LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2018) — Kate Shapira Latts, Vice President of Marketing for Heaven Hill Brands, received the fifth annual Lois Mateus Networking Award Aug. 24, honoring her thoughtful leadership and meaningful contributions to Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and spirits industry.
Latts oversees the strategy, marketing and new product development for the diversified portfolio of brands for the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer. Heaven Hill is the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky bourbon.
Latts accepted the award at the opening dinner of the Bourbon Women Sip-osium, held at Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto.
Bourbon Women President Kerri Richardson and the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair Director Mary Gratzer presented Latts with a silver bourbon barrel cup to commemorate her outstanding work in elevating and promoting Kentucky’s treasured spirit.
“When women lead in bourbon, more women come to bourbon,” Richardson said. “Having Kate in a position of leadership in one of the world’s largest and most historic bourbon houses means that Kate has outsize influence in the way people think about and enjoy bourbon.
“We applaud her contributions and congratulate Kate on her outstanding work in promoting America’s native spirit.”
In addition to growing the success of Heaven Hill, Latts is an active participant in the WSWA Women’s Leadership Council and Women of the Vine and Spirits – the world’s leading women’s organization dedicated to empowerment and advancement in the alcohol beverage industry.
“Kate’s strategic vision and execution has been immeasurable in growing our signature industry, creating opportunities for others – especially women – to succeed,” said KDA President Eric Gregory. “We are honored to present her with this year’s Lois Mateus award.”
The award is named for Lois Mateus, retired senior vice president of Brown-Forman Inc., and the first woman ever to serve on the KDA Board. Her two-year term in 1992 paved the way for other women in high-ranking roles throughout Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry.
“I’m honored to be recognized as one of this great industry’s female pioneers,” Latts said. “Lois’s vision and leadership have been an inspiration for so many amazing women helping further the artistry of bourbon whiskey.”
Mateus said, “Kate is a remarkable woman, carrying on her family’s legacy of leadership and collaboration in the Bourbon industry by sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm of this great spirit with consumers. She’s a networker and a brand builder.”
Latts’ father, Heaven Hill President Max L. Shapira, said his greatest accomplishment was attracting the third generation of family back to lead the business.
“I’m deeply proud that Kate as my daughter, a professional and a woman has been recognized for her commitment to American whiskey, which to this day, is the heart and soul of our business,” he said.
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
“Heaven Hill has been a cornerstone of leadership in this industry for three generations,” Gregory said. “Kate’s dedication and dynamic initiative is a big part of that, and it is a privilege to be able to recognize her success in this way.
“On behalf of the KDA and our 39 members, we congratulate Kate on her achievements and thank her for her significant contributions to the strength, integrity and longevity of Kentucky’s beloved bourbon and distilled spirts industry.”
About Bourbon Women
Bourbon Women is the country’s premier organization for women who are passionate about exploring Bourbon and the culture that surrounds it.
Designed exclusively for educational, networking and charitable purposes, Bourbon Women’s fast-growing membership is made up of women from more than 30 states and continues to form new branches across the country.
Since its inception, the Bourbon Women Association has inspired books on women in the industry, created partnerships with key industry associations, held the first bourbon weekend for women and continues to raise money for philanthropies through their unique, high-quality events.
Bourbon Women from around the country come together once a year for their annual Bourbon Women Sip-osium. This year’s sold-out event was held in Louisville and featured distillery tours, seminars by leading female professionals in the Bourbon industry, and networking receptions featuring Kentucky bourbon, hand-crafted cocktails and delicious local fare.
Learn more at www.bourbonwomen.org.
About the Kentucky Distillers’ Association
Founded in 1880, the KDA is the state’s voice for bourbon and spirits issues. Its diverse membership produces 90 percent of the world’s bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are building the next generation of the timeless craft.
Kentucky bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $8.5 billion economic engine that generates as many as 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $800 million and pours $825 million into tax coffers each year.
Attendance at the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® distilleries has skyrocketed by 314 percent in the last 10 years. Visitors made more than 1.2 million stops at participating distilleries last year, the second straight year topping that milestone.
In addition, the industry is in the middle of a $1.2 billion building boom, from innovative new tourism centers to expanded production facilities, all to meet the growing global thirst for Kentucky bourbon.
There are now 39 companies operating 52 distilleries in the Commonwealth making 6.8 million barrels of aging Bourbon – all modern records. Distillers also paid a record $19.2 million last year in barrel taxes that fund critical local programs such as education, public safety and health.
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BOURBON AFFAIR™ and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please drink responsibly.