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The Art + Science of Distilling

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If there were an ivy league for spirits, this would be it.

At Moonshine U. we take what we do seriously. Whether you’re fulfilling your grandfather’s dream or deem your taste in spirits to be missing from the market, we’ve got the experts that will get you ready for the big league. We don’t take your dream lightly, so our courses are fast paced and hands on. So pour up a glass, and get started on your mission to give the world a sip of your spirit.

Randy Allender

Randy Allender

Owner/Manager, R Allender Consulting, LLC


With over 40 years of experience in various industries, Randy retired in July 2013 from Jim Beam after 24 years of service, and opened R Allender Consulting, LLC to provide technical advice to those wishing to build a distilled spirits plant.

He learned all he could about the “ins and outs” of each operation at a working distillery: mashing, fermenting, distilling, steam generation, aging & warehousing, barrel filling & dumping, production of distillers dried grain (DDG), and many others. He also learned about the mechanics behind the operations, including: sprinkler systems, alarm systems, OSHA workplace requirements, boilers/steam systems, electrical power systems, electrical control systems including PLC’s / HMI’s, construction methods, and environmental requirements. Now he shares this wealth of knowledge with others.

Luis Ayala

Luis Ayala

Rum Consultant, Rum Runner Press, Inc.


Luis Ayala is quite possibly the rum industry’s most devoted ambassador of the modern era. He has relentlessly pursued the establishment –and adoption- of quality standards in the production and marketing of rum. His efforts to improve the quality and appreciation of rum have taken him from being a celebrated author and organizer/judge at international rum festivals to being one of the driving forces behind the creation of new rums and the improvement of many existing ones.

As a consultant, Luis derives great pleasure from lending over two decades of rum expertise to his clients. “Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing how much more enjoyment consumers can get out of fine-tuned rums,” says Luis.

Matt Baugher

Matt Baugher

Marketing Manager, Republic National Distribution Company of Kentucky


Matt has worked in the wine and spirits industry for 25 years. He is currently the Brown-Forman Business Manager for Republic National Distributing Company of Kentucky and is a Certified Wine Educator. RNDC is the nation’s second largest distributor and operates in 23 states.

Jim Baumann II

Jim Baumann II

Commercial Insurance Producer


Jim has been a Commercial Insurance Producer with The Underwriters Group for 14 years, and lives in Louisville Kentucky with his wife Amy and two children.

He designs insurance and risk management programs for small, medium, and large commercial clients. Jim partners with an array of industries from food and beverage, manufacturing, energy, technology & life sciences, commercial construction, education, financial institutions, Trucking, and nonprofit human services for commercial and municipal organizations, many with a national scope.

Steve Beam

Steve Beam

Distiller & President, Limestone Branch


Limestone Branch was founded in 2011 by Steve and Paul Beam, whose ancestral roots run deep in the Bourbon industry. Their great-great grandfather was Joseph Washington Dant, an early Bourbon pioneer, and their great grandfather was Minor Case Beam, the eldest son of Joseph M. Beam in the legendary Beam lineage.

The small batch Craft distillery is producing a variety of whiskies from heirloom white corn grown on its Marion County property. The first offerings will be T.J. Pottinger corn whiskey and T.J. Pottinger
Sugar Shine, with plans for an artisan rum and vodka.

Kristin Carlton

Kristin Carlton

Vice President of Client Services, Compli Compliance Services & Software


Kristin joined Compli in 2005. As Compliʼs vice president of client services, Kristin Carlton has played an integral part in the companyʼs growth. Kristin represents Compli with major accounts, affiliates, and strategic allies. She serves as liaison between Compli users and programmers to facilitate the development of new product features.

Before assuming her current position, she spent three years working as a compliance specialist. Kristin has extensive experience in management and marketing, and holds a bachelorʼs degree in merchandising from the American College in London.

David Carpenter

David Carpenter

Distiller, Jeptha Creed Distillery



Gregor Cattanach

Gregor Cattanach

National Master of Whisky, Director of Whisky Education, Keeper of The Quaich


Gregor grew up at single malt distilleries in Scotland such as Caol Ila, Coleburn, Cragganmore and Cardhu where his father Evan worked as Master Distiller of these quality single malts. This is where Gregor's apprenticeship truly began. Learning from his father something that he never imagined that would take him all over the world.

While working in Scotland as Global Brand Ambassador for Diageo’s whisky portfolio, Gregor developed a deeper passion for the technical side of Distilling so in 2009 sat and passed the Institute of Brewing and Distilling General Certificate in Distilling. He also became more involved in the quality control of whisky via sensory analysis and in 2011 (after 2 years and numerous organoleptic tests) became a qualified whisky nose.

He is now based in the USA working as Director of Whisky Education with the USA Masters of Whisky.

Mark Coffman

Mark Coffman

Master Distiller/Chief Engineer for Alltech


Over the past 27 years Mr. Coffman has led the design, construction, commissioning, startup and operation of more than 16 manufacturing facilities around the world. He is presently leading major expansions of Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company.

Larry Coomes

Larry Coomes

Sales Manager, JC Ribeiro


Value added packaging. Focusing on the liquor industry.

Sourcing glass and plastic bottles, closures, decorating, labeling from global suppliers.

Bringing multiple applications together for a finished package.

