Widow Jane Distillery - Master Distiller Lisa Wicker

President and Master Distiller Lisa Wicker of Widow Jane Distillery in Brooklyn, New York is leaving the distillery for greener pastures in Kentucky.

The distilled spirits world is going through a renaissance like never before. In 2012 there were less than 500 distilleries in the United States. As U.S. laws have changed that number has ballooned to more than 2,300. Today, the need for distillery talent is at an all-time high. With that in mind, it is not surprising to see experienced distillers starting to move around as their skill set is in high demand.

A pessimist calls what is happening in today’s job market “The Great Resignation” and assumes that someone is leaving their current job because they are unhappy or unfulfilled at work. An optimist calls it “The Great Aspiration” as people aspire to take their career to next level, to make their next career move or to jump at the opportunity to start a new business from scratch.

Aspire (əˈspaɪr) – To be ambitious (to get or do something, esp. something grand); to soar; to rise to a great height.

Master Distiller Lisa Wicker to Depart Widow Jane Distillery

With all that said, it’s not surprising to learn that Wicker is leaving Widow Jane Distillery. Wicker will leave the company in November and return to Kentucky full-time.

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“After five incredible years at Widow Jane, I am excited to return home to Kentucky for a new challenge. In the last few years, we have made some amazing whiskey that has gained international recognition, established ourselves as a leader in the art of whiskey blending, and nurtured a talented team of distillers and blenders,” said Wicker. “I am proud of the smart and capable team who will lead Widow Jane into the future and grateful for my time there.”

Leading Widow Jane going forward will be Michele Clark, Director of Operations; Sienna Jevremov, Head Distiller; and Jacob Melinger, Head of Hospitality. 

“We’d like to thank Lisa for all the extraordinary work she has done in distilling, blending, leading, and educating,” said Widow Jane President Robert Furniss Roe. “It has been a privilege to work closely with her and watch her also assemble such a talented team that represents Widow Jane’s next generation. We look forward to the dynamism this team will surely bring to Widow Jane Distillery as we enter our second decade.”

Widow Jane Distillery is owned by Sampson & Surrey who was acquired by Heaven Hill Distillery in February 2022. We’ll keep you posted with Lisa’s Kentucky destination.

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