Promoting & Protecting

Bourbon Since 1880
Kentucky Distillers' Association logo
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) is the first and only non-profit trade association dedicated to protecting Kentucky’s legacy in Bourbon and sharing it with the world. Established in 1880, we bring together distillers, businesses, educators and governmental entities to advocate for our industry and ensure that Kentucky always remains the one true home of Bourbon. The Proof Is Here®.
Our Mission

We passionately and responsibly promote, protect and elevate Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and Distilled Spirits Industry.

Our Vision

We are globally recognized as the most effective and respected voice of Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and Distilled Spirits Industry.

Our Purpose

We unite and lead Kentucky’s Bourbon and Distilled Spirits Industry.

We Started in 1880
The KDA was formed when 32 pre-Prohibition era distillers met at the Galt House in Louisville and made plans to protect Kentucky’s signature spirit from needless and obstructive laws and regulations.

A lot’s changed since then, but one thing remains: our distillers and the spirits they make tell Kentucky’s greatest story—and we all play a part in sharing it with the world.
Full Proof Impact
From job creation to capital investments and tourism to taxes, our distillers create much more than spirits. As an $8.6 billion signature industry, Kentucky Bourbon is pouring pride, prosperity and much-needed revenue into state and local economies.
Carrying Our Legacy Forward
KDA Initiatives & Experiences
Guiding The Industry Through Over 140 Years of Growth & Change
As the voice for Kentucky Bourbon in public policy, we’ve been standing with our distillers since before Prohibition. We advocate for Bourbon at state, local and international levels to support the sustainable growth of our industry for generations to come.
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association Team

Eric Gregory

President

It takes a lot of grit to promote and protect over 200 years of heritage—and there’s no one more passionate, tenacious and spirited than Eric to do it.

As President of the KDA, it’s hard to capture everything Eric brings to the table—but we’ll start with the basics: he’s at the helm of an association that’s redefined the very culture of spirits in the Commonwealth, taking Kentucky Bourbon from “sin” to “signature” industry.

As a veteran communicator and full proof leader to our 140+ year old association, Eric has advocated for bold, historic reforms that have made Kentucky Bourbon the thriving, global economic driver that it is today.

But it’s not just the thousands of jobs, billions in capital investment and unparalleled boost to tourism for Eric—it’s the fact that he gets to wake up and do what he loves working alongside the incredible families, talented workers, Bourbon Barons and Master Distillers who make it happen every day.

Perfect Pour
On the rocks, just as the chill hits the glass.

Bourbon Eats
Kentucky Bourbon paired with chocolate, or his wife’s famous candied bacon with Bourbon.

Contact
Eric@kybourbon.com

Colleen Thomas

Senior Director of Marketing & Member Services

From helping the team at Moonshine University develop the Stave & Thief Bourbon Certification Program to cheering on industry friends and colleagues as they cut the ribbon on a brand new distillery, Colleen’s dedication to her work reflects much of what she loves about Kentucky Bourbon itself. A culture built on hard work, the spirit of collaboration and a commitment to doing things right the first time. 

In her position with KDA, Colleen makes sure our members have everything they need to succeed in their business, grow in the industry, overcome obstacles, and in some cases, realize a dream. 

As expressive as she is efficient, Colleen’s sense of humor, practical nature and barrel strength ambition are second to none. 

Perfect Pour: On the rocks with a slice of orange at a U of L basketball home game, or in a tasting line-up during late night board games with Adam and Mandy.

Bourbon Eats: If it’s made with food and/or Bourbon, it’s Colleen’s favorite.

Contact
Colleen@kybourbon.com

Adam Johnson

Senior Director of Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Experiences

For Adam, it’s all about sharing the wonders, stories and mysteries of Kentucky Bourbon with people from around the world.  Some would say he’s a Bourbon dreamer.

As Senior Director of Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Experiences, he’s seen the industry grow from cult following to global phenomenonbut it hasn’t been overnight. Since 2012, he’s been helping increase visitors, member distilleries and tourism throughout the Commonwealth. With his easy-going, creative and spirit-forward approach, Adam builds relationships as strong as his cocktails—all while ensuring that every Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience is one to remember.