David Dafoe

David Dafoe

Founder, Flavorman, Distilled Spirits Epicenter


After graduating from Miami University with a BA in Zoology, David took a position as a Chemical Technician with Fries & Fries (now Givaudan), and then became Plant Chemist and finally Beverage Alcohol Applications Specialist. He was recruited three years later by Brown-Forman in Louisville, Kentucky. While in Louisville, David enrolled at Bellarmine University and received his MBA.

David founded Pro-Liquitech International in 1992 after being employed full-time at the Brown-Forman Beverage Company where he developed the Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails among several other new products for the company which included Pepe Lopez Margarita Mix, Southern Comfort Cocktails and Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade Mix. Armed with a handful of credit cards and a car load of determination, David started the company with only one customer and no employees – that quickly changed.

Pro-Liquitech would later become Flavorman, an international custom beverage production company, and its impressive list of clients has grown to include and have included Chiquita Brands, Ocean Spray, the Kellogg Company, Sunsweet Growers, Jones Soda, Brooklyn Bottling and El Paso Chile Company among others.

In 2012, David founded Flavorman’s sister company, Distilled Spirits Epicenter, on the Flavorman campus. Founded on Kentucky’s rich distilling history and Dafoe’s 25 years’ experience in the beverage alcohol industry, the Epicenter, an artisan distillery and education center, opened in the spring of 2012 in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. This unique facility is designed to provide the education, the training, and the equipment to enable startup productions, industry professionals, as well as those new to the beverage alcohol industry to benefit from the area’s wealth of experience and knowledge and utilize the artisan distillery sized for training, pilot productions and small runs.

Named for Louisville’s location in the very heart of the distilling industry, the Epicenter is made up of three distinct and collaborative parts: Moonshine University, Grease Monkey Distillery and Challenge Bottling. David wanted to create a facility that provided a comprehensive and thorough experience for patrons, from enthusiasts, to entrepreneurs, to industry experts.

David is a member of the International Society of Beverage Technologists, the Institute of Food Technologists and the World Affairs Council. He volunteers for the Miami University Center for Entrepreneurship, is on the Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences at Miami University, volunteers on the Board of the Louisville Comprehensive Care Multiple Sclerosis Center and is the Board President at his church. He is an avid traveler and has his certificate for Open Water SCUBA.

Greg Davis

Greg Davis

Master Distiller, Director of Distillery Operations, Maker’s Mark


Greg Davis has many responsibilities, but his most important mandate from President Bill Samuels, Jr., is, "Don't screw it up." To that end, from the selection of grains and overseeing of milling, cooking, fermentation and distillation to taste-testing the bourbon through its journey to maturity, Greg and his team are dedicated to ensuring that every bottle of Maker's Mark and Maker's 46 meets the high standards for quality and tradition set forth by Bill Samuels, Jr., and his father, Maker's Mark founder Bill Samuels, Sr.

Nancy Fraley

Nancy Fraley

Whiskey & Rum Blender, International Consultant and Professional "Nose" at Nosing Services


Nancy Fraley is a Whiskey & Rum Blender and Consultant. She runs a firm called Nosing Services in Berkeley, CA, where she provides custom blending, product formulation services, creation of maturation programs, and sensory analysis for distilleries worldwide. She is creator of the American Craft Whiskey Aroma Wheel, a sensory tool for both distillers and whiskey connoisseurs, released in the spring of 2012.

Hubert Germain-Robin

Hubert Germain-Robin

Master Distiller, Master Blender, Consultant


Connoisseurs of brandy will recognize the name Hubert Germain-Robin as a world-class Master Distiller and Master Blender. Germain-Robin is the current generation of a cognac distilling tradition that dates back to 1782 in Cognac, France.

Since the early 1980s Germain-Robin has made Mendocino Co., California his home and has become recognized and respected in America for his brandies and eaux de vie. He was among a handful of small artisan distillers, mainly in California, who were revolutionizing America’s attitudes toward spirits and cocktails and he remains a leader in the art and craft of distillation.

Glenn Glaser

Glenn Glaser

Plant Manager, Brown-Forman Distillery


Glenn began working at Brown-Forman Corporation in 1978 after earning a bachelor degree in Business Economics in 1976 and an MBA degree in 1978. He started as a temporary employee and eventually gained permanent status, becoming a Distillery Supervisor at the Early Times Distillery. Brown-Forman regained ownership of that distillery in 1994, renovated it, and renamed it the Woodford Reserve Distillery.

In 1997 he was promoted to Distillery Production Manager, which coincided with the return of the growth in bourbon industry sales and the development of new brands produced at the Brown-Forman Distillery. In 2004 Glenn became the Brown-Forman Distillery Plant Manager.

Glenn is proud to acknowledge that the progress, creation of fast growing brands and various awards received along the way were all accomplished with a dedicated distillery team. His future plans include retirement and distillery consulting.

Lang Guenther

Lang Guenther

TTB Specialist (ret.)


Lang Guenther is retired from the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB). He worked for over 12 years in the Distilled Spirits Section at the National Revenue Center (NRC) in Cincinnati, OH. He was the assigned specialist for several large DSP’s and advised and processed amendments to their permits and registrations. He witnessed the growing trend in craft distilleries in the early 2000’s, and processed many original applications from craft distillery applicants and viewed their success and growth as these new DSP’s had to increase bond coverages and several had to move into larger premises to accommodate demand.

Patrick Heist

Patrick Heist

Chief Scientific Officer, Ferm Solutions, Wilderness Trail Distillery


Dr. Heist is well known in the fuel and beverage ethanol industries for his problem solving skills relative to the microbiology and biochemistry of fermentation. Heist currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer for Ferm Solutions based in Danville, Kentucky, a provider of fermentation products and technical support to the fuel and beverage ethanol industries.

