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ACSA appoints Westward’s Kelly Woodcock president

Trade group the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) has elected a vice-president and secretary, and appointed five new board members.

Woodcock previously served as vice-president and has been a member of the organisation’s board of directors since 2022.

Kelly Woodcock, partner and vice-president at Westward Whiskey in Portland, Oregon, has been appointed president of the association. She takes over the role from Gina Holman, of J Carver Distillery in Minnesota.

Woodcock joined the ACSA board of directors in 2022 and previously served as vice-president in 2023.

Amber Pollock, of Wyoming’s Backwards Distilling, has been named vice-president, while Jeff Kanof, of Washington-based Copperworks Distillery, has been named secretary and treasurer. Both have served on the board since 2018.

“It is a tremendous honour to be leading the ACSA board of directors as president, and it is a responsibility that I do not take lightly,” Woodcock said. “As we usher in ACSA’s second decade as a leading industry trade association, I look forward to serving our growing craft spirits community and building on the organisation’s remarkable accomplishments thus far.

“We’ve certainly got our work cut out for us, but I’m excited to be working alongside such an esteemed group of fellow board members to make great things happen for our vibrant industry.”

New 2024 board members include: Greg Eidam (Sugarlands Distilling Co in Tennessee), Adam Polonski (Lost Lantern Whiskey in Vermont), Phil Steger (Brother Justus Whiskey Co in Minnesota), Olivia Stewart (Oxbow Rum Distillery in Louisiana), and Tom Bard (The Bard Distillery in Kentucky).

Together with the newly constructed board of directors, Woodcock, Pollock and Kanof will work with CEO Margie AS Lehrman to address key issues facing craft distilling, including the continued push for modern market access.

“While industry growth continues to climb, albeit slowly, we are also seeing distillery closures and struggles to remain financially secure and profitable,” Lehrman said. “ACSA remains focused on critical issues to ensure our small business manufacturers, who are intricately connected to their local hospitality and agricultural communities, will keep pace with modern society.”

Lehrman added that the board would also work to diversify the spirits industry through its Stepup Foundation, which offers ‘immersive’ internship programmes.

“Our 2024 board of directors is proof that our industry continues to advance in the right direction,” she added.

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