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ACIA 106th ANNUAL CONVENTION

SPEAKER SESSIONS

Friday, October 6th, 2023

Osprey Ballroom

8 AM 8:30 AM

Breakfast and Welcome

AM SESSIONS

8:30 AM

Jason Meyer, Executive Director

White Oak Initiative

9:15 AM
Logistics 

Greig Allan, David Meresak, and Marc Van Gorp

Laufer Group International

9:50 AM

Break

10 AM

Sustainability & Technology Panel
 

Kyle Day, Sr. Manager of Forest & Field Sustainability 

Beam Suntory 

Jeremy Grunewald, Founder & CEO

Devil's Cask

Jason Meyer, Executive Director 

White Oak Initiative 

Jason Stout, VP of Sales

Independent Stave Company

 

Anthony Morris, VP of Operations

Canton Wood Products

Moderator

11:30

Lunch

PM SESSIONS

12:15 PM

Colleen Thomas, Vice President of Operations

Kentucky Distillers' Association

1:15 PM

Break

1:30 PM

Breakout Sessions
Barrel & Keg

Stave & Heading

3 PM

Board Meeting (Board members only)

Avocet Boardroom

OUR SPEAKERS

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JASON MEYER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
White Oak Initiative

With a background in conservation, environmental education, and nonprofit management, Jason brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to the White Oak Initiative. Prior to serving as the top leader of two nonprofit nature centers, he was a Registered Professional Forester in California, working as a forester with the California Dept. of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). He has significant organizational leadership, planning, fundraising, and board development experience and he is excited to use this to move the White Oak Initiative forward into its next chapter.

 

Jason has been recognized with numerous awards for his accomplishments during his career and holds a Certificate of Fundraising Management and Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Indiana University. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

GREIG ALLAN

REGIONAL MANAGER
KRL, Laufer Group International

Greig Allan began his career in logistics at P&O Nedlloyd in Southampton as a transport planner. He then moved to the export desk at P&O in Glasgow before joining JH Hillebrand, a company specializing in the drinks and beverage sector. From there, he worked for DHL Global Forwarding managing a control tower before transitioning to sales with Expeditors. He then joined Kingscote Rojay Limited (KRL)  a to start up the Scotland operation, later becoming the Regional Manager for the north and then the Commercial Manager for the UK. Greig has been instrumental in the growth of KRL's Scottish branch and has contributed to several milestones and achievements within the company.  

 

Greg is married to his beautiful wife Carla and they have 3 fun loving kids, Vincenza Dante and Enzo) football (or soccer) daft Greig helps coach and encourages both boys teams. A steady golfer and red wine enthusiast, anything competitive Greig is involved in.

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DAVID MERESAK

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Laufer Group International

David Meresak has been helping international companies navigate complex supply challenges since 2005 after he graduated from the University of Missouri- Columbia with a degree in Russian Area Studies with an minor emphasis in business administration. He has been a business development manager at Laufer Group since 2013 and enjoys helping global organizations offering new ways of thinking and new solutions to drive out costs in their international distribution networks. His professional life has taken him around the globe traveling to 10 countries and counting. His focus is in forest product exports/imports and has a passion for the global barrel trade and the spirits it produces. David and Laufer Group are proud supporting members of ACIA for almost 10 years now and he is currently volunteers as Golf Chair for the association helping organize the day for all that participate.

 

 David is married to his beautiful wife Tara and they have 2 amazing hockey loving / playing kiddos. When not on the ice or coaching his kids’ various teams, David is an avid global traveler, bourbon enthusiast, marathoner (1/2’s mostly), a beer league hockey player himself and he enjoys volunteering his time for the benefit of his local Sacred Heart Parish community and other organizations dear to his heart.

MARC VAN GORP

NATIONAL EXPORT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Laufer Group International

Marc is the National Export Business Development Manager at Laufer Group.  He partners with companies to grow their export program. Marc started his career at Laufer in 2007 as the Export Manger of the Kansas City Station. He grew Kansas City exports from a 1 person department to an expert team of 25 that exports over 20,000 containers a year. After 10 years as the Export Manager he transitioned to a corporate development role as the National Export Business Development Manger. Marc started his career as an Export / Import Specialist for a large food packaging equipment and supplies company.  He then managed the Export Department at a top 10 global forwarder for 7 years prior to joining Laufer. Marc is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo. He has degrees in International Business and Marketing.

 

In his free time, Marc enjoys spending time with his wife and being a chauffeur to his 3 daughters and all of their activities.

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KYLE DAY

SENIOR MANAGER FOREST & FIELD, GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY
Beam Suntory

In his eight years with Beam Suntory, Kyle has worked in barrels, grains, ingredients, procurement, and now sustainability. He has served on numerous boards, and is currently acting as ACIA’s Vice President of the Barrel & Keg Division and is a board member for the White Oak Initiative. A Kentucky Colonel and Eagle Scout, Kyle is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BS in Natural Resource Conservation & Management, and a MS in Agricultural Economics. Kyle lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Kayce and their two daughters, Emerson and Hadley. 

JEREMY GRUNEWALD

FOUNDER AND CEO
Devil's Cask

As founder and CEO of Devil’s Cask, Jeremy incorporated the venture in 2020 and spearheaded the inception and development of the technologies and innovations responsible for the business's core values and intellectual property. With a fervor for engineering and business management, Jeremy's unwavering drive to continuously learn leads to discoveries and new products. Jeremy’s spirit animal is a beaver.

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JASON STOUT

VP OF MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Independent Stave Company

As the VP of Marketing and Business Development, Jason strives to continue the Independent Stave's long standing tradition of crafting world-class oak barrels and other cooperage products so employees, customers and communities flourish. Jason has been with Independent Stave for 24 years, managing the European wine division out of France and the global wine division out of California during his tenure. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri and is currently based at Independent Stave's headquarters in Missouri. 

COLLEEN THOMAS

VP OF OPERATIONS
Kentucky Distillers' Association

Colleen Thomas joined the KDA in 2016. She previously served as Marketing Director for Louisville-based Flavorman and its sister company, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, where she promoted and coordinated professional training for the distilling industry and provided support for faculty, participants, and graduates. In 2014, she worked with an impressive team of distilling and hospitality professionals to develop the Stave & Thief Society, the first Bourbon certification program recognized by the KDA and its iconic member companies.

 

In her position with KDA, Colleen oversees the organization’s operations activities, which include member services and support, responsibility and sustainability programs, research, workforce development, marketing, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tourism program. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville and is a certified Executive Bourbon Steward. She lives in Louisville with her husband and blended family of seven children.

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