Dr. Heist and his research team collaborate with industrial and academic partners on projects relating to controlling bacteria during ethanol production, antibiotic resistance, and yeast strain selection and improvement. Ferm Solutions recently expanded its operations and formed Wilderness Trail Distillery, which produces a variety of craft-distilled spirits including bourbon, vodka and rum

Wes Henderson

Wes Henderson

Chief Innovation Officer, Angel's Envy


As Master Ambassador and Chief Innovations Officer,
Wes Henderson has worked diligently to provide the clear
and enthusiastic voice that Angel's Envy has needed to
succeed. Under his guidance, the company has grown both
successfully and sustainably.

Before he co-founded Louisville Distilling Company with
Lincoln, Wes served as CEO for Master Distiller Select
LLC, where he was also responsible for distilled spirits
consulting services. Before that, he was the President and
CEO of Conecuh Ridge Distillery.

Joe Heron

Joe Heron

CEO, Copper & Kings Distillery


Joe and his wife Lesley have started 3 different beverage businesses in the span of about 10 years. Nutrisoda, nutrient enhanced sodas with health benefits – sold to PepsiAmericas in 2006, Crispin Hard Cider – sold to MillerCoors in 2012 and now Copper & Kings American Brandy Co.

Says Joe, "This does not make me an expert. I am not so sure there is such a thing as an expert entrepreneur. Starting a business is more about self-expression and good luck than intellect. In fact, in my humble opinion, I think stupidity is quite valuable in entrepreneurship – entrepreneurs manage opportunity not risk.

Doing what interests you will be a good indicator that you will work harder and enjoy your pursuit, which is probably a good screening factor for likely success. You will not maintain your lifestyle. But your dreams will be unbeatable. But if you need to know how it feels, stab yourself in the leg. Give all your money away. Do a crash course in humility. You can be anything that you want in America. There is only one rule: you can’t be lazy."

David Hobbs

David Hobbs

Plant Manager, VP of Production, Heaven Hill (Retired)


David Hobbs is a lifetime native of Bardstown. He graduated from the University of Louisville with a Business management degree. He was employed at Heaven Hill Distilleries for forty one years, retiring on December 31, 2011. During his last fourteen years at Heaven Hill, he was plant manager and vice president of production. He has also served on the Kentucky Distillers Association Board and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival Board each for more than ten years.

William Hornaday

William Hornaday

Director of Quality & Production, Kelvin Cooperage


William joined the Kelvin Cooperage team in the summer of 2012. Before joining Kelvin, William received an economics degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. He currently serves as the Director of Production and Quality Control.

John Hudson

John Hudson

VP of Innovations, Brown-Forman


Vice President, Innovation for North American Region. Leading identification of market opportunity areas and revenue acceleration for the company. Responsible for leading and creating revenue growth and opportunities, new product development, new category entry, route to market and launch models, consumer engagement ideas and solutions, portfolio and brand strategies, market performance and expansion as well as consumer trend identification. Advising and partnering with brand teams to share best practices and standards across critical business components such as strategy, go to market and launch models, design and resourcing. Evaluating new category opportunities and development as well as potential acquisitions.

Previously, led the Vodka portfolio and Developing Wines and Spirits portfolio for Brown-Forman, which includes Sonoma-Cutrer, Sanctuary, Jekel and Wakefield wines, as well as Finlandia Vodka, Chambord liqueur, Chambord Vodka and Little Black Dress Vodka.

Pete Kamer

Pete Kamer

Principal, Distillery Engineering, Barton Brands (ret.)


Licensed professional Engineer. He started his distilling career with Seagram distillery in Louisville in 1978 working in distilling, bottling maintenance, plant maintenance, utilities, plant engineering and corporate engineering. In 1985 he went to work for Barton Distillery in Bardstown, KY as their Engineering Manager, handling all engineering related work in the Bardstown and Atlanta plants and assisted in the Carson, CA plant.

Duties included selection and installation of new equipment, troubleshooting existing equipment, increasing capacity and improving operations. Mr. Kamer retired from Barton in 2011 and started his own engineering company, Distillery Engineering. Since then he has helped small to medium size distilleries with everything from site selection, equipment selection, plant layout, startup, and trouble shooting.

Jeff LaHue

Jeff LaHue

Account Manager, Craft Distiller Series, Independent Stave


Jeff LaHue has worked at Independent Stave Company for 19 years. In addition to his responsibilities with the craft distilling industry, he also serves as the Global Sales Manager for Stave Associates International a division of ISC.

David Large

David Large

Strategy & Brand Development, Thoroughbred Brands


David brings with him more than fifteen years of experience in business development, strategy, and finance and more than a decade in the spirits business. He has been a partner in a successful spirits company and worked with client brands with a focus on increasing shareholder value by launching new brands, opening new channels, and enhancing brand equity.

David has also held a variety of operational roles and has been accountable for P&L, operations, and performance management. Companies and brands David has worked on and with include Bently Heritage Distillery, Boteco Vodka, Espirito XVI, Few Spirits, Grande Arnage Cognac, Grande Turks Rum, and Rio-D Cachaca, along with numerous yet-to-be-released brands.

Ed Larmie

Ed Larmie

Product Innovation Director, Independent Stave Company


Ed Larmie serves as the Product Innovation Director of Independent Stave Company. Prior to this role, he was the Global Sales Manager for the company’s oak alternatives line of business. Ed has worked for ISC since 1988 and has managed various responsibilities within the company involving wine and spirit barrels.

