Blue Run Spirits announces the appointment of Chelsea Catania as Vice President of Sales for the fast-growing whiskey company. Catania will oversee the global sales operation for Blue Run, including on- and off-premise; chain; military; duty-free; and e-commerce, as well as distributor relationships. She will report directly to CEO and cofounder Mike Montgomery.
Catania joins Blue Run with nearly 15 years of experience in the spirits business, particularly emphasizing luxury brands. Before Blue Run, she was the Southern Glazer’s Division Director – Diageo Hospitality Partnership at Enthuse Marketing, a women-owned experiential agency. While at Enthuse, she also held the position of West Region Manager – Diageo Reserve (CA, NV, WA, OR), managing the business for the industry leader’s fine spirits portfolio. In both these roles, Catania mentored a large commercial sales team to drive growth metrics for Diageo’s portfolio, emphasizing education and trade advocacy.
Before joining Enthuse, Catania was Regional Sales Manager – in Southern California for Casa Dragones Tequila and spent five years at Patron Spirits Company as Area Sales Manager – in New York and as Ultimat Vodka Brand Ambassador. Previous spirits experience includes roles at Beam Suntory and The ONE Group, owners of STK steakhouse and Kona Grill.
“As we expand nationally and globally, we needed to find a spirits industry veteran who understood the luxury brand market and had a deep distributor and retailer relationships to help capitalize on the potential of the Blue Run brand,” said Montgomery. “We are excited to bring Chelsea on board as our first global sales leader and look forward to leveraging her experience to meet our ambitious long-term sales goals. In addition, we must continue hiring Blue Run team members who accurately reflect the diverse community embracing our whiskies, staying true to Blue Run’s founding mission and values.”
“I am extremely excited to join the Blue Run team at this moment in the company’s very quick evolution from a pandemic startup to a company set to release six bourbons and rye whiskeys in 2023 alone,” said Catania. “My goal is to work cooperatively with our existing distributor partners to get the product on the shelf and behind the bar to meet consumer demand, then expand the brand beyond our current 27 U.S. and two Canadian markets. At the same time, I will remain keenly focused on e-commerce both on our platform and those of partner retailers, as our consumers, who help sell out Blue Run products in mere minutes online, are engaged with us when we introduce limited-availability whiskeys through digital commerce.”
Blue Run Spirits has introduced 13 bourbon and rye whiskey releases since the company launched in October 2020, selling 21,000 9-liter cases in 2022 – a 300% year-over-year increase. The company recently announced expanded distribution in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington, Minnesota and Ontario. Blue Run plans to invest nearly $51 million in a 35,000-square-foot distillery and a 20,000-square-foot rickhouse in Georgetown, Kentucky, which will break ground in 2023.