March 12, 2015—Baltimore, Maryland. The Maryland Distillers Guild has hired Kevin Atticks as its executive director, and his firm—Grow & Fortify—to manage the organization, cultivate the industry and achieve new legislative and promotional successes.
“For the first time in nearly half a century, we are experiencing a revival of Maryland’s long & illustrious distilling industry,” notes Jaime Windon, president of the newly formed Maryland Distillers Guild. “Maryland is following a nationwide resurgence in local, artisan production of unique and innovative spirits.”
The Maryland Distillers Guild was developed to encourage and shape future opportunities for distillers, and to foster the jobs, agriculture and tourism that the industry will yield.
“We will bring back the significant recognition that our state once enjoyed for producing the much revered, and superb, Maryland Rye Whiskey,” says Windon, who notes that Maryland isn’t just known for its rye. “In colonial times Maryland was also known for rum, and with many of our existing members interested in distilling rum, as well as a wide variety of other spirits, we want to highlight all Maryland spirits and provide education about this rich history.”
Atticks launched Grow & Fortify—a management firm developed to assist businesses and create and strengthen organizations to support them. He has led the Maryland Wineries Association (MWA) since 2002, where his strategic leadership of the organization helped grow the industry from 15 to over 70 wineries, oversaw major revisions to state and county alcohol laws and created new events to grow market awareness of local wines.
“Having Kevin Atticks on our team is such an amazing opportunity to start the guild strong, his experience, reputation, and passion for Maryland business and our industry is unparalleled, and as president I couldn’t imagine leading the guild without him,” Windon notes.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kevin as both a person and a passionate advocate for the issues he works on,” said Comptroller of Maryland Peter Franchot, whose office is the chief regulator of the alcohol industry. “I’m confident that he will bring his usual effective and collaborative approach to his work on behalf of the Maryland Distillers Guild.”
About the Maryland Distillers Guild
The Maryland Distillers Guild has 11 members, and represents both licensed distilleries and those in the startup phase throughout the state.
The Maryland Distillers Guild is one of only a few distilling guilds in the nation. The organization was established to advance the distilling in Maryland through advocacy and marketing. Jaime Windon—of Lyon Distilling Company in St. Michaels—is the founding president of the guild.