The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) has named Annie Franklin as its first director of member services.
Franklin previously worked for US government agency the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
“At the Cabinet, I witnessed first-hand the substantial growth and momentum of Kentucky’s Bourbon industry and understand its needs and challenges,” she said.
The 29-year-old has experience working with distilleries and expansion projects, which has led to more than US$500 million in capital investment costs and has created more than 340 jobs in the state’s Bourbon industry.
Franklin added: “Every person I meet who works at a distillery is passionate and dedicated to ensuring that the industry’s future remains bright. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work in an industry that touches every corner of our state and I look forward to helping foster its continued success.”
As director of member services, Franklin will be responsible for leading membership activities, communications and the recruitment of a team consisting of 50 distillers.
“Annie’s experience and personal approach in working with new and existing companies made her the perfect fit for this new position,” KDA president Eric Gregory said. “It’s an added benefit that our members already know and trust her from her years at the Cabinet.
“As we expand our signature industry and attract more distillers to Kentucky, Annie’s acute understanding of business recruiting and the steps needed to grow existing facilities is a key asset to the KDA and the Commonwealth as a whole. We are thrilled to welcome her to our team.”
Franklin is the latest person to join the KDA from the state’s Cabinet for Economic Development, after Jack Mazurak, who was recently appointed director of governmental and regulatory affairs.
The trade group recently released a report, which revealed KDA members’ plan to invest US$3.3 billion in distilling projects by 2025, representing a total of US$5.2bn in capital investment over a 10-year period.