LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Karen Williams, retired President and CEO of Louisville Tourism, acquired the eighth yearly Lois Mateus Networking Award in honor of her distinguished contributions to Kentucky’s signature bourbon and spirits sector.
Bourbon Gals Founder and Chair Emeritus Peggy Noe Stevens and KDA President Eric Gregory applauded Williams for her exceptional function setting up Louisville as a bourbon desired destination model.
“Karen Williams’s illustrious vocation in tourism and her powerful commitment to bourbon tourism was a driving drive in our sector,” Stevens explained. “Her management in guiding Louisville to turn into a prime location for bourbon is not only appreciated by our marketplace, but we honor her by way of this award.”
Williams’s 40-yr profession in the hospitality industry began in Atlanta where she worked as a income manager at the Ritz-Carlton Resort. In the course of that time, she served open up 18 inns worldwide.
She relocated to Louisville to provide 23 a long time at the Louisville Convention & Site visitors Bureau.
Williams also served as chairwoman of the Desired destination and Travel Foundation, a charitable business devoted to highlighting the impression of vacation close to the environment and serving desired destination marketing experts.
In 2012, Williams retired as govt vice president. That identical calendar year, she been given the Dan Mangeot Award, which recognizes men and women who have made significant contributions to the improvement of tourism.
In 2014, Williams returned as pesident and CEO of the Louisville CVB – the agency now acknowledged as Louisville Tourism – wherever she produced it a precedence to get the job done with the KDA to establish the 1st Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience in downtown Louisville along the historic Whiskey Row.
Beneath her management, Louisville boasted eight Bourbon Trail distillery places – the most of any other city. In addition, Williams served KDA launch the illustrious Kentucky Bourbon Affair fantasy camp that brings bourbon aficionados from all all-around the planet to Louisville and bordering communities just about every year.
KDA President Eric Gregory explained Williams’s steadfast and truthful management was vital to aligning the bourbon sector and its tourism companions.
“Karen is 1 of the greatest world ambassadors for Kentucky’s signature bourbon and distilled spirits sector –and the commonwealth at big – that you will ever find,” he stated.
Gregory also remarked on Williams’s force to combine Bourbon into all facets of the customer working experience by elevating Louisville as a major “foodie” metropolis and functioning with Mayor Greg Fischer on “Bourbonism” initiatives together with bourbon-themed hotels and music festivals.
“She has reworked the bourbon tourism landscape for the point out, which is evidenced by the tens of millions of distillery excursions presented every 12 months. This award is our way of honoring her eyesight and commitment to the achievements of our commonwealth’s beloved heritage.”
The award is named for Lois Mateus, retired Senior Vice President of Brown-Forman, Inc., and the initial girl ever to provide on the KDA Board. Her two-yr time period in 1992 paved the way for other girls in high-position roles throughout Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry.
Karen Williams thanked the KDA and Bourbon Women for the honor and was introduced with the award final Friday night at Bourbon Women’s yearly SIPosium Welcome Meal.
“It is these a accurate privilege and honor to be acknowledged with an award that was named for Lois Mateus, anyone that I have generally admired, a accurate trailblazer, a lady with such design and grace,” Williams said. “I am also honored to have had the prospect to function with the KDA group – they are so fully commited, so specialist and a accurate spouse to the tourism market. Doing the job with KDA, the distilled spirits is just one of the top brand name pillars of our business, we are the envy of our marketplace – worldwide”.
The award is specified yearly by Bourbon Women of all ages in conjunction with the KDA based mostly on the pursuing criteria for a girl who has:
Bourbon Women is a premier corporation for women of all ages who are passionate about exploring bourbon and the tradition that surrounds it.
Designed solely for educational, networking and charitable functions, Bourbon Women’s rapid-rising membership is produced up of women of all ages from about 30 states and continues to variety new branches throughout the region.
Given that its inception, the Bourbon Ladies Association has encouraged books on women in the business, produced partnerships with key sector associations, held the initially bourbon weekend for females, and proceeds to elevate cash for philanthropies by means of their special, higher-excellent events.
Bourbon Women from all-around the state appear collectively after a year for their yearly Bourbon Females SIPosium. This year’s 4-working day party was hosted in Louisville and featured excursions to distilleries all over the area.
Master additional at www.bourbonwomen.org.
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