern world.
The selected finalists then launched a campaign and encouraged the social media community to cast their vote for an idea that exemplified a higher standard of thinking and conviction. The five finalists of "A Gentleman's Call" garnered numerous votes as avid enthusiasts supported these inspiring, genuine gentlemen that exhibited substance and style through their noteworthy ideas.
In the end, Clay's Azure Furniture stood out and was deemed worthy of the $100,000. Learning the intricacies and craft of carpentry from a master German craftsman, Clay has applied his knowledge and passion to launch his entrepreneurial venture. Clay's company collects beetle-killed pinewood, an abundance of dry wood in the Rocky Mountains, to create premium, high-end furniture. The operation reduces the risk of large fires, as the beetle-killed pinewood is the primary factor in the destruction of homes in the Colorado forest. Clay's designs transform this hazardous raw material into a sustainable resource that is then sculpted, sanded and polished into showcase pieces including coffee tables, media storage and dining tables."I could not be more grateful for this generous grant," said Clay. "Ketel One values fine craftsmanship and it's exciting to be aligned with a brand that promotes the core of my business. Through the exposure of this program, Azure Furniture has already experienced tremendous growth expanding into the Northwest, and the $100,000 will only continue to cultivate a path of success for a startup that I have worked so long to get off the ground." Additionally, to thank the Denver community for its support during the program, Clay has created a custom conference table for a local fire fighter training organization. These men dedicate their lives to reducing the risk of forest fires in the Rocky Mountains and Clay will present these heroes with a custom designed piece made from a material that does the same. "Ketel One is honored to be part of 'A Gentleman's Call' and provide $100,000 for Corbin Clay's idea as it truly embodies the core pillars of our vodka," said Carl Nolet, Jr., 11 th Generation Nolet. "Ketel One is my family's tradition and, with this grant, we are honoring our history of craftsmanship and entrepreneurialism by helping Corbin, a skilled craftsman himself, expand his business, demonstrate the values of a modern gentleman and set a responsible example to those around him and beyond." For more information about the other four finalists and "A Gentleman's Call" visit www.AGentlemansCall.com for complete contest rules. Join the conversation, tag @KetelOne and @GQmagazine, use the hashtag #KetelOne #GentlemansCall, and visit www.facebook.com/KetelOne. About Ketel One Vodka With ten generations of Nolet family distilling passion and expertise, the success of the KETEL ONE brand is built on one-to-one conversations with the bartending community. Launched in the United States in the early 1980s, Carolus Nolet Sr. was inspired by original recipes and techniques of his ancestors when he created the recipe for and distinctive personality of KETEL ONE vodka. KETEL ONE vodka is a sophisticated and crisp, wheat-based, ultra-premium blend crafted from small batches, using copper pot stills together with modern distilling techniques. The 19 th century coal-fired pot still, Pot Still Number 1, otherwise known as "Distilleerketel # 1", is one of the pot stills used in the production process and is the inspiration for the name of this Dutch vodka. Each final production of KETEL ONE vodka is approved by a member of the Nolet family prior to bottling.