Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Lydia Martin
Heaven Hill, the largest family-owned spirits company in the country, announced Monday that the third generation of leaders would be taking over effective September 1st. Current president Max L. Shapira will assume the role of executive chairman thereafter.
Taking over as co-presidents of the Kentucky-based company are Max’s daughter, Kate, and her husband, Allan Latts, according to the company’s news release. Max will transition the day-to-day operations to them.
Max Shapira joined the bourbon industry in 1970 after working on Wall Street. He worked alongside his father, Ed Shapira, in leading Heaven Hill and eventually succeeding him in 1986.
Under Max’s leadership, Heaven Hill Distillery  expanded into a global company with award-winning brands that include Evan Williams, Larceny, Elijah Craig, and Henry McKenna bourbons; Deep Eddy Vodka; Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey; HPNOTIQ Liqueur; Admiral Nelson’s Rum; Lunazul Tequila; Black Velvet Canadian Whisky and more.
“Over the past twenty years, I have been proud to watch Kate and Allan grow and develop into roles of leadership and increased responsibility,” said Max L. Shapira. “They have added immeasurably to the company’s successes and built a foundation for future generations. They bring the passion for this business that has been a hallmark of our company for 85 plus years. I am highly confident the best is yet to come.”
After finishing their MBA degrees at Duke University, Kate and Allan Latts joined Heaven Hill Distillery in 2001.
Kate currently leads the distillery’s marketing and brand management as Chief Marketing Officer. Meanwhile, Allan serves as COO, supervising operations and the company’s corporate and strategic functions, including the new Samson & Surrey division.
“Allan and I are proud to assume the leadership of Heaven Hill with full knowledge of our generational responsibility,” Kate