Victoria MacRae-Samuels
Senior Director, Global Quality
Beam Suntory Inc.

“For manufacturers to achieve competitive global success, women must be developed as leaders. During my 30-year career in the spirits industry, I have seen the significant global business growth result in recruiting that attracts more women to STEP careers. These women are our legacies as the manufacturing leaders of tomorrow.”

Since joining Jim Beam in 1989 as an R&D chemist, Victoria has worked across all areas of the bourbon manufacturing process. As Director of Operations at Maker’s Mark, she was integral to the development of Maker’s 46, the distillery’s first new bourbon. In 2010, she became the only woman in the industry to hold the position of Vice President of Operations, where she played a huge role in the distillery’s expansion. Today, Victoria is in the role of Senior Director, Global Quality. Committed to operational excellence, she has won several major industry awards and was twice named Global Distillery Manager of the Year by Whisky Magazine.

During her tenure at Maker’s Mark, Victoria was instrumental to the establishment of a 33-acre Natural Water Sanctuary, protecting the very basis of great Kentucky Bourbon—local limestone water.

Today, building on Victoria’s contributions, Beam Suntory’s Natural Water Sanctuary Program continues this important work, safeguarding water quality and community health for generations to come.

On the advisory board for Women of the Vine & Spirits, a membership-based trade alliance, Victoria helps to empower and equip women in the beverage alcohol industry. She has participated in Beam Suntory’s Reaching Inspired Spirited Entrepreneurs (RISE) program, sharing experiences, career advice and best practices at meet-and-greets with women at Beam Suntory. She is also a member of the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee.

Victoria supports Kentucky’s United Way chapters, to which Beam Suntory teams have donated more than $1.7M over the past decade to strengthen Kentucky communities. Victoria was keynote speaker for the Business in the Bluegrass Symposium with Bellarmine University & National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She is also very active in raising breast cancer awareness, openly sharing about her own courageous battle with the disease and was the keynote speaker at the 2018 Komen Pink unTied Gala.

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