Bourbon Women, Kentucky Distillers’ Association Celebrate Groundbreaking Industry Champion 

August 21, 2020

For Immediate Release – August 21, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Christy Trout Van Tatenhove, Special Counsel to Kentucky’s Speaker of the House, received the seventh annual “Lois Mateus Networking Award” this week in honor of her distinguished contributions to Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and spirits industry.

Prior to her current role, Van Tatenhove served as the first woman Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, where she oversaw the regulation of the Commonwealth’s alcohol industry with its first-ever all-female Board.

During her time as ABC Commissioner and the Speaker’s Office, she worked closely with the KDA and its members to advance significant pieces of legislation that have modernized the alcohol industry in Kentucky, including direct-to-consumer shipping in House Bill 415.  

Bourbon Women President Kerri Richardson and KDA President Eric Gregory commended Van Tatenhove for her exceptional commitment to promoting and elevating Kentucky’s iconic Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

Richardson said that the Bourbon industry is indebted to Van Tatenhove for her skilled and savvy work in modernizing Kentucky’s archaic laws and Prohibition-era regulations governing the spirits business. 

“She saw the barriers to an equitable playing field for Kentucky’s Bourbon industry and made it her mission to tear them down,” Richardson said. “Her guidance and advocacy helped our distilling businesses grow and serve consumers around the world.” 

“One day soon, when you’ve had a delicious bottle shipped directly to your home, raise a glass to Christy.”

In addition to leading the first all-female Board at the Kentucky ABC, Van Tatenhove was instrumental in providing guidance on the vintage spirits legislation in 2017 and House Bill 400 in 2018, the first shipping bill that allowed distillery gift shop visitors to ship bottles home. 

KDA President Gregory said, “As a lawyer, Christy knows how to gather information from all parties before making decisions. Her methodical approach to modernizing alcohol laws can clearly be seen in her work drafting the shipping bill that is now a model for the country.

“Christy has spent countless hours learning about our legendary distilling industry and she should be proud of her leadership toward opening the door to a new era for Kentucky Bourbon and Bourbon women” Gregory said.

The award is named for Lois Mateus, retired Senior Vice President of Brown-Forman, Inc., and the first woman ever to serve on the KDA Board. Her two-year term in 1992 paved the way for other women in high-ranking roles throughout Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry. 

“Thank you for honoring me. It is a privilege to be recognized alongside such exceptional and accomplished women, particularly Lois Mateus,” Van Tatenhove said. “But the real honor has been the opportunity to work with the KDA and those committed to growing and improving one of Kentucky’s signature industries.  

“Together, we have opened markets and improved regulation. As a result, Kentucky’s distilled spirits community remains the envy of the world.”

Kentucky Speaker of the House David Osborne, R-Prospect, said he is extremely pleased to see Van Tatenhove receive the recognition she deserves, and he appreciates Bourbon Women and the KDA for honoring her. 

“Christy’s impact on our state’s signature spirit is great,” he said. “As the first woman to serve as ABC Commissioner, she provided a thoughtful, common sense approach to regulatory oversight. As our staff point person on HB 415, her expertise was invaluable in crafting legislation that will serve as a national model and expand the industry’s market.

“Most noteworthy is the fact that her hallmark is an approach that values collaboration and seeks partnerships. While she is far from finished, her legacy is already great.”

The award is given annually by Bourbon Women in conjunction with the KDA based on the following criteria for a woman who has:  

  • Excelled in her profession by continuously building key relationships to contribute to the growth in her respective industry
  • Broken through barriers to grow her career
  • Contributed to the community through service and philanthropy
  • Increased exposure for other women to grow their networking and career opportunities
  • Developed creative partnerships and strategic alliances to further the growth of her respective industry
  • Become a role model for female professionalism

Bourbon Women is a premier organization for women who are passionate about exploring Bourbon and the culture that surrounds it. 

Designed exclusively for educational, networking and charitable purposes, Bourbon Women’s fast-growing membership is made up of women form over 30 states and continues to form new branches across the country. 

Since its inception, the Bourbon Women Association has inspired books on women in the industry, created partnerships with key industry associations, held the first bourbon weekend for women and continues to raise money for philanthropies through their unique, high-quality events.

Bourbon Women from around the country come together once a year for their annual Bourbon Women SIPosium. This year’s event, the SIP Summer Series, is a three-day virtual conference featuring a distinctively curated online series of top-shelf spirits education.

Learn more at

Founded in 1880, the KDA is the state’s voice for Bourbon and spirits issues. Its diverse membership produces 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are building the next generation of the timeless craft.

Kentucky Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $8.6 billion economic engine that generates as many as 21,100 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion and pours $235 million into state and local tax coffers each year.

Attendance at the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® distilleries has skyrocketed by 314 percent in the last 10 years. Visitors made nearly 2 million stops at participating distilleries last year, the highest mark since KDA founded the tour in 1999. 

Visit and to learn more.

Gregory said, “On behalf of the KDA and our 39 members, we congratulate Christy on her achievements and thank her for her significant contributions to the growth of Kentucky’s Bourbon and distilled spirts industry. We look forward to working with her for many years.”


For more information, contact Kerri Richardson (502) 386-2421; Peggy Noe Stevens at (502) 338-6564; or Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351.  


BOURBON AFFAIR™ and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please drink responsibly.

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