FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today enhanced its leadership in alcohol responsibility and environmental sustainability by naming Ali Edelstein the group’s first-ever Director of Social Responsibility.
Edelstein, 26, is a Louisville native and honors graduate of Western Kentucky University and Tufts University, where she earned a Master of International Business degree at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Her impressive work experience includes Program Manager and EducationUSA Advisor for the Fulbright Commission in Brussels, Belgium; Credit Analyst for Breckinridge Capital Advisors in Boston; and most recently, Senior Sustainability Advisor for Yum! Brands in Louisville.
“Ali is a dynamic young leader and we’re thrilled to welcome her to our distilling family,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “She is the right person at the right time to build and deepen our commitment to responsibility in innovative and impactful ways.”
Gregory said this important new position will seek, develop and support effective programs, partnerships and public policies that make a difference in alcohol responsibility, community engagement and environmental sustainability.
“I’m inspired by the industry’s commitment to these issues during this time of rapid growth,” said Ali. “I look forward to meeting with stakeholders and member distilleries soon to learn how we can be part of collective solutions, on local to international levels.”
Edelstein will start Jan. 2. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Frederick, Director of Corporate Responsibility for Brown-Forman and Chair of the KDA Responsibility Task Force, said, “Ali brings talent and passion for responsibility. I look forward to her leadership and her many contributions to the KDA and its members, both in strengthening our vision and making it happen together.”
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 $3 billion economic engine that generates more than 15,400 jobs with an annual payroll topping $700 million and pours $166 million into state and local coffers each year.
In addition, KDA member distilleries are in the middle of a $1.3 billion building boom, Gregory said, from innovative new tourism centers to expanded production facilities, all to meet the growing global demand for Kentucky’s signature spirit.
As further proof of the Bourbon renaissance, the KDA recently announced that state distilleries filled nearly 1.9 million barrels of Bourbon last year, the largest amount in nearly a half-century, and paid a record $17.8 million in barrel taxes that fund education and public safety.
The KDA’s world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures also set attendance records last year with nearly 900,000 guests touring an all-time high of 19 participating distilleries.
The KDA also has more members — 33 — than ever before, and recently concluded its third recruitment drive to educate and welcome potential members to its hallowed ranks. More than half of its members are new craft distilleries that have joined in the last four years.
That makes the new Director of Social Responsibility’s job increasingly important, Gregory said.
“All our members are committed to the responsible consumption of spirits, but newer distilleries may not have the resources or tools that the heritage distilleries have assembled,” he said. “They will greatly benefit from the KDA’s increased and united effort on this front.”
“We look forward to introducing Ali to our partners and stakeholders and working collectively to grow our signature industry in the right way. We can only succeed when the communities in which we live and work thrive as well.”
For more information, contact KDA President Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351, or KDA Bourbon Ambassador Colleen Thomas at (502) 777-4690.
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.
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