Bourbon Women, Kentucky Distillers’ Association Announce Inaugural Networking Award

August 16, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Lois Mateus, the first woman to serve on the Kentucky Distillers’ Association Board of Directors, was honored tonight by the KDA and the Bourbon Women organization with a namesake award for her networking and professional prowess.

Eric Gregory – President of Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Lois Mateus, Peggy Noe Stevens – President of Bourbon Women Association
Ms. Mateus, retired Senior Vice President of Brown-Forman, Inc., accepted the first-ever “Lois Mateus Networking Award” at the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, where more than 125 members of the Bourbon Women group held an educational event with KDA craft distilleries.

“Networking is close kin to teamwork,” Ms. Mateus said. “The Kentucky Bourbon industry has long realized ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’ Together as an industry, through KDA and enthusiasts like Bourbon Women, we help each other, advancing the great American spirit while building our individual brands.”

Ms. Mateus was appointed to the KDA Board as the Director from Brown-Forman in the spring of 1992 and served a two-year term, said KDA President Eric Gregory. Since then, numerous women have served on the KDA Board as Directors, Officers and Chairwoman.

“Our Association and our Board didn’t recognize this pioneering achievement at the time, but it certainly made a difference in our industry and that oversight is proudly being corrected tonight with this deserving award,” Gregory said.

“Today, the KDA is honored that women are in high-ranking roles as Bourbon Ambassador, Director of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs and Secretary/Treasurer of our Board. Their leadership and expertise have transformed our industry. We owe them, and Lois, our thanks.”

Ms. Mateus was given an etched copper and crackle glass platter at tonight’s ceremony to symbolize the breakthrough role. Peggy Noe Stevens, founder of Bourbon Women, said the award will be given annually in cooperation with KDA.

“So much of what we know and love about Bourbon has been influenced by remarkable women,” said Stevens, a nationally acclaimed author and consultant with more than 20 years’ experience in hospitality, tourism and experiential marketing.

“Everything from mash bills to packaging has been shaped in part by the careful consideration of Southern ladies like Catherine Carpenter and Marge Samuels. This award celebrates women who have impacted their industry and achieved exceptional influence in their field.”

Stevens said the award will be 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 was founded in 2011 to promote the history, heritage, culture and lifestyle of Bourbon. The group has grown to 500 members in 20 states and three countries, Stevens said. Learn more at

The KDA, a non-profit trade group 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 visitor centers in the last two years alone.

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.

Craft distillery members include Alltech; Barrel House Distilling Co.; Corsair Artisan Distillery; Limestone Branch Distillery; MB Roland Distillery; The Old Pogue Distillery; Silver Trail Distillery; and Willett Distillery.

The Distilled Spirits Epicenter in Louisville is an educational distillery member.

Go to for more information. Also, explore the KDA’s famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure and the new Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® at


For more information, contact Brittany Allison, Office: (502) 875-9351; Mobile: (502) 817-1622 or Mary Stone, (502) 259-8872.
KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, BOURBON TRAIL™ and KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR® are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please drink responsibly.

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly