Kentucky Distillers’ Association Announces New Board Officers, Directors

January 5, 2017

For Immediate Release – January 5, 2017

ryan-ashleyFRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today announced that Ryan Ashley, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Distillery Operations for the Four Roses Distillery, has been named Chairman of the historic group’s Board of Directors for 2017.

Ashley, 45, leads all distillery operations at Four Roses and is currently overseeing a $54 million expansion that will double its production and add several new warehouses. He will serve as KDA Chairman through December 2017.

“I am honored to serve as KDA Chair, particularly during a time of unprecedented growth for our industry,” Ashley said. “I look forward to working closely with our members to further educate consumers and promote the original American spirit — Kentucky Straight Bourbon.”

The KDA Board of Directors selected officers during its annual meeting recently in Louisville.

The Board also appointed Rob Samuels, Chief Operating Officer at Beam Suntory/Maker’s Mark, as Vice Chairman and Rick Robinson, Vice President of U.S. Product Supply Chain for Wild Turkey Distillery, as Secretary-Treasurer.

Other Board members for 2017 include:

  • Heaven Hill Brands: Larry Kass, Director of Trade Relations
  • Diageo North America: Pauline Rooney, Vice President of Distilling, Maturation and Engineering
  • Michter’s: Joseph J. Magliocco, President
  • Brown-Forman: Campbell Brown, President, Old Forester

Founded in 1880, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is a non-profit trade group that unites, promotes, protects and elevates the state’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. There are currently 33 members, the most since the Repeal of Prohibition.

Its diverse and growing membership produces 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are fostering the next generation of the Commonwealth’s timeless craft.

Member benefits include media relations, international trade development, private sampling events, technical assistance, economic development support, networking, legal defense, marketing strategies, governmental and regulatory advocacy and innovative tourism experiences through the KDA’s world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures.

The KDA maintains an open membership policy, champions a strong commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of spirits, and fights to curb underage drinking and drunk driving. Learn more at and

Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $3 billion economic engine that generates more than 15,000 jobs with an annual payroll topping $700 million and pours $166 million of tax revenue into state and local coffers each year.

KDA President Eric Gregory, who is entering his 10th year as president, thanked the Board for its support and vision. “As our iconic industry has grown over the last decade, so have the resources and strength of the KDA,” he said.

“We are truly honored to be part of the Kentucky Bourbon renaissance and look forward to many more opportunities in the coming year to showcase America’s only native spirit and solidify Kentucky’s rightful place as the one, true and authentic home for Bourbon.”


For more information, contact KDA President Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351.

The KDA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1880 to promote, protect and elevate Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Heritage members include Beam Suntory (Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark), Brown-Forman Corp. (Old Forester and Woodford Reserve), Diageo North America, Four Roses Distillery, Heaven Hill Brands, Michter’s Distillery and Wild Turkey Distillery. Proof members include the Louisville Distilling Company and Willett Distillery.


Craft members include Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Barrel House Distilling Co., Bluegrass Distillers, Boone County Distilling Company, Boundary Oak Distillery, Casey Jones Distillery, Copper & Kings American Brandy Distillery, Corsair Artisan Distillery, Dueling Grounds Distillery, Hartfield & Co. Distillery, Jeptha Creed Distillery, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Kentucky Mist Moonshine, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co., Limestone Branch Distillery, MB Roland Distillery, New Riff Distillery, The Old Pogue Distillery, O.Z. Tyler Distillery, Second Sight Spirits and Wilderness Trail Distillery. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the KDA’s official educational distillery.


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

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly