Former Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc. executive George Blankenship received the Alltech Medal of Excellence at the Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE 17), an event dedicated to inspiring innovation in Lexington, Ky. Now in its 33rd year, the international meeting drew approximately 4,000 attendees, who networked and discussed disruptive ideas in business, technology, food and agriculture.

Blankenship received the Alltech Medal of Excellence from Dr. Pearse Lyons on the main plenary stage in Rupp Arena at ONE17. Alltech’s highest accolade, the medal is awarded annually to someone of great accomplishment and leadership. Previous honorees include former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Norman Borlaug, the father of “the Green Revolution.” Blankenship received the medal in recognition of his ability to create unrivaled customer experiences with two of the most disruptive brands of our time: Apple and Tesla.

“George Blankenship is the epitome of disruption, and I pay homage to his strategies in leadership and breaking the norm,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. "Our ONE conference is all about celebrating those who take risks and disrupt the norm.”

“I am thrilled to be here,” said Blankenship. “Never ever let anyone get in the way of what you know is the right thing to do deep down inside. This conference is about the ONE thing that makes a difference.” His advice included: "Sometimes you have to think about doing the impossible, which is not impossible—it just has not been done yet. Have a simple message. Celebrate your successes and your failures."

Speaker presentation clips will be available in June on the Alltech Idea Lab. Sign up for access at