headshot for KDA employee Marielle McElmurray

Kentucky Distillers’ Association Welcomes Marielle McElmurray as Special Projects Manager

February 1, 2021

For Immediate Release – Feb. 1, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today announced that Marielle McElmurray is the new Special Projects Manager for the non-profit trade group that promotes, protects and elevates Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

McElmurray comes to the KDA from the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy where she spent three years as Director of Public Affairs. She previously worked at the Legislative Research Commission as an assistant to the House and Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committees.

A Georgia native, McElmurray is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. She is a former board member of Kentucky Women in Agriculture and Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom boards, as well as an acting member of the Kentucky Agricultural Council and Kentucky Horse Council. 

“We are incredibly impressed with Marielle’s diverse skill set and background in agriculture and natural resources, which have been hallmarks of our signature industry for more than 200 years,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. 

“She was highly recommended by many of Kentucky’s top leaders in agriculture, who touted her industry knowledge, ability to change gears quickly, tireless work ethic and professionalism. We are proud to welcome her to our growing team and family of Kentucky’s finest distillers.”

McElmurray said, “I am excited to join the incredible team at the KDA and look forward to the opportunity to serve this signature industry in any capacity that I can.”

The KDA recently created the position to support the KDA staff, its historic mission and expanding membership, now counting 42 distilling companies – the highest number since the glorious Repeal of Prohibition, with many more on the way.  

Founded in 1880, the KDA is the state’s voice for Bourbon and spirits issues. Its diverse membership produces the overwhelming majority 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 thriving $8.6 billion economic engine that generates more than 20,100 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion million each year.

In addition, the industry is in the middle of a $2.3 billion building boom, from innovative new tourism centers to expanded production facilities, all to meet the growing global thirst for Kentucky Bourbon.

There are now nearly 10 million barrels of Bourbon and other spirits aging in Kentucky warehouses, the highest number in the modern era of American Whiskey. Of that, 9.3 million are just Bourbon, the first time since 1967 that the number of Bourbon barrels topped nine million.

Bourbon production has skyrocketed more than 360 percent since the turn of the century, with Kentucky distillers filling 2.1 million barrels in 2019. That was the second year in a row that distillers filled two million barrels – and the first time in the modern era. 

Gregory thanked the KDA Board of Directors for responsibly growing the Association and its staff as membership increases. “We deeply appreciate the support and confidence of the KDA Board and our members as we meet their needs and support the global Kentucky Bourbon renaissance,” he said. 

“Marielle is a great addition to our team of passionate industry experts. We look forward to introducing her to our partners and sponsors as we work together to strengthen Kentucky’s rightful title as the one, true and authentic home for Bourbon and distilled spirits.”


For more information, contact: KDA President Eric Gregory at [email protected].  


Founded in 1880, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is the historic voice for Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. 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 and treasured economic engine. 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 www.kybourbon.com and www.kybourbontrail.com.KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT®, BOURBON TRAIL™ and KENTUCKY BOURBON HALL OF FAME® are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.  

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly