(Editor’s note: The March issue of The Lane Report features our semi-annual list of the Top Women in Business. At lanereport.com, we’re shining the spotlight on one of the honorees each day. Day 7: Meredith Moody, homeplace development director at The Sazerac Co. [Buffalo Trace, 1792 Distillery and others]).
Our occasional feature, Top Women in Business, highlights some of the women in and around Kentucky who are making an impact in business, the professions, politics and economic development. The feature recognizes women in key roles whose work ethic and body of work are making important contributions to commerce—and life—in Kentucky.
Top Women in Business has grown to become one of The Lane Report’s most popular features. Over the years, we’ve profiled nearly 115 women who shatter stereotypes, encourage other businesswomen and help their Kentucky companies reach new heights. The women featured in this issue are no exception. From president of the Kentucky Hospital Association to executive director of the Rubicon Institute, and the founder of Jeptha Creed Distillery to regional president of PNC bank and others, these women are forging their own paths, proving that hard work, perseverance and creativity pay off.
Meredith Moody is homeplace development director at The Sazerac Co., in charge of all of its tourism “homeplaces,” which include Buffalo Trace Distillery, 1792 Distillery and others.
Title/company: Homeplace development director for the Sazerac Co. I am in charge of all of the tourism “homeplaces” of Sazerac, including Buffalo Trace Distillery, 1792 Distillery, A. Smith Bowman Distillery, The Sazerac House and the Old Montreal Distillery.
How long at company/position: 14½ years.
Previous jobs/positions: Vice president of research and marketing, Lexington Convention & Visitors Bureau; executive assistant manager, rooms division, Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel, Miami; several other hotel industry positions.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in history, Transylvania University.
Top accomplishment: I feel truly blessed to have had a lot of business success, but my top accomplishment in life has been raising my son, Alex.
The person who most influenced or mentored me: Two bosses over the years have been most influential. The first was the general manager at the Radisson where I had my first career job. He had a knack for teaching by example, mostly with common sense. The second was the man who hired me at Sazerac nearly 15 years ago. He also taught through example and most importantly through collaboration—getting people from different areas and pulling them together for discussions, identifying and implementing best practices. You can learn something new every day and it sometimes comes from unexpected areas.
My biggest challenge and how I overcame it: My biggest challenges were moving into new positions that were different from the ones I was leaving. To overcome these, I always spend the first several weeks listening, asking questions, learning from those who are already in place and have the best institutional knowledge. Then I combine what I’ve learned in the past with the current situation, start building the teams—setting goals and developing plans—and then watch the team implement the plans.
My advice to younger women in business: Always be open to learning; you never know where the next big idea will come from. Don’t rush into a new job expecting to change things immediately; take time to get to know what’s been done and how your experience can help to improve things. Always look at what you’ve done and analyze the project. What went well? What didn’t go so well? What would you change for next time? Live by continuous improvement.
Something new I learned during the pandemic: I’ve learned to appreciate what is important and to strive for a good work/life balance.
Something I love doing: I love to travel and read. Sometimes, reading takes you on those trips.
When I was a child, I wanted to: Play at Wimbledon.
I’m inspired/driven by: I’m inspired by great leaders who set the example and live and manage by a set of values. I’m driven by seeing great results from strategic thinking and tactical implementation through a team effort. I love seeing others succeed.
When I do my best thinking: I find myself coming up with most ideas in that time between when you’re not quite asleep, but you’re also not quite awake. I have often sat up and jotted down some notes about a project or topic. Sometimes when I look those over, I laugh and throw them away, but I’ve also found some great inspiration in those moments.
One important skill everyone should have: Flexibility.
Book I’ve read recently: I just completed “The Evening and the Morning” by Ken Follett, a prequel to “Pillars of the Earth.”
Songs from my teenage years that I still rock out to when nobody is around: I love classic rock—Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Talking Heads are probably the top three.
If I had to delete all but three apps from my smartphone, I would keep: Facebook, Delta and Pandora.
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