Distillers’ Association Hires First-Ever Director of Member Services


January 24, 2022

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced that Annie Franklin has joined the non-profit trade group as its first-ever Director of Member Services.

Franklin, 29, comes to the KDA from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, where she specialized in the recruitment, retention and growth of food, beverage and agribusiness industries.

Franklin worked directly with dozens of distilleries and expansion projects, leading to more than $500 million in capital investment costs and creating over 340 jobs in Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry.

At the KDA, Franklin will lead and coordinate membership activities, needs, communications and recruitment for the organization’s growing family of more than 50 of Kentucky’s finest 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.”

A native of Winchester, Ky., Franklin received her bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University. She also has a background in sales and hospitality, and previously worked at Walt Disney World in Florida and Hong Kong Disneyland.  

Franklin said she is honored to join the KDA and looks forward to working with its members and growing the association. “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. “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.”