He says the collective knowledge, passion and pride of the industry has made its way into the whiskeyand that’s what keeps people coming back for more. 

Perfect Pour: One rock and he’s good to go.

Bourbon Eats: A tasting fight with food pairings.

Contact
Adam@kybourbon.com

Amandalin Ryan

Director of Marketing, KDA and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®

To the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, Mandy is Director of Marketing. But to everyone else, she holds another important title: Director of Cocktails. (Seriously. Just ask anyone who’s tried one of her creations.)

When she’s not flexing her mixology skills, she’s inspiring people from around the world to visit our Old Kentucky Home—all in the name of Kentucky Bourbon.

For Mandy, the glass is always half full. Maybe it’s getting to do what she loves with the passionate, hard-working, fun-loving Kentuckians she works with every day. Or maybe it’s just the Bourbon. We’re lucky to have her either way.  

Perfect Pour: With one large rock and someone she loves. 

Bourbon Eats: Ginger molasses cookies to pair, and Derby Day Burgoo to cook. 

Contact
Mandy@kybourbon.com

Sara Barnes

Director of Industry Responsibility & Sustainability

Meet Sara: She’s sassy, Southern, and like our Bourbon, she’s 100% genuine. She’s also the perfect person to spark meaningful change in our industry as the Kentucky Distillers’ Association’s Director of Industry Responsibility & Sustainability.

Sara has worked hard to make a name for herself in Bourbon and looks forward to continuing to move the industry forward to a more sustainable, diverse and inclusive future. 

To Sara, the Bourbon community has always felt like home, and it’s her goal to build an even stronger foundation for generations to come. 

Perfect Pour: Sipping with her husband, alongside their pups, chickens and barn cats, together on their little farm.

Bourbon Eats: Derby pie—Kentucky comfort food at its finest.

Contact
Sara@kybourbon.com

Jack Mazurak

Director of Governmental & Regulatory Affairs

With his extensive background in economic development, it’s only natural that Jack now leads government and regulatory affairs for Kentucky’s $9 billion signature industry. Sure, Jack’s experience in reporting, public relations and strengthening local economies doesn’t hurt. But it’s his passion for people, prosperity–and you guessed it, Bourbon–that stands out to us the most. 

For years, Jack’s been building relationships with elected officials with a deep understanding that Kentucky Bourbon is more than just a drink. In fact, his dedication to helping create jobs, drive tourism, increase investments and grow Kentucky’s Bourbon industry is so strong, you’d never know he’s originally from upstate New York (Don’t worry, Jack–your secret is safe with us.). 

Jack says he’s energized by the team at the KDA, but we’re just trying to keep up with him.  

Perfect Pour: Neat, after chores. 

Bourbon Eats: Paired with rich, smoky local BBQ.

Contact
Jack@kybourbon.com

Annie Franklin

Director of Member Services

Is the glass half full, or half empty? For Annie, it doesn’t really matter as long as there’s Bourbon in it. As the Kentucky Distillers’ Association’s (KDA) first-ever Director of Member Services, Annie brings the energy, work ethic and experience our members need to strengthen their position as industry leaders. Prior to joining KDA, Annie gained experience working with dozens of distilleries on expansion projects that created hundreds of jobs and drove millions in capital investment. 

Annie says it’s no coincidence that Kentucky is the one, true authentic home of Bourbon–and obviously, we agree. But beyond our ideal landscape, that pure limestone water and those unpredictable seasons, it’s the people behind the Bourbon–like Annie–who make our industry so unique.

When asked, “Why do you love what you do?” Annie’s response was just what we needed: “I love Bourbon and I love Kentucky.” And for us, it doesn’t get much better than that. 

Perfect Pour: Bourbon eggnog, all year round. 

Bourbon Eats: Paired with candied bacon or dark chocolate.

