FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kevin Smith, vice president of Kentucky Beam Bourbon Affairs of Beam Suntory, has been elected chairman of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for the 2023 term. Smith succeeds Diane Medley, executive chairman and co-founder of MCM CPAs and Advisors, whose term expired on Sept. 30.
Smith has served on the Kentucky Chamber’s Board of Directors for several years and previously chaired the Kentucky Chamber Foundation. Smith has also served on the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Center Board and chaired the Chamber’s Competitiveness Policy Council.
“We are excited to welcome Kevin as he takes over as chair of the Kentucky Chamber’s Board of Directors,” said Kentucky Chamber President/CEO Ashli Watts. “Kevin has a tireless commitment to advancing the Commonwealth, and we look forward to the accomplishments we will achieve together over the next year.”
In his role at Beam Suntory, Smith focuses on advancing corporate relationships, maintaining relationships with federal, state, and local leaders, strengthening communities, and ensuring the most sustainable business climate possible for Kentucky.
One of his accomplishments during his time at Beam Suntory includes playing a key role on the team that led the University of Kentucky to create the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits, which is a driver of research and talent development for the bourbon industry.
His career in the bourbon industry started in 1989, where he spent the majority of his time in various roles ranging from supply chain to manufacturing to building and operating, as well as other areas of production. Throughout his career, Smith has traveled the world representing the bourbon industry, leading a wide range of seminars, tastings, and media interviews.
Previously, Smith served as the vice president and master distiller for Maker’s Mark Distillery, where he was instrumental in the creation of the Maker’s 46 expression.
In addition to his involvement with the Kentucky Chamber, Smith currently serves on the CHI Saint Joseph Health Board of Directors; Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board; Japan American Society of Kentucky Board; Elizabethtown Community and Technical College Foundation Board; Greater Louisville Inc. Board of Directors; Bardstown Industrial Development Board; Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors; and UofL Speed School of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board. Smith also serves as the 2022 chair of the Kentucky Distillers Association Board of Directors.
“I want to thank the Kentucky Chamber for the opportunity to serve as the organization’s next chair of the board of directors,” said Beam Suntory Vice President of Kentucky Beam Bourbon Affairs Kevin Smith. “I am proud to help continue the Chamber’s work to make Kentucky more business-friendly, improve the lives of every Kentuckian, and advance the commonwealth.”
Candace McGraw, CEO of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, will serve as chair-elect for 2023. Serving with Smith and McGraw on the Chamber’s Executive Committee will be:
- Immediate Past Chair: Diane Medley, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, MCM CPAs & Advisors, Louisville, KY
- Vice Chair, Administration: Kelley Workman, President, Planters Bank, Hopkinsville, KY
- Vice Chair, Communications and Marketing: Steve Branscum, President & CEO, Branscum Construction Co., Russell Springs, KY
- Vice Chair, Membership and Business Services: John Crockett, President, LG&E KU Energy LLC, Louisville, KY
- Vice Chair, Public Affairs: LaJuana Wilcher, Partner, English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, Bowling Green, KY
- Treasurer: Mark Gooch, President & CEO, Community Trust Bank, Inc., Pikeville, KY
- Chair, Kentucky Chamber Foundation: Condrad Daniels, President, HJI Supply Chain Solutions, Louisville, KY
- At-Large Member: Susan Elkington, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Georgetown, KY
- At-Large Member: Amy Luttrell, President & CEO, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, Louisville, KY
- At-Large Member: Mark Newman, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, UK HealthCare, Lexington, KY
- At-Large Member: Mark Sommer, Member, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Louisville, KY
- President & CEO: Ashli Watts, President & CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Frankfort, KY
Newly Elected Directors:
- Jeff Borkowski, CEO, ClearPath Mutual, Louisville
- Kristen Byrd, Regional President, PNC Financial Service Group, Louisville
- Ellen Call, Senior Director, State Government Affairs, Charter Communications, Louisville
- Nancy Chamblee, President, Manchester Tank & Equipment Co., Campbellsville
- Patrick Coleman, Vice President, Government Affairs & ESOP Administration, Houchens Industries, Bowling Green
- Nick D’Andrea, Vice President, Government Affairs, UPS, Louisville
- Ray Daniels, CEO, Equity Solutions Group LLC, Lexington
- Haley McCoy*, President/CEO, Kentucky Association for Economic Development
- Carlos Sanchez, President, AT&T Kentucky, Louisville
- Amy Spiller, State President, Ohio & Kentucky, Duke Energy, Cincinnati
A full board listing, including members continuing their terms, can be found online at kychamber.com.
Click here for more Kentucky business news.