As a new year approaches, I’m planning for the next chapter in my career as the CEO of MGP Ingredients. My nearly 27 years at Luxco has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life. Not only was I able to work with both Paul and Donn Lux, but I have watched Luxco grow to a leading position in the spirits industry, thanks to you.

As we move forward, things are only going to get better! Your hard work and commitment continue to make Luxco the best in the business and are helping us build for the future in the branded spirits segment of MGP. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be the CEO of this great company and I am committed to working with all of you to drive not only our branded spirits business forward, but also our Distilling Solutions and Ingredient Solutions segments.

An important part of our future arrived this spring with the Penelope™ Bourbon brand. Adding Penelope to our Branded Spirits portfolio positions us even better in the premium-plus category, a key growth area in distilled spirits. Expanding our premium-plus offerings reflects an exciting evolution at Luxco, and the Penelope acquisition ranks up there as one of the most important moves in my 26 years here. Penelope is one of the fastest-growing whiskey brands, called ‘approachable’ and ‘interesting’ by whiskey lovers. It’s fresh. It’s innovative. Just look at this partial list of new expressions released in the second half of 2023:
• Toasted Rye Whiskey
• Private Select 9-year-old Bourbon
• Valencia Cask Finish Whiskey
• Rosé Cask Finish Whiskey
• American Light Whiskey 15-year-old

It’s exciting that Penelope showcases MGP whiskey distilled in Lawrenceburg, IN, and now a blend with Lux Row Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey in the Private
Select 9-year release. These whiskey selections and unique finishes reflect the imprint of Penelope founders Mike Paladini and Danny Polise, whose creativity and love of great whiskey are on display in every new expression. Their work is supported by diverse expertise across the Penelope team, which already is making a positive contribution to our business. The spirits sampling program led by Matt Ward and his team is just one example. We welcome the Penelope team to the Luxco family. Our legacy is strong because of our people, teammates like Rick Angevine, who was recently named the 2023 Paul A. Lux Award winner. The award recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication, integrity and commitment.

Congratulations, Rick!