7th March, 2018 by Owen Bellwood
The Ladies of American Distilleries (LOAD) has named Montanya Distillers owner Karen Hoskin as its interim leader.
Hoskin will take over leadership of the organisation from Samantha Unger Katz, who founded LOAD seven years ago.
Katz said: “Karen has been an avid supporter of this organisation and women in the industry since the inception of LOAD.
“We are so thrilled to see her step into this role as the organisation navigates this next phase of growth.”
Hoskin will lead LOAD until a formal board can be elected. She plans to formalise LOAD’s membership structure, create formal allegiances with industry groups and develop the organisation’s database.
Hoskin said: “When I started my distillery 10 years ago, I was the only female distillery owner and founder in any room. Sometimes people thought I was there to deliver their lunch.
“It was intimidating and occasionally demoralising. I have always felt it is my responsibility to help kick down the barriers to entry, raise a voice of support, and hopefully inspire others along the way.”
LOAD was formed by a group of women from the world of craft distilling, who banded together to create a structure and forum to support gender diversity in the industry.
Women comprise just 10-20% of distillers and distillery employees and less than 10% of majority owners in US distilleries.
Since its formation, LOAD has sponsored and organised numerous fundraising and networking events across the country and has brought together over 700 members from various disciplines in the industry.
To mark International Women’s Day in 2016, we rounded up 10 of the best female master distillers and blenders.