Thursday, January 04, 2018


The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) has today announced that Rob Samuels, Chief Operating Officer at Maker’s Mark Distillery, has been named Chairman of the group’s Board of Directors for 2018.

Rob Samuels, is the fourth generation of his family to serve as Chairman of the non-profit trade group, which promotes, protects and elevates the state’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

The Kentucky Distillers' Association Chairman for 2018: Rob Samuels

Rob Samuels, follows in the footsteps of his father, Bill Samuels, Jr and grandfather, the late T. William Samuels, Sr, both of whom have been bestowed the prestigious title of Lifetime Honorary Members of the KDA Board in recognition of their outstanding service and leadership.

The elder Samuels served as KDA Chairman in 1961, not long after he founded the Maker’s Mark brand, with Bill Samuels, Jr., leading the group in 1982 and 1983. Rob Samuels said his great-grandfather, Leslie Samuels, also chaired the KDA in the early 1900s before Prohibition.

Commenting on the news, Rob Samuels, said: “I’m excited about this opportunity for a couple of reasons. One, this is clearly one of the most dynamic times in the history of our industry, and the KDA is uniquely positioned to provide leadership for the greater good of the entire Commonwealth. Secondly, I’m humbled to be the fourth generation of the Samuels family to chair the KDA. I’m looking forward to carrying on that tradition.”

The KDA, also appointed Rick Robinson, Vice President of U.S. Product Supply Chain for Wild Turkey Distillery as Vice Chairman, and Larry Kass, Director of Trade Relations for Heaven Hill Brands, as Secretary-Treasurer.

Rob Samuels will serve as KDA Chairman until the end of December 2018.

Posted by Steve Rush