Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
New Riff Distilling founder, co-owner and chief executive officer Ken Lewis announced he plans to retire in the spring of 2024, coinciding with the distillery’s tenth anniversary. After 50 years in the beverage alcohol industry, Ken’s impacts range from revolutionizing the beverage retail experience to changing Kentucky’s Sunday liquor sale policies to successfully lobbying for distilleries to sell their own products by the drink on their premises. A three-person leadership team — all current employees — will lead the distillery into its next phase.

“From the beginning, New Riff has been about innovation — about trying new things, about growing and exploring what we could do in the whiskey space,” Ken said. “In that spirit, it is time for a new chapter at New Riff. Although it is hard for me to leave, I am excited to see what’s ahead and to celebrate the distillery’s successes in the future. I could not imagine a better group of people to take the helm and they are the reason I know it is the right time for me to step back.”

New Riff will be led by Hannah Lowen as chief executive officer, Mollie Lewis as president and Denny Gorman as chief operating officer. Hannah will transition from her role as vice president of operations. Currently, the company’s sales director, Mollie, will become the second generation to be a part of the New Riff leadership team when she succeeds her father in his role as president. Denny is transitioning from the director of engineering and logistics.

A part of the team since before the distillery opened, Hannah established New Riff’s operating systems, company branding and distillery programs as the company launched. For the past decade, she’s worked to shape the company’s mission, optimize operations and propel the company forward.

Mollie has served as sales director since the company’s founding, a perfect fit following time spent as an international export manager in Italy. Before that, she attended the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and worked in different channels of the wine and spirits business, from sommelier to distributor.

Denny, a professional engineer, joined the team in 2019 after over a decade at The Boston Beer Company in Cincinnati, where he held roles in engineering, maintenance and project management.

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