Bourbon Women, Kentucky Distillers’ Association Celebrate Women in Whiskey with Latest Award
After 112 years, you’ve come a long way baby. The Kentucky Distillers’ Association was founded in 1880. It took more than a century but in 1992 the non-profit association elected Lois Mateus as the first woman to the board of directors.
It wasn’t until years later that the Association realized the true impact that Mateus, a now retired Senior Vice President of Brown-Forman, had on the industry. In 2013 the Association honered Mateus with the creation of the “Lois Mateus Networking Award.” The award is now given out annually by Bourbon Women in conjunction with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association based on the following criteria for a woman who has:
- Excelled in her profession by continuously building key relationships to contribute to the growth in her respective industry
- Broken through barriers to grow her career
- Contributed to the community through service and philanthropy
- Increased exposure for other women to grow their networking and career opportunities
- Developed creative partnerships and strategic alliances to further the growth of her respective industry
- Become a role model for female professionalism
4th Annual Award Given to Andrea Wilson of Michter’s Distillery
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The 2017 “Lois Mateus Networking Award” was given to Andrea Wilson, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Michter’s Distillery, Friday night, honoring her years of innovative and strategic leadership in Kentucky’s Bourbon industry.
Wilson was the first woman to ever serve as Chair of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association Board of Directors in 2009. She has been a member of the Board since 2005 and continues today as one of the Association’s longest-serving Directors.
“Andrea is the epitome of integrity and professionalism, and she continues to break down barriers for Bourbon women everywhere,” Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said. “We can always count on her honest and sage advice and are extremely thankful for her leadership.
Andrea’s strength and leadership has bolstered the integrity and authenticity of our signature industry. On behalf of the KDA and our 34 members, we congratulate our dear friend and look forward to her respected counsel and valuable guidance for many years to come.”
Wilson accepted the award at the Bourbon Women Association’s annual Sip-osium, which was held at the Frazier History Museum in downtown Louisville along its famed Whiskey Row.
“I and my family were so honored to be acknowledged for doing something that I greatly enjoy,” Wilson said. “I pride myself on having worked to take on challenges, build credibility, seek out relationships and to partner with other amazing individuals across the Commonwealth to continue to grow Kentucky Bourbon.
“Organizations like Bourbon Women are a testament to the growth of Kentucky Bourbon and provide a great platform for amazing, intelligent, confident, sophisticated women to network and build relationships around such an authentic spirit.”
Gregory, Bourbon Women President Susan Reigler and Bourbon Women Founder Peggy Noe Stevens presented Wilson with a silver Bourbon barrel award cup to commemorate her career as a leader in scientific advancement, innovation, quality control and global strategy.
“Andrea’s leadership in Kentucky’s Bourbon industry has helped open doors for many, many more women,” Reigler said. “She has been unfailingly generous with her time whenever we’ve asked Michter’s to participate in any of our events. It is always such a pleasure to work with her.”
As Executive Vice President and General Manager of Michter’s, Wilson has played an integral role in steering the company to global success with its portfolio of Kentucky Bourbon, American Whiskeys and Limited Releases.
With an added title of Master of Maturation, Wilson stays hands-on in the production process, working with Master Distiller Pam Heilmann to manage and cultivate innovative practices and improvements in the aging process.