Leadership Change at Bardstown Bourbon Co. – CEO Mandell Step Down, Former U.S. Army Special Forces Leader Steps In
The Bardstown Bourbon Company located in the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown, Kentucky has announced a leadership change at the top. CEO and President David Mandell who has lead the company from its start in 2014 has announced he is stepping down. He’ll continue to be a minority shareholder in the company.
“It has been an honor to serve as the CEO of Bardstown Bourbon Company,” says Mandell. “Together, we have built a world class team and accomplished great things. We have established Bardstown Bourbon Company as the new blend of bourbon makers, bringing together distilling, culinary and beverage expertise to create a modern, authentic bourbon experience for our customers, and I am proud to have been part of the team. With the company in such strong standing and poised for its next phase of growth, this is the right time for a transition and the talented team that we have in place are well positioned for success under Mark Erwin’s leadership. I wish everyone involved continued success.”
Mandell will be replaced by Bardstown Bourbon Company board member Mark Erwin. Erwin will succeed Mandell as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
“As an active board member, I’ve admired what the Bardstown Bourbon Company team has achieved in such a short time and I appreciate David Mandell’s leadership in helping build a solid foundation for future success,” says Erwin. “The future for our company is bright and I am excited to have the opportunity to play a part in taking us to the next level.”
Erwin spent 25 years serving in the United States Army, culminating as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army Special Operations Command, which oversees all the Army’s Special Forces operations. He has commanded at every level of the Army’s most elite Special Mission Unit, from captain to colonel, and was deployed numerous times to Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries throughout the Middle East and Africa. Following his military career, Erwin joined Fortress Investment Group where he served as an operating executive, before moving on to cofound the Karakoram Group, an international advisory firm which provides strategic consulting to Fortune 500 companies. Erwin has also served as an Independent Board Director of Heritage Oil Plc, an independent, upstream exploration and production company listed on the London Stock Exchange, as well as serving on the Bardstown Bourbon Company Board of Directors.
“We’d like to thank David for his contributions to Bardstown Bourbon Company’s growth these last five years,” says BBCo. Executive Chairman, Peter Loftin. “David executed well on the board’s vision, helping establish our company as the nation’s leading collaborative distilling program, and launching our branded Discovery Series and Fusion Series products. We wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavors. We’re excited and honored to have Mark join the company as our new CEO. Mark is a proven leader, who brings decades of experience during his distinguished U.S. military career, and as an executive in both private and public company settings. Bardstown Bourbon Company will benefit greatly from Mark’s disciplined approach as we embark on this next phase of growth.”
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Bardstown Bourbon Company’s model is a bit different than most distilled spirits startups in today’s bourbon crazed world. Rather than leading with their own branded products and then selling custom blended products to other non-distillers they do the opposite. They lead with their ability to make bourbon, rye and whiskey products for others brands including Jefferson’s Bourbon, High West, Belle Meade, Hirsch and many others through its one-of-a-kind Collaborative Distilling Program. Their own products come second in their model. They also have a beautiful full-service restaurant on-site. One of the few high end restaurants in Bardstown. Plans have also been announced for a boutique hotel.
Bardstown Bourbon Company’s distilling team is lead by former Maker’s Mark Master Distiller and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame member Steve Nally.