The Bourbon Women Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Angels Share SIP scholarships.  These women, selected from the largest and strongest pool of applicants ever, represent the change and empowerment our consumer organization is dedicated to. The Angels Share SIP Scholarship provides a conference ticket and lodging to the candidates as well as a mentoring and professional networking program to make certain the women make lasting connections and get the full benefit of the only consumer-industry conference in the whiskey world.

If connecting and developing women in the bourbon and whiskey world is important to you, you can support this Angels Share SIP Scholarship program directly by donating here.

We are so excited to bring these women together at SIPosium and want to invite all of you who are coming to connect with them, share your network, and of course a great glass of bourbon.  We’ve included a small snippet from their application for each.  We can’t wait to meet all of these women in person!

Anna Yallouris:  – DC, Archivist at U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, “Another benefit that I would gain from attending this conference is that it would help me pursue my professional goals of being an archivist in the spirits industry. My background is in history, archives, and records management. I am currently an archivist for the National Archives in Washington DC and have over 15 years experience working in libraries and archives. My research interests include the history of women in bourbon, bourbon heritage, cocktail culture, distillery records and collecting and preserving these histories. ”

Brooke Cain:  – Lexington, student pursuing a Community Leadership and Development undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky, “What is special about [UK Professor] Dr. Fernheimer’s approach is that we used gender, race, and sexuality as vehicles for critique of the industry. We compared bourbon literature, documentaries and other narratives and identified the missing pieces of those stories. Unsurprisingly, those missing pieces were predominantly people of color and women. I am thankful for this unique introduction to bourbon and the fact that it made me aware of the inclusivity component of this industry. I would like the knowledge that I gain moving forward to be similar.”

Chelsea Lasley – Louisville, Currently Job Seeking, “I love nothing more than to make other people feel supported and special and I can see myself doing anything I can to help others within our community. I would love to have to opportunity to help support our community. Providing a safe inclusive environment is also very important to me as it is the foundation to a community that truly supports and allows everyone to become the very best version of themselves that they can be. This gives way to positive and empowering environment for all.”

Clara Noble:, Bartender at The Vandy in St. Louis, “I’m always looking for ways to be creative and inclusive when it comes to my events and activations. Whether it’s gathering a group of individuals and doing a Baking class with the mash bill ratios of a particular bourbon or a Virtual Home Bar 101 Class. I’m excited for the opportunity to learn and absorb whatever I can to take home and further whiskey/bourbon education. Support: It’s a daunting world out there. Sometimes when I teach a class or do a tasting I come up against combative men trying to trip me up. It’s nice to know I’m not alone and that there is a big group of other women with passions just like mine that are dealing with a lot of the same pushback.”

Gwen Hoover – Pennsylvania, soon to be retired Administrative Law Judge, ” As a woman who “grew up” in the male dominated legal profession, I understand the need for women to mentor, encourage, and support each other in our development, learning, and success. I also understand how important it is to develop trusting relationships in a non-judgmental environment as it allows us to have fun and excel. As I continue in my commitment to the Bourbon Women’s Association, I see myself fulfilling all of these goals and others for myself and the bourbon community.”

Ingrid Folkers: Carolina, Bartender at Whiskey Kitchen in Raleigh, “Inclusivity is my main concern because I want whiskey to be seen as something that can be enjoyed by everyone. I take it as a personal challenge when I have a guest at my bar that says the dreaded phrase “I don’t like whiskey”. I beg them to let me change their mind. Whiskey as a whole is such a broad diverse category, we should also be striving for that diversity in our consumers as well. It is my firm belief that there is a whiskey out there for everyone. The past few years have seen an increase in consumption of whiskey by minority demographics. I predict that this trend will continue, and I take it as my personal mission to break preconceived notions about who is a whiskey drinker. ”

Kortnee Leigh: New York, Bartender at Nothing Really Matters Bar, “Being born to immigrant parents (Trinidad & Jamaica respectively), I never thought of myself as of rare descent — as there are many women in the spirits industry; however, few are women of color and even fewer are *Caribbean* women of color. Being exposed to West-Indian culture allows me to bring those cultural nuances within my expertise to the spirits industry that may not otherwise be seen or embraced. When cultural diversity in introduced to an eager and informed public, education is absorbed and experience is entertained! I have challenged myself to enter a different cocktail competition each month this year, and have already placed in the TOP 4 of a contest (#BlackManhattanProject by BBS)!”

LaPrecious Brewer:, Community Relations and Diversity Coordinator at Heaven Hill Brands, “I believe we need to empower women to advocate for ourselves to obtain the necessary education, training, or life experiences to be well equipped for this industry. I will also encourage women, including myself, to continue developing personally and seek the things we need to show up as our most authentic self every day without fear that it may seem selfish. ”

Leila Sundstrom: Florida, Director of Sales, BKS Partners,  “I felt like an outsider, and didn’t look like my male peers, and preferred to embrace my glam, feminine individuality, and not confine to wearing black suits, no makeup, and slick backed hair. I came in full force, red dress and heels, big crazy hair, and bright nail polish that changed weekly. I loved being me, being authentic, but found that the reaction elicited by my target buyer – objectified me and minimized my intellect. I started Barbelle Bourbon as a brand initially focused on the strength (barbell) that a woman (-belle) brings to a man’s world. I took it upon myself to learn more about bourbon and discovered a Certification that I pursued to learn more than the men around me. In 3 months I became a Certified Bourbon Professional with the Council of Whiskey Masters, and started teaching educational classes to women on how to order, drink, and pair bourbon with food. I create atmospheres of learning, fun, and inclusion.

Molly Hollar – Indiana, Beverage Director at Cerulean, “I am hoping that as I open a spirits based business in my community that I will have a real opportunity to support, educate and encourage the women in my community. I see myself having a more inclusive and safe space for women to learn and grow in this industry. I have plans to have open access to learning resources and training for anyone to learn more about whiskey and this industry in general.”

Monniquer Peacock:, Bartender, Spirit Educator, Beverage Consultant at Topshelf Peacock, “The 3 changes to the industry that I am most passionate about are education, being a gatekeeper, and self-care in our industry. Education is very important to me because I believe it has helped me drink more responsibly and I love going back to my community to tell them all the fun things that I learned. There are so many people who consume alcohol but don’t know what they are tasting and I’d like to change that. As I advance my knowledge in spirits, I find myself becoming a gatekeeper. I think it’s very important that I help other women like me learn more about bourbon or the industry as a whole. Also, share opportunities with them that were shared with me. Lastly, self-care is key to surviving this industry from the overwhelming fight to be good at our jobs as women while managing household responsibilities.”

Stephanie Halcomb:  KY, Grain Inventory Manager at Walnut Grove Farms, “Farmers should have a seat at the table in the industry. Every bottle of bourbon is made from grain produced by a farmer. Farmers’ practices are heavily scrutinized because they are an easy target, however, if we were involved in discussions, we could help others understand that farmers are passionate about their land and want to ensure that it is sustainable for future generations. . . I believe consumers should have a greater appreciation of where their bourbon comes from. I think if consumers better understood where not only their bourbon but their food comes from they would have a greater appreciation for the work that farmers do in order to provide safe and sustainable nutrition to the world.”

Tamara Mulhearn – Florida, Registered Nurse Education at Veterans Affairs, “I think that some women need strong mentors with a been-there-done-that persona to lead them forward. I believe with a bit more experience myself, I could potentially be one of those leaders in the bourbon industry bringing more women into the scene through education, outreach, inspiration and comradery. I would hope that this type of mentorship would develop into lasting friendships, born over bourbon.”

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