Contact
Annie@kybourbon.com

Allison Delande

Director of Special Projects

Contact
Allison@kybourbon.com

Allison would rather be someone’s sip of Bourbon than everyone’s cup of tea–and that’s just fine by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA). Joining us from Minnick Media, Allison brings over 20 years of hospitality, event planning, marketing and fundraising experience to the team. While Allison has worked with some of the industry’s very best (Did someone say Fred Minnick?) it’s her drive, caring nature and dedication that drew us in.

As Director of Special Projects, Allison ensures that KDA member meetings, events and experiences are all run as smooth as Kentucky Bourbon. Okay, maybe not that smooth–but she does handle logistics, communication and project management like a pro. Also an avid marketer, fundraiser and supporter of the industry, Allison is vital to key initiatives like KDA’s Bourbon Trail® PAC and the Lifting Spirits Foundation.

With a true passion for Bourbon and the drive to succeed, Allison’s career has been filled with rewarding moments–but there’s one that stands out the most. As part of the team that assembled the Kentucky Bourbon Benefit Auction in 2021, Allison helped shape an effort that raised $3.4 million for Western Kentucky families and businesses that were impacted by a devastating tornado.

Perfect Pour: Shared with good friends and loved ones.

Bourbon Eats: Cinnamon Apple Bourbon Hand Pie, or Bourbon Brown Sugar Maple Bacon.

Contact: Allison@kybourbon.com

Marielle McElmurray

Special Projects Manager

Don’t let the fact that she’s originally from Georgia fool youMarielle is a Kentuckian at heart. With her deep roots in agriculture, love of fast horses and passion for fine Bourbon, our culture is practically in her DNA. 

As Special Projects Manager for the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Marielle brings the unbridled ambition and enthusiasm we need to strengthen our state’s signature industry.

From the farmers who grow the grains to the distillers who transform them—Marielle enjoys building relationships with the people who bring America’s native spirit to life. When she’s not connecting with KDA members and partners, you’ll find Marielle on her couch with her Bourbon and her pup—the coziest pairing. 

Perfect Pour: Never met a Bourbon she didn’t like.

Bourbon Eats: Goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto to go with any Bourbon drink.

Contact
Marielle@kybourbon.com

Board of Directors

Mark Erwin

Director

Bardstown Bourbon Co.
President & CEO

Kevin Smith

2022 Chair

Beam Suntory
VP Kentucky Beam Bourbon Affairs

Chris Morris

2022 Vice Chair

Brown-Forman
Master Distiller

Will Arvin

Director

Castle & Key
Owner & Co-Founder

Pauline Rooney

2022 Immediate Past Chair

Diageo
VP Distillation, Maturation & Engineering

Ryan Ashley

2022 Treasurer

Four Roses Distillery
COO & Director, Distillery Operations

Jacob Call

Director

Green River Distilling Co.
Master Distiller / Director of Operations

Jessica Pendergrass

2022 Secretary

Heaven Hill Distillery
General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer

Gigi DaDan

Director

Louisville Distilling Co.
General Manager

Erika Lapish

Director

Lux Row Distillers
VP of Human Resources

Andrea Wilson

Director

Michter’s Distillery
Master of Maturation, Executive V.P., G.M.

Kaveh Zamanian

Director

Rabbit Hole Distillery
Founder, President & CEO

Larry Krift

Director

Wild Turkey Distillery
Plant Director

Shane Baker

Director

Wilderness Trail Distillery
Co-Founder, President & CEO

Britt Kulsveen

Director

Willett Distillery
President

Ken Lewis

Proof Level Representative

New Riff Distilling
Co-founder, CEO

Mark Coffman

Proof Level Representative

Town Branch Distillery
Master Distiller

Harry Lockstadt

Proof Level Representative

White Dog Trading & Storage
CEO

Kevin Hall

Educational Representative

Moonshine University
Corporate Development

Paul Tomaszewski

2022 Chair of Craft Membership

MB Roland Distillery
Owner

Gooch House
The KDA Headquarters are located in the historic Gooch House in Frankfort, Ky.

Built in 1895, this house is where the Bourbon ball was invented, and we’re all happy about that.
Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly
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