FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today announced that Joe Fraser of Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., has been named Chairman of the 134-year-old group that promotes and protects the Commonwealth’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.
Fraser, who is Vice President of Operations at Heaven Hill, will serve through December 2014. The KDA Board of Directors selected officers during its annual meeting recently at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg.
“It’s an honor to serve as Chairman during these unprecedented times of growth and success, but there’s still much work to be done,” Fraser said. “Our industry faces numerous challenges from tax and trade issues to securing the integrity of our craft and its rich heritage.
“We’re extremely proud that KDA membership has reached its highest point since 1972, with a new generation of distilleries and a wealth of new programs and initiatives to build upon the Bourbon momentum. We are truly stronger when we work together.”
The Board also appointed Andrea Wilson, Director of Whiskey Strategy for Diageo North America, as Vice Chairman and Chris Morris, Master Distiller at Brown-Forman Corp., as Secretary-Treasurer.
Other Board members for 2014 include:
• Four Roses Distillery: John Rhea, Chief Operating Officer
• Beam, Inc.: Rob Samuels, , Chief Operating Officer, Maker’s Mark
• Wild Turkey: Rick Robinson, Plant Director
The KDA, a non-profit trade association founded in 1880, is the state’s leading voice on spirits issues. Its members produce 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon and have invested nearly $300 million in new facilities, equipment and tourism centers in the last two years alone.
The world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour, created by the KDA in 1999, continues to attract more visitors than ever before, with more than 2.5 million people exploring the eight participating distilleries in the last five years.
And, visitors continue to discover the new Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®, which showcases the state’s growing craft distillery movement.
KDA heritage members include Beam, Inc. (Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark); Brown-Forman Corp.; Diageo North America; Four Roses Distillery; Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc.; and Wild Turkey Distillery. Proof members include Michter’s Distillery.
Craft distillery members include Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery, Barrel House Distilling Co., Corsair Artisan Distillery, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Limestone Branch Distillery, MB Roland Distillery, The Old Pogue Distillery, Silver Trail Distillery, Wilderness Trace Distillery and The Willett Distillery. Educational members include the Distilled Spirits Epicenter.
For more information, contact KDA President Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351.
Visit online at www.kybourbon.com or www.kybourbontrail.com. KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL® and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The KDA and its members ask that you enjoy Kentucky Bourbon responsibly and in moderation, and never mix drinking and driving.