Peggy Noe Stevens, a renowned image-branding consultant who has helped transform Kentucky’s bourbon tourism industry, has been presented with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association’s Lois Mateus Networking Award for her decades of hospitality and professional prowess.
During her 27-year career, Stevens has served as the world’s first female master bourbon taster, built tourism destinations for famous distilleries, authored two books, created innovative bourbon culinary programs and represented Kentucky for Julia Child, Bobby Flay and the Prince of Spain.
In 1999, while working for Brown-Forman Corp., Stevens was part of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association team that created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience, which has grown to one of the country’s most successful and unique tourism attractions.
In 2010, she founded the popular Bourbon Women Association, the first female consumer group in the industry to celebrate and support Kentucky’s signature industry with a platform for women.
“Whenever bourbon and tourism meet, there has been Peggy Noe Stevens,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “Her legacy is literally inscribed on the walls of our most legendary distilleries that she has helped transform into thriving global tourism destinations.”
The award is named for Lois Mateus, retired senior vice president of Brown-Forman and the first woman ever to serve on the KDA board. Her two-year term in 1992 paved the way for other women in high-ranking roles throughout Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry.
“The learning and development partnership of mentoring is a powerful influence in one’s career,” Mateus said. “It has been a joy to see Peggy Stevens share her experience and expertise for the professional growth of so many others.”