Robert Lehrman

Robert Lehrman

Principal, Lehrman Beverage Law


Mr. Lehrman is the principal attorney at Lehrman Beverage Law, PLLC. He founded the firm in 2001 after 12 years at the Washington, DC office of a larger firm that specializes in federal and state administrative law. From 1998 until 2001 Robert was the partner in charge of the firm’s Washington, DC office. Mr. Lehrman concentrates on the federal regulation of alcohol beverages (beer, wine and spirits).

He has advised many companies on the production, labeling, advertising, and taxation of a wide variety of consumer products: foreign and domestic, with and without alcohol, fit and unfit for beverage purposes. Mr. Lehrman is largely responsible for removing the 100 year U.S. ban on absinthe in 2007 together with the Swiss Embassy and Kubler Absinthe. Since 1988 he has worked on thousands of new product approvals for beer, wine and spirits.

Stephen Lukinovich

Stephen Lukinovich

CPA, CVA, PFS, Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP


Stephen Lukinovich serves as Director of the Firm’s Construction & Real Estate Services Team and is a member of the Tax Services Department. His practice emphasis is providing tax advisory services to construction and real estate businesses, company transition services to small to middle market companies, and valuation services in estate and succession planning. Stephen is an active speaker and lecturer on topics related to the construction and real estate industries.

Dan Matauch

Dan Matauch

Founder, Flowdesign


Dan received his bachelor’s degree in Package Design from Michigan State University and MBA in Marketing from the University of Tampa. In 1997, he founded Flowdesign, a design firm specializing in branding and package design solutions for the alcoholic beverage industry. Since the inception of Flowdesign, Dan, along with his in-house group of experienced specialists, have helped many companies reach multi-million dollar sales success through their effective and innovative branding and packaging solutions.

Elizabeth McCall

Elizabeth McCall

Senior Quality Control Specialist & Master Taster, Brown-Forman


Elizabeth McCall, Brown-Forman Master Taster and Sensory Scientist, is the second generation of her family to work in the Bourbon industry. Her mother was a sensory expert for the Seagrams Distillery Co.

McCall has a Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville and has been a member of Brown-Forman’s R&D Department for 6 years. As the manager of the Whiskey Qualitative Descriptive Analysis program she works closely with Master Distiller Chris Morris and the Brown-Forman and Woodford Reserve Distillery teams.

Jim McCoy

Jim McCoy

Principal, J. McCoy Alcohol & Tobacco Compliance Consultants


Mr. McCoy retired in 2010 after 32 years of service with TTB and its predecessor, ATF. Starting as an assigned Inspector at an industrial alcohol plant, and concluding at the TTB National Revenue Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jim’s experiences over the years built a broad knowledge of the Federal laws and regulations affecting the regulated alcohol and tobacco industries.

Paul McLaughlin

Paul McLaughlin

VP & General Counsel, Kelvin Cooperage


Paul joined the family business in June of 2001. As with his brother, Paul has been around barrels all his life. Prior to joining Kelvin, Paul was an attorney with the international law firm Morrison & Forester LLP. Paul received his bachelorʼs degree from Harvard and his J.D. from Notre Dame.

Ewan Morgan

Ewan Morgan

National Director, Diageo Masters of Whisky


Ewan is a third generation ‘whisky man’. His father was maltings manager at Tamdhu Distillery in Speyside and later the distillery manager at Highland Park Distillery on the island of Orkney. His Grandfather was the brewer at the famed distillery Cardhu. Ewan was born in Dufftown, Scotland, which is often referred to as ‘The Whisky Capital of the World’ (More whisky is produced in Dufftown than any other town – in the World).

As though growing up on the grounds of a large distillery in Speyside wouldn’t be enough to put whisky fever into his soul, Ewan started his career in the Whisky industry at the age of 16 as a Maltman; a job that is only learned by one generation passing the knowledge to the next. The honor of this, the craftsmanship of the job and a family passion for whisky kicked off a career learning all aspects of whisky that continues to this day.

Fortunately for us, Ewan loves sharing his unrelenting passion for whisky. Ewan is noted for his innovative seminars and educational style from practical blending classes to chemistry classes on whisky maturation training both industry and consumers all over the US.

Chris Morris

Chris Morris

Master Distiller, Woodford Reserve Distillery


Morris began his career at Brown-Forman in 1976. With additional experience at Glenmore Distilleries Co., and United Distillers he returned to Brown-Forman in 1997. He became Brown-Forman’s seventh Master Distiller in 2004. He has served on the Kentucky Distillers Association and Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s Boards and as Co-Chair of the DISCUS Master Distillers Committee. He is a judge at the International Wine and Spirits Competition and International Spirits Challenge.

Cash Moter

Cash Moter

Partner, Architect, Joseph & Joseph Architects


Cash is responsible for major new construction and renovation projects. He specializes in distilled spirits facilities, tour & retail centers, adaptive reuse, historic preservation and sustainable architecture. Cash has experience designing both major and craft facilities, in urban and rural settings, new construction and adaptive reuse. Previous projects have included distilling, filtering and processing, bottling, warehousing and distribution.

Andrew Mueller

Andrew Mueller

General Contractor, Cardinal Industries


Aspires to be the next Most Interesting Man in the World.

