Brown-Forman names director, state and local government relations

Les Fugate

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Brown-Forman Corp. announced Tuesday that Les Fugate will join Brown-Forman as director, state and local government relations, effective Dec. 9, 2019. Fugate succeeds Rusty Cheuvront who is retiring from Brown-Forman on Dec. 31.

In this role, Fugate will establish and strengthen relationships with key industry and government officials and trade organizations in all 50 states. As part of the largest American-owned spirits company, Fugate will share Brown-Forman’s contributions and economic impact, as well as the needs, policies and positions of business and industry at the state and local level.

“With years of experience in the government relations area, I know that Les will be an effective team member and help strengthen our already capable team,” said Jim O’Malley, senior vice president, director, global government relations, Brown-Forman. “I am pleased that Brown-Forman was able to add someone with Les’s experience and talent to our government affairs team.”


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Fugate joins Brown-Forman from RunSwitch Public Relations where he served as executive vice president and provided consulting services to Fortune 500 companies and other clients. Fugate’s experience includes chief lobbyist and executive director of the Kentucky Beverage Association and deputy assistant Secretary of State. He has worked with the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky., and the Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars Program and Foundation.

Fugate is a graduate of Centre College in Danville, Ky., and Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. He will live in Louisville.

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