Kentucky Distillers' Association - The KDA Awards Christy Trout Van Tatenhove with the 2020 Lois Mateus Networking Award

Back in 1992 Kim Mateus was a Senior Vice President at Brown-Forman. It was the Spring of that year that Mateus became the first woman to serve on the Kentucky Distillers’ Association Board of Directors and served a two-year term. 21 years later in 2013 the Association along with the Bourbon Women Association recognized her achievement and contributions to the distilled spirits industry with the creation of the “Lois Mateus Networking Award”.

Since then, numerous women have served on the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) Board as Directors, Officers and Chairwoman and Mateus has retired from Brown-Forman.

Back when the award was created KDA President Eric Gregory said, “Our Association and our Board didn’t recognize this pioneering achievement at the time, but it certainly made a difference in our industry…”.

Special Counsel to Kentucky’s Speaker of the House Christy Trout Van Tatenhove Receives Lois Mateus Networking Award

This week, Kentucky Distillers’ Association and Bourbon Women Association awarded the seventh annual “Lois Mateus Networking Award” to Special Counsel to Kentucky’s Speaker of the House Christy Trout Van Tatenhove.

Prior to her current role, Van Tatenhove served as the first woman Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, where she oversaw the regulation of the Commonwealth’s alcohol industry with its first-ever all-female Board.

During her time as ABC Commissioner and the Speaker’s Office, she worked closely with the KDA and its members to advance significant pieces of legislation that have modernized the alcohol industry in Kentucky, including direct-to-consumer shipping in House Bill 415.

“Thank you for honoring me. It is a privilege to be recognized alongside such exceptional and accomplished women, particularly Lois Mateus,” Van Tatenhove said. “But the real honor has been the opportunity to work with the KDA and those committed to growing and improving one of Kentucky’s signature industries.

“Together, we have opened markets and improved regulation. As a result, Kentucky’s distilled spirits community remains the envy of the world.”

Bourbon Women Association - Bourbon Women's mission is to educate, mentor and celebrate the spirited nature of women who enjoy Bourbon
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Bourbon Women President Kerri Richardson and KDA President Eric Gregory commended Van Tatenhove for her exceptional commitment to promoting and elevating Kentucky’s iconic Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

Richardson said that the Bourbon industry is indebted to Van Tatenhove for her skilled and savvy work in modernizing Kentucky’s archaic laws and Prohibition-era regulations governing the spirits business.

“She saw the barriers to an equitable playing field for Kentucky’s Bourbon industry and made it her mission to tear them down,” Richardson said. “Her guidance and advocacy helped our distilling businesses grow and serve consumers around the world.”

“One day soon, when you’ve had a delicious bottle shipped directly to your home, raise a glass to Christy.”

In addition to leading the first all-female Board at the Kentucky ABC, Van Tatenhove was instrumental in providing guidance on the vintage spirits legislation in 2017 and House Bill 400 in 2018, the first shipping bill that allowed distillery gift shop visitors to ship bottles home.

Kentucky Distillers' Association - The KDA is the state’s voice for Bourbon and spirits issues
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KDA President Gregory said, “As a lawyer, Christy knows how to gather information from all parties before making decisions. Her methodical approach to modernizing alcohol laws can clearly be seen in her work drafting the shipping bill that is now a model for the country.

“Christy has spent countless hours learning about our legendary distilling industry and she should be proud of her leadership toward opening the door to a new era for Kentucky Bourbon and Bourbon women” Gregory said.

Kentucky Speaker of the House David Osborne, R-Prospect, said he is extremely pleased to see Van Tatenhove receive the recognition she deserves, and he appreciates Bourbon Women and the KDA for honoring her.

“Christy’s impact on our state’s signature spirit is great,” he said. “As the first woman to serve as ABC Commissioner, she provided a thoughtful, common sense approach to regulatory oversight. As our staff point person on HB 415, her expertise was invaluable in crafting legislation that will serve as a national model and expand the industry’s market.

“Most noteworthy is the fact that her hallmark is an approach that values collaboration and seeks partnerships. While she is far from finished, her legacy is already great.”

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Lois Mateus Networking Award Criteria

The award is given annually by Bourbon Women in conjunction with the KDA 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

Bourbon Women is made up of women (and men) who are passionate about exploring Bourbon and the culture that surrounds it. The association was designed exclusively for educational, networking and charitable purposes, Bourbon Women’s fast-growing membership is made up of women form over 30 states and continues to form new branches across the country.

Learn more about Bourbon Women Association.

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