New Riff founder to retire
The chief executive officer of New Riff Distilling, Ken Lewis, will retire in 2024 and will be replaced by Hannah Lowen.
Lewis’s retirement will coincide with the distillery’s 10th anniversary. The company will then be led by a three-person leadership team, who are all current employees. Lowen, who is currently vice-president of operations, will become CEO; Mollie Lewis, currently director of sales and Lewis’s daughter, will transition to the role of president; and Denny Gorman, director of engineering and logistics, will become chief operating officer.
In March, New Riff revealed it would begin a US$3 million renovation of its public areas to improve visitor experience, including a new home for its tasting and cocktail bar.
Ken continued: “Values and company culture are important to me. New Riff is a 100% family-owned business and will stay that way.
“It’s the only way we have the independence to eschew the exclusive drive for profits, share our success with our career employees, and live up to our values. Career employees give their best years to taking care of our company and in return we will take care of them in their retirement.”
Ken has spent his career modernising Kentucky laws regarding the spirits industry, including initiating a court case that led to credit cards being allowed to purchase alcohol.
He added: “My life has meaning because of these values — how hollow a life that is selfish and greedy.
“I founded New Riff for the entrepreneurial challenge — and to create a world-class brand, enrich my community through bourbon tourism, and make a huge difference in the lives of many employee families for decades to come.”