Sid Mundkur

Sid Mundkur

President, EtOH Tech Solutions


Sid Mundkur has 20 years of global experience in process engineering, project management, operations management, and leadership in technology development and engineering in the beverage and fuel ethanol industry. His specialties include complete process design of distillery processes, starting from processing of various starch and sugar feedstocks for alcohol, design, startup of distilleries, and process efficiency improvement.

Sid’s alcohol career started at Jim Beam as a process/project engineer, and with subsequent promotions became the Distillery Manager at Booker Noe - Beam’s largest distillery. Sid improved plant performance every year during his tenure. He left Beam to pursue research in the fuel ethanol, ultra-pure/ultra-dry alcohol, and biofuels industry. Following a 3-year stint in biofuels technology development, he returned to Beam as Vice President of Corporate Engineering, where he led the Process/Project Engineering, Project Finance and Capital, and Packaging R&D groups.

Sid left Beam in January 2011 and started his own consulting company providing design, startup and optimization services to the beverage alcohol and commercial alcohol industries.

Sid also has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and a M.B.A., and is a LEAN Certified Six-Sigma Black Belt.

Tom Niekamp

Tom Niekamp

Attorney, Niekamp and Associates, LLC


For over 25 years, Mr. Niekamp has worked in Cincinnati in the Assistant Chief Counsel’s office for the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau, (TTB), and its predecessor agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). With TTB, Mr. Niekamp has served as Senior Counsel, handling a wide variety of complex legal matters, including litigation matters involving alcohol and tobacco. As ATF Senior Counsel, Mr. Niekamp handled an extensive array of civil administrative alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives licensing and tax matters.

Jimmy Owens

Jimmy Owens

Manager, Craft Spirits at Liquor Bottle Packaging


Helping the Craft Spirits industry with glass packaging. I can assist with glass (stock and custom), decoration, closures, etc. Big or small and I can help assist with all.

Sherman Owen

Sherman Owen

Principal, Artisan Resources


Sherman Owen is the principal of Artisan Resources, LLC. His specialties involve designing distilleries, training personnel, building and installing control systems for distilleries, wineries and breweries. He is an independent controls designer from concept to implementation and has done computer automation, high speed transaction software, and hardware interfaces.

Joy Perrine

Joy Perrine

Bar Manager, Equus & Jack’s Lounge


Most bar owners can only dream of the kind of experience Joy Perrine brings to Equus & Jack’s Lounge. Not only does she have 40 years of experience behind the bar, the New Jersey native is the fifth generation of her family to be in the bar and restaurant business. Featured on Esquire.com as the “Bad Girl of Bourbon”, she has mastered the art of making and creating cocktails. Recognized as a forerunner in the cocktail world, spirit-making leaders such as Brown-Forman have called upon Perrine’s expertise for assistance with product development and flavor analysis.

Rob Pinson

Rob Pinson

Attorney, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC


Robert “Rob” Pinson concentrates his practice in the field of alcoholic beverage law, with an emphasis on the manufacturing tier. Rob represents numerous distilleries, wineries and breweries across the United States and is pro bono counsel to the Tennessee Distillers’ Guild. Rob also represents clients in business law, tax law, and campaign finance law. Rob offers an impressive track record when it comes to navigating the complexities of the alcoholic beverage laws as well as state and federal taxes.

After a hard day of planning complex business transactions and obtaining liquor licenses and beer permits for clients, Rob goes home to serve as a punching bag for his two boys.

Scott Reid

Scott Reid

President, This Way Forward


Global sales and marketing professional with over 25 years of beverage industry experience developing, growing, and managing widely recognized consumer brand businesses for companies including Brown-Forman Corporation and Furniture Brands International. Scott’s success and experience is in creating new brands, as well as in leading and growing large consumer franchises like Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, Fetzer Wines, Korbel Champagne, Bolla Wines, and Broyhill Furniture.

Scott’s career includes a variety of positions including 22 years at Brown-Forman, where he served in U.S. brand management leadership roles, as well as global brand leadership roles for their major brands. Scott also led the new product development (NPD) initiative for Jack Daniel’s, where he successfully created, developed, and introduced Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails, and Jack Daniel’s Silver Select. From there, Scott went on to manage the entire Jack Daniel’s franchise for the U.S., and then he moved on to managing the global brand franchises for Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, and Brown-Forman’s wine brands. While leading the Finlandia brand, Scott re-packaged and re-launched the brand, with a complete new brand identity toolkit, resulting in 60% growth to over 3 million cases in 2 years. During that time, he successfully secured the global partnership with MGM Studios for the James Bond Film Die Another Day. Scott also spent 4 years as Chief Marketing Officer for Broyhill Furniture, where he revitalized this iconic furniture brand. Scott has also recently created and successfully introduced new startup brands like OJO Eyecare Nectar, Mako Nautical Vodka, and Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur.

Susan Reigler

Susan Reigler

Bourbon Writer & Educator


Award-winning writer and Louisville native Susan Reigler has penned many tomes, including as co-author of 'The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book' and 'More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails' (with Joy Perrine). From 1992 to 2007, Reigler was the restaurant critic, beverage columnist, and travel writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal and other periodicals. She has been a judge for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Awards since 1997 and in 2015 she was invited to join Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a society of women culinary professionals.

A certified Executive Bourbon Steward, Reigler has lead bourbon tastings from Seattle to Savannah. She has been a judge for craft spirits awards and numerous bourbon cocktail contests and she regularly helps restaurants and retailers select barrels from distilleries. Reigler is also the current president of the Bourbon Women Association. A graduate of Indiana and Oxford Universities, she is a Research Associate in Biology at Indiana University Southeast.

