Kentucky Distillers’ Association announces new board officers, directors


FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Distillers’ Association on Wednesday announced that Rick Robinson, vice president of product supply chain at Campari America, has been named chairman of the historic group’s board of directors for 2019.

This marks the second time Robinson has served as chairman of the non-profit trade group that unites, promotes, protects and elevates the state’s signature bourbon and distilled spirits industry. He also served as chairman in 2013.

A leading spirits company in the U.S., Campari America boasts a rich, comprehensive portfolio of more than 20 brands, including the Wild Turkey family of bourbon and whiskey brands made in Lawrenceburg, Ky.

Robinson will serve as KDA chairman through December 2019. He has extensive knowledge of the spirits category with over 20 years of experience, and is an expert in bourbon, whiskey, vodka and rum production.

Robinson assumed his current role at Campari America in 2014, shifting from his position as site director at the famed Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, where he managed distillation, barrel handling and bottling.

Before joining Campari America, Robinson was the director of operations for Diageo Americas’ bottling plants and blending areas. He was also the site lead for Diageo’s Lean Manufacturing Initiative, now known as the Perfect Plant.

“Bourbon is not just the hottest category in the U.S. spirits industry, but also one of the fastest growing around the world,” Robinson said. “I look forward to working with our KDA members to promote America’s Native Spirit and all Kentucky spirits, while continuing to build the foundations for growth, supporting all of our dedicated distillers and this great commonwealth.”

The KDA board selected officers during its 138th Annual Meeting in downtown Louisville.

The Board also appointed Jessica Pendergrass, corporate counsel for Heaven Hill Brands, as vice chairman, and Pauline Rooney, vice president of distillation, maturation and engineering at Diageo North America, as secretary-treasurer.

Other board members for 2019 include:

• Michter’s: Joseph J. Magliocco, President
• Brown-Forman: Campbell Brown, President, Old Forester
• Four Roses: Ryan Ashley, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Distillery Operations
• O.Z. Tyler: Jacob Call, Master Distiller and Director of Operations
• Lux Row: Donn Lux, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
• Louisville Distilling Co.: Wes Henderson, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer
• Bardstown Bourbon Co.: David Mandell, President and Chief Executive Officer
• Beam Suntory: Kevin Smith, Vice President, Kentucky Beam Bourbon Affairs

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