Denny Potter Returns To Maker’s Mark As Distillery General Manager & Master Distiller;
Jane Bowie Is Named Director Of Private Select & Diplomat Program

Corporate and Financial News


(Loretto, Ky.) September 18, 2018 – Maker’s Mark®, the iconic and pioneering handmade crafted bourbon whisky, is pleased to announce that several members of its Distillery leadership team are taking on critical new roles within the Beam Suntory organization, and a former colleague is rejoining the Distillery in a leadership position. The announcement was made today by Rob Samuels, Global General Manager & Chief Distillery Officer of Maker’s Mark.

Victoria MacRae-Samuels, currently Vice President of Operations and Plant Manager at Maker’s Mark, will be relocating to the Global Innovation Center in Clermont, Kentucky to take-on the important position of Senior Director, Global Quality for Beam Suntory. Ms. MacRae-Samuels, who joined Jim Beam in 1989, became Director of Operations at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in 2008 and, shortly thereafter in 2010, was promoted to Vice President of Operations, becoming the only woman to hold such position in the spirits industry. An exceptional leader committed to operational excellence, Ms. MacRae-Samuels won several major industry awards and was twice named Distillery Manager of the Year by Whisky Magazine.

Greg Davis, the current Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark, will be taking on a new role as Director of Distillation at Jim Beam’s Clermont and Boston, Kentucky plants, where he will focus his extensive skill and expansive knowledge on Jim Beam® and The Small Batch Bourbon Collection®. Since joining the Maker’s Mark Distillery in 2010, Mr. Davis made major accomplishments and achieved great success, managing and overseeing the growth and expansion of the Distillery, including the development, installation and operation of the third still in 2015.

The new Master Distiller and General Manager at Maker’s Mark is Denny Potter, formerly of Heaven Hill. The move serves as a homecoming for Mr. Potter who spent ten years at Maker’s Mark before being named Vice President of Operations at Heaven Hill, where he has been Master Distiller and VP of operations since 2010. He is a distinguished and well-respected industry professional, with exceptional leadership skills, operational proficiency and technical expertise.

Said Mr. Samuels, “Victoria and Greg will be truly missed, and I am sincerely grateful for their outstanding and consequential contribution. Victoria and Greg are both moving on to very important and meaningful positions that are ideally suited to their exceptional skills and expertise, and I wish them great success in their new roles.” Continued Mr. Samuels, “I am thrilled to welcome Denny back to the Maker’s Mark Distillery. He will be instrumental in maintaining and preserving the way we handcraft our bourbon, the quality of our whisky and our ongoing commitment to best practices and conservation at the Distillery.”

“I am gratified and humbled to be rejoining the Maker’s Mark Distillery team,” said Mr. Potter. “I am forever indebted to the Shapira family for the opportunity to build on the Heaven Hill legacy of distilling. It has always been a dream of mine to be a Master Distiller and a part of our industry’s rich heritage, and now, I have the honor and privilege of returning to Maker’s Mark as an ambassador and established leader for the organization. I could not be more appreciative nor more grateful to Rob for giving me this opportunity.”

Jane Bowie, who has been with Maker’s Mark for over a decade, has been promoted from Distillery Maturation Specialist to Director, Private Select, Heritage & Diplomat Programs. Ms. Bowie began her career as the first-ever international Diplomat and Market Specialist for Maker’s Mark, playing an instrumental role in the cultivation and development of the brand in Asia, Europe and South America, with a special emphasis on the United Kingdom. As Director of Private Select, Heritage & Diplomat Programs, Jane will lead and continue to champion one of the industry’s most innovative programs, the Maker’s Mark Private Select® Experience, as well as continue to partner on the expanding Diplomat program, which is a key strategic mandate for the brand.
Said Mr. Samuels, “We’re always looking for ways we can provide growth and development opportunities for our team members at Maker’s. These leadership promotions and staff advancements, which will take place on October 1st, will benefit not only those involved, but everyone at the Maker’s Mark Distillery and throughout the broader organization.”

About Maker’s Mark® Bourbon:
In 1953, in Loretto, Kentucky, Bill Samuels, Sr., fulfilled his dream of creating a handmade and delicious bourbon. He decided to make his whisky in small-batches, using soft red winter wheat, with a proprietary barrel char to enhance the softness and sweetness. He then rotated each barrel by hand for consistency, and finally, aged each barrel to taste. Bill Samuels, Sr., transformed bourbon from a “commodity” into a premium handmade spirit, and today Maker’s Mark® continues to make its bourbon exactly the same way. In recent years, Maker’s Mark has introduced thoughtful, super-premium innovations to its portfolio including Maker’s 46®, Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength and Maker’s Mark Private Select®, the brand’s first-ever custom barrel program. In 1980, the Maker’s Mark distillery became the first distillery in America to be designated a National Historic Landmark and has also been decreed as the "world’s oldest operating bourbon whisky distillery” by Guinness World Records. It remains one of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. For more information, please visit

Maker’s Mark®, Maker’s 46® and Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength Bourbon Whisky, 45%–57% Alc./Vol.©2018 Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc., Loretto, KY.

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