Don Rodgers

Don Rodgers

Distillation Consultant, Rodgers Consulting LLC


Don is a financial executive with broad experience in all aspects of accounting, auditing and financial management. He has direct experience with Corporate Accounting, Manufacturing accounting and Integration of new acquisitions into existing business model. He has expertise in budget and forecasting tool with Software Company. He negotiated numerous contracts on software, consulting and application support.

Ted Roszel

Ted Roszel

Quality Systems Manager, Flavorman


Ted is a Food Scientist who has over 6 years of experience working in the beverage industry on spirits processing and product development. Since joining the team at Flavorman he has worked with countless clients to create their custom flavors and beverages.

Jimmy Russell

Jimmy Russell

Master Distiller, Wild Turkey Bourbon Distillery


Mr. Russell – or Jimmy as he’s known to his many friends and fans – recently celebrated fifty-eight years of service at the world famous Wild Turkey Bourbon Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Born and raised just five miles from the distillery, his grandfather worked in the business, as did his father before him.

In 1954, when Jimmy began working at the distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, he trained
under Bill Hughes, Wild Turkey Bourbon’s second master distiller, and distillery manager Ernest W. Ripy, Jr., the son of one of the original owners.

It was then that Jimmy began to learn the craft of bourbon making, from sweeping up grains to distillation, so that he could continue the time-honored traditions passed on by generations of Kentucky distillers and carry on the legacy of the original Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Bill Samuels, Jr.

Bill Samuels, Jr.

Chairman Emeritus, Maker’s Mark


Bill Samuels is the 7th generation of the Samuels family to own/manage a Kentucky bourbon distillery. He is the son of Maker's Mark founders Margie and Bill Samuels Sr. He was educated as an aerospace engineer, physicist and attorney. He was with Maker's Mark for 36 years as president and CEO, retiring four and a half years ago. His son, Rob, is currently at the helm. Maker's Mark is owned by Suntory.

Scott Schiller

Scott Schiller

Managing Director, Thoroughbred Brands


A 5th generation distiller, Mr. Schiller has over 18 years of experience in multiple aspects of the liquor business, ranging from business and product development, to sales and marketing. In 2011 Scott started Thoroughbred Brands, which has personally assisted in the construction and management of 5 new distilleries and over 30 new spirits and non-alcoholic brands.

In addition, Scott assisted in the concept and operational design behind Distilled Spirits Epicenter, which is the United States’ only institution dedicated to the education of the distilling industry. Mr. Schiller is also a guest speaker and mentor for the Entrepreneurship Department at his alma mater as well as a speaker for Distilled Spirits Epicenter and the American Distilling Institute.

Dave Scott

Dave Scott

Owner, Boxing Clever


Boxing Clever is a full-service creative agency based in St. Louis, MO. We gathered some of the best talent from our region and built a company upon the success and learnings of the agencies, printing companies and technology we had experienced. Our focus on building better strategies for our clients allowed us to capitalize on our reputation and grow our portfolio, and company over 500% - even through a struggling economy. The success of our hard work led to the agency’s rebranding as Boxing Clever in 2008 and we added Interactive to the agency's portfolio of offerings.

Our point of difference is in our ability to create a relationship beyond that of vendor/client, aligning ourselves as a partner, a brand steward. With that business intelligence, we immerse ourselves in our client’s needs. We look for traditional and non-traditional channels to develop the most innovative and efficient ideas and executions and create knowledgeable solutions that are on target to generate mutual success. We build our solutions around our client’s needs – custom-built to their requirements, not ours.

Mike Sherman

Mike Sherman

Vice President and 4th generation owner of Vendome Copper & Brass Works, Inc.


Mike has worked in all areas at Vendome since he began work there in 1989. His primary roles are Sales and Engineering.

Rob Sherman

Rob Sherman

Vice President and 4th generation owner of Vendome Copper & Brass Works, Inc.


Rob has worked in all areas at Vendome since he began work there in the 1987. His focus is Shop Operations, Distillation Sales and Design.

Clay Smith

Clay Smith

Head Distiller, Distillery Manager, Corsair Artisan Distillery


Clay has been in many facets of the liquor industry since 2003 and with Corsair Distillery since early 2009. In addition to the daily “Cat-Herding” of the distillery’s experimental spirit development, core product manufacturing, barrel blending, bottling, packaging, shipping, copious paperwork and various site expansions in the past 5 years, Clay also teaches Fine Art at Western Kentucky University.

His love and experience with most things Craft, whether artistic or alcoholic in nature, found a unique home with Corsair’s philosophy.

Donald Snyder

Donald Snyder

Senior Consultant, Whiskey Resources, LLC


Donald has more than 10 years of experience managing operations and supply chains in the alcohol and beverage industry. As the Barrel Warehouse Manager and later the Logistics and customer Support Manager at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY, Donald learned to manage the production and distribution of both large scale, established brands as well as small batch, limited edition and experimental bourbons.

As the Logistics Manager at MGP in Lawrenceburg, IN, Donald managed sourcing high quality distiller’s grade corn and small grains, sourcing aged whiskey, distribution of bulk spirits, and creating custom oak experiments and wood finishes for customers of all sizes. Over the last decade, Donald has developed strong relationships with alcohol-focused service providers at all ends of the supply chain.

