Samson & Surrey announced that Elayne Duff would join the company as Director of Brand Advocacy. Duff brings over 20 years of industry experience to a recently occupied position by Kyle McHugh.
In her new role, Duff will oversee an advocacy team charged with continuing to grow Samson & Surrey’s diverse family of award-winning, premium craft spirits. The lineup spans from bartender darling Tequila Ocho and artisan mezcal brand Mezcal Vago to Bluecoat, the original American dry gin; grain-to-glass producer FEW Spirits; Brenne French Single Malt Whisky; and Brooklyn whiskey maker and Samson & Surrey flagship, Widow Jane.
Says Samson & Surrey Co-Founder & COO Juan Rovira, “Elayne’s experience, vast knowledge and genuine appreciation for the brand ambassador role, make her uniquely qualified to lead Samson & Surrey Brand Advocacy and Education efforts, a critical component of how we build our brands.”
Duff’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to found the “Beverage Brand Ambassador Academy,” a groundbreaking online training program for Brand Ambassadors adopted by companies worldwide. She has spoken at industry trade shows worldwide and has appeared countless times in print, digital, and broadcast media.
She also hosts the podcast “Celebrating the Brand Ambassador.” On the show, she conducts candid, entertaining, behind-the-scenes interviews with the best spirits brand ambassadors worldwide. She dives into their personal life stories, roles and responsibilities, the challenges of the position, best practices, and much more.
A natural marketer, cocktail program designer, public speaker, educator, and entrepreneur, Duff made history in 2006 as the first head mixologist and luxury spirits ambassador at Diageo U.S.A, a job she held for nearly a decade. In 2015 she became a Global Manager at AB-Inbev ZX Ventures, where she developed educational and experiential strategies for the brand’s craft beers worldwide.
Said Duff, “I’m honored to build upon Kyle McHugh’s legacy in establishing and nurturing an exceptional portfolio of brands and lead a first-class Advocacy Team. I am thrilled to continue his great work, drive our team to significantly impact the industry, and carry forward Samson & Surrey’s ambitious pursuit of crafting world-famous premium spirits globally.”
“Elayne is among the most respected professionals in our industry,” said McHugh. “I’m so proud of what we’ve built at Samson & Surrey, both our brands and our people who bring them to life every day, all around the world. I can’t think of anyone more uniquely qualified to step into this job and bring her own talents and experience to expand upon what we have built together these last seven years.”