The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced that Ryan Ashley, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Distillery Operations for the Four Roses Distillery, has been named Chairman of the historic group’s Board of Directors for 2017.
Ashley leads all distillery operations at Four Roses and is currently overseeing a $54 million expansion that will double its production and add several new warehouses at the distillery. He will serve as KDA Chairman through December 2017.
“I am honored to serve as KDA Chair, particularly during a time of unprecedented growth for our industry,” Ashley said. “I look forward to working closely with our members to further educate consumers and promote the original American spirit — Kentucky Straight Bourbon.”
The KDA Board of Directors selected officers during its annual 2017 kickoff meeting. The Board appointed Rob Samuels, Chief Operating Officer at Maker’s Mark Distillery, as Vice Chairman and Rick Robinson, Vice President of U.S. Product Supply Chain for Wild Turkey Distillery, as Secretary-Treasurer.
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Other Board members for 2017 include:
- Heaven Hill Brands – Larry Kass, Director of Trade Relations
- Diageo North America – Pauline Rooney, Vice President of Distilling, Maturation and Engineering
- Michter’s Distillery – Joseph J. Magliocco, President
- Brown-Forman – Campbell Brown, President, Old Forester Distillery
Founded in 1880, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is a non-profit trade group that unites, promotes, protects and elevates the state’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. There are currently 33 members, the most since the Repeal of Prohibition.
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 spirits.
KDA President Eric Gregory, who is entering his 10th year as president, thanked the Board for its support and vision. “As our iconic industry has grown over the last decade, so have the resources and strength of the KDA,” he said.
“We are truly honored to be part of the Kentucky Bourbon renaissance and look forward to many more opportunities in the coming year to showcase America’s only native spirit and solidify Kentucky’s rightful place as the one, true and authentic home for Bourbon.”