Chad Spalding

Chad Spalding

Bourbon Quality Assurance, Independent Stave Company


Chad Spalding has worked at Independent Stave Company for 15 years within the Quality Assurance and Customer Relations department. He was born and raised in the heart of bourbon country, Marion County.

Peggy Stevens

Peggy Stevens

Founder & President, Peggy Noe Stevens & Associates


Peggy Noe Stevens in both career and personal life has devoted herself to over twenty years of hospitality, entertaining and the exploration of experiential marketing. She began her career in hospitality and marketing with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, engaging in all aspects of guest services, professional event planning and the highest standards of culinary arts and entertaining.

Peggy then moved to the Brown-Forman Corporation to lead a newly developed travel and event planning department. As global event planner, she managed over 100 events annually, negotiated multi-million dollar travel contracts and enhanced all aspects of travel, customer service, entertaining protocol and hospitality for executives.

Mary Stone

Mary Stone

VP of Operations, Peggy Noe Stevens & Associates


Mary Stone earned a BA in Business Administration from Transylvania University and works as Vice President of Operations for Peggy Noe Stevens and Associates. Mary served on the board of Adoption Bridges of Kentucky and assisted in the merger which created Adoption Bridges of Kentuckiana, the expanded adoption program of St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities. She joined the Council in 2014 following the merger. Mary and her husband Matthew are parents to a 9 year old son, Ben. Mary is an active volunteer at Christ Church United Methodist in Louisville, at her son’s school and at other organizations in the Louisville area.

Matt Strickland

Matt Strickland

Distiller, District Distilling


Matt Strickland has worked in the beer, wine, and spirits industries and earned his Master’s of Science in Oenology and Viticulture from Oregon State University in 2012. At Corsair Artisan Distillery he functioned as head of research and development in Nashville, TN. There his focus was continuing Corsair's own brand of innovation by producing unique whiskey prototypes at a rapid pace: he made over 100 new whiskeys at his “lab” in Nashville in 18 months.

Jeff Stum

Jeff Stum

Spicewood Branding


Jeff Stum enjoyed a successful sales and marketing career at Brown-Forman. In addition, Stum is the founder, former CEO, and majority owner of Rooibee Red Tea, a thriving, Kentucky Proud brand now available in nationwide distribution.

Carson Taylor

Carson Taylor

President, Peerless Distilling


Carson is a fifth generation distilller, and the roots of Peerless Distilling Company run deep. Beginning in the 1880’s in the heart of Henderson, Kentucky, founder Henry Kraver made the famous Peerless Whiskey a regional powerhouse. After ceasing operations during Prohibition, the Peerless label has laid dormant—until now. Beginning in the Winter of 2014/2015, production under the auspices of Kentucky Peerless Distilling has once again commenced. Lucky Kentucky Moonshine, the first “Peerless” product in nearly 100 years, is some of the smoothest ‘shine ever.

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas

President, G&D Chillers


Justin Thomas was raised in Eugene, Oregon, where he lives with his wife Kelsey, and three daughters. He started working for G&D Chillers, manufacturers of process chilling systems, in 1995, during the founding year of the company. In 2006, he purchased G&D Chillers and has continued to successfully grow the business by focusing primarily on the winery, brewery and distillery markets.

David Timmons

David Timmons

Senior Chemist, Brown-Forman


David Timmons is a Senior Chemist at Brown-Forman responsible for developing quality testing methods. His career began in 2004 as a chemistry intern in Research & Development at Brown-Forman. With 12 years of experience in the industry, Timmons has refined his expertise in the chemical and sensory properties of whiskeys, grains, flavorings, and other various raw materials used in the production of distilled spirits. Additionally, David has a strong background in international regulatory compliance with TTB chemist certifications in spirits, wine and beer for over 10 years.

David currently serves as the Chairman of the Kentucky Distillers Association Technical Advisory Group and obtained his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Louisville.

Paul Tomaszewski

Paul Tomaszewski

Co-founder/Head Distiller, MB Roland Distillery


Paul Tomaszewski, along with his wife Merry Beth, opened MB Roland Distillery in Pembroke, KY in November, 2009. Since opening the distillery, distribution of “MBR” products has expanded to 8 different states, with a primary focus on the immediate region in and around Kentucky.

In addition to founding & overseeing the distillery, Paul has served as the chairman of the Craft Advisory Group for the Kentucky Distillersʼ Association (KDA) since March, 2012. He has also helped to integrate Kentucky craft distillers into events such as the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Prior to the distilling business, Paul served as an infantry officer in the US Army.

Paul Tuell

Paul Tuell

President, Spicewood Branding


Paul Tuell is a 25-year sales and marketing professional with executive leadership experience in companies including Brown-Forman Beverages, where he led growing brand businesses on Southern Comfort and Finlandia Vodka, and Papa John’s International, where he established successful partnerships with Taylor Swift and Jeff Gordon.

Michael Veach

Michael Veach

Historian & Author, The Filson Historical Society


Michael Veach is one of the foremost authorities on all things Bourbon, and has spent over 15 years with The Filson Historical Society serving in the role of historian and author. Mr. Veach has been featured in publications such as The Bourbon Review and The Louisville Encyclopedia. He wrote the forward for the release of Gerald Carson’s Social History of Bourbon in 2010, and in 2013 published his own now-widely acclaimed book Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage.

Prior to his long tenure at The Filson, Veach spent five years as the North American Archivist for United Distillers. In 2006, he was inducted into The Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.

