Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, is a veteran communicator with more than 25 years of experience in governmental affairs, marketing, journalism and strategic public relations.
As KDA President, Gregory oversees all aspects of the 140-year-old association that promotes, protects and represents the Commonwealth’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry, including the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour.
Kentucky’s historic distilleries produce 95 percent of the world’s Bourbon, a rich heritage that dates back more than 200 years. Today, Bourbon is “America’s Official Native Spirit,” a leading export and a popular symbol of Kentucky craftsmanship and tradition.
Gregory joined the KDA in 2008 after seven years as Governmental Affairs Manager at East Kentucky Power Cooperative. He previously served as Vice President of Public Affairs for Preston-Osborne, a prominent Lexington public relations, marketing and research firm.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Gregory began his career as an award-winning journalist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. He also served as a reporter and editor at the Honolulu Advertiser, and has been nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize.
Gregory is a native of Henderson, Ky. He and his wife, Ellen, live in Midway, Ky., with their three children.
And if you ask about his favorite Bourbon, his response will always be, “Kentucky Bourbon.”
Alvey, a respected governmental affairs executive with more than 15 years’ experience in legislative advocacy comes to the KDA from the esteemed Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation (KFB). He was Director of Local Affairs and Policy Development for KFB since 2001. Bryan also served as Chairman of the KBF Employee Community Service Committee from the committees’ inception until leaving in 2017.
As Senior Director of Governmental and External Affair, Alvey will be responsible for managing and directing the KDA’s public affairs initiatives at all levels of government and strengthening Kentucky’s rightful title as the one, true and authentic home for Bourbon and distilled spirits.
Prior to his work at KFB, Bryan was the owner and manager of Alvey Enterprises, a small distribution company based in Lexington. Alvey sold the company after joining KFB.
A native of Leitchfield in Grayson County, Alvey is a combat veteran who has served the United States in three wartime operations earning a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired from the military in 2009.
He is a 1996 graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in government and geography (environmental mgmt.), and received his Master’s in Public Administration from American Military University in 2010.
He and his wife, Sandy, reside in Goshen, Ky., with their daughter, Lena.
Adam Johnson came to the KDA in 2012 as its first-ever Senior Director of the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences. Having served six years as Executive Director of the Danville/Boyle County Visitors Bureau, Johnson comes to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® from a hospitality and tourism industry background.
As Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Senior Director, Johnson is responsible for strengthening partnerships among the Bourbon and tourism industries; working with member distilleries to manage tourism growth and solidifying Kentucky as the authentic home for Bourbon. In addition to working on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, he helps manage the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®.
He also has served as Assistant Director for Annual Giving at Centre College in Danville, where he graduated with a degree in History in 1997. Johnson currently resides in Danville, Kentucky with his daughter Campbell, and his board game collection.
Colleen Thomas joined the KDA in 2016 as Bourbon Ambassador and was promoted to Senior Director of Marketing & Member Services in 2020. She is responsible for executing events and special projects to further enhance the industry’s rich heritage, strengthen its community relations and encourage the responsible consumption of spirits and is based out of KDA’s Louisville office.
Thomas previously served as Marketing Director for Louisville-based Flavorman and its sister company, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, where she promoted and coordinated professional training for the distilling industry and provided support for faculty, participants and graduates.
In 2014, she developed the Stave & Thief Society, the first Bourbon certification program recognized by the KDA and its iconic member companies.
She is a graduate of the University of Louisville and is a certified Executive Bourbon Steward and TiPS Trainer. She lives in Louisville with her husband and children.
Amandalin (Mandy) Ryan joined the Kentucky Distillers’ Association in 2013 as the Homeplace Coordinator and has held various titles until being promoted to the Director of Marketing in 2020. Ryan supports the Association’s work in marketing, public relations, member communications, partner relations, and various tourism aspects of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour.
Ryan previously served as the Visitor Center Coordinator at the Danville-Boyle County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and as the Special Projects Coordinator for Preservation Kentucky.
Ryan graduated from Asbury University in 2010 with a BA in Business Management. She currently resides in Danville, Kentucky.