Andrew Webber

Andrew Webber

CEO/Distiller, Corsair Artisan Distillery


Corsair co-founder Andrew Webber wears many hats: mad scientist, bean counter, lecturer, janitor. Serving as head distiller and President, Andrew works on prototyping experimental spirits with Darek Bell and runs Corsairʼs daily operations. He can also be found on the road giving talks and pouring Corsair.

Andrewʼs signature is using unusual ingredients in traditional distillations to yield novel, big, aggressive flavors in Corsairʼs spirits. Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Andrew spent time in Boston and Houston studying and working on biological systems. On returning to Nashville, he helped build a series of technology startups.

Kristen Wemer

Kristen Wemer

Director, Beverage Architect, FSQMS, Flavorman


Kristen has been with Flavorman since 2012 working in research and development, creating beverages in every category in the industry. Kristen has a degree in Food Science from the University of Kentucky. She previously worked for Zentis Food Solutions North America and Yum! Brands in R&D, sensory, and nutrition roles.

Mary Jo Weyrick

Mary Jo Weyrick

Procurement Manager, Pipeline Packaging


Mary Jo has been at Pipeline Packaging for the past 5 years. She initially managed the glass and closure category. She did all the planning, ordering, and sourcing for those 2 categories. For the past 18 months, she has managed over the buyers for the Consumer side of our business, which includes glass, closures, bottles, jars, and tubes. Before that, she worked for a paper manufacturer for 14 years. She had various roles that included sourcing, pricing, contract negotiations, and purchasing.

Andrew Wiehebrink

Andrew Wiehebrink

Director of Spirit Research & Innovation, Independent Stave Company


Always inspired by innovation, Andrew Wiehebrink
is a passionate engineer, farmer and bourbon scholar
who leverages his expertise to lead ISC’s spirit
research division.
Andrew works closely with ISC’s distilling customers to
push the envelope of what is possible. In addition to
developing and testing new products, Andrew designs
experiments and conducts research to further our
understanding of whiskey maturation, barrel
performance and alternative barrel construction.

Mary Beth Williams

Mary Beth Williams

President, Williams Compliance


After years in the public sector and private practice as an attorney, Williams is well-versed in the regulatory challenges that can befuddle the best businessperson. In her role as Associate General Counsel in the Virginia State Corporation Commission, she prosecuted securities fraud cases and drafted legislation and rules for the regulation of securities trademarks, and franchises. This experience, combined with her background as a Deputy District Attorney in Colorado, provides her with great perspective and understanding regarding enforcement issues and the position of the enforcement agencies.

Based on her background and experience, Williams knew West Coast wineries had been using compliance companies for years to bring in an expertise in the area at a significantly lower cost. She believed East Coast producers should have the same opportunity. Taking the calculated risk that all entrepreneurs face, she left her prestigious position as one of the stateʼs legal eagles and founded Williams Compliance. Today Williams Compliance serves dozens of clients in the eastern United States.

Richard Wolf

Richard Wolf

Managing Principal, Wolf Consulting LLC


Richard specializes in the beverage alcohol and allied industries as consultant and international broker of bulk bourbon. He is the former VP General Manager at Buffalo Trace Distillery (Sazerac Co.), an active member of the American Distilling Institute, served as Chairman of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, is a proud Kentucky Colonel, and former U.S. Marine. Richard’s 30 years experience in the beverage industry has been broad and varied, to include M&A, strategic sourcing, business development, national account management, supply chain optimization, new product development, systems implementation and greenfield plant construction.

Brian Wright

Brian Wright

Manager of Distillery Operations, MGPI Processing


As Manager of Distillery Operations at MGPI Processing, in Atchison, KS, Wright is responsible for leading plant operations at the Atchison, Kan. distillery. One of his primary job responsibilities is to drive continuous improvement initiatives to enhance plant efficiencies. Wright is responsible for scheduling the day-to-day production of the various grades of alcohol produced by MGPI in Atchison. Wright joined MGPI in November 2010 as a process engineer in distillery operations.

Just prior to that, he worked for over three years at Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation’s Ravenna, Neb. operation. There he served as plant engineer/maintenance manager, which entailed providing support in successfully bringing a new ethanol plant online. In 1998, he began working for Becton Dickinson, Holdrege, Neb., as technology engineer/process engineer for seven years.

Wright worked for Intel Corporation, Rio Rancho, N.M., for two years as a process engineer/facilities engineer. In this role, he was responsible for all aspects of installation and qualification of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactors. Wright, a native of Overland Park, Kan., has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt from the BD/Juran Institute.

Chris Zaborowski

Chris Zaborowski

Partner, Westport Whiskey & Wine

ORGANIZATIONAL & OPERATIONAL LEADERSHIP
An outstanding record in business development and implementing strategic plans

PROFESSIONAL ATTRIBUTES:
Strategic Planning
Market Share Increase
Brand Development
Effective Leadership
Business Relationships
Training & Development

Specialties: accountancy, advertising, brand management, inventory management, leadership, marketing, natural, production, profit, radio, sales, strategic planning

Sara Zborovski

Sara Zborovski

Canadian Regulatory and IP Counsel


Sara is legal counsel to the industries regulated by Health Canada - the food and beverage, natural health products, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
She assists clients navigate the regulatory landscape implemented by the Food and Drugs Act and its related regulations, and the intersection of regulation and intellectual property law. She has particular experience advocating before Health Canada, with Federal Court review of regulatory decisions, lobbying, and in navigating Canada's Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations.

She is also a registered Trademark agent and a member of the New York State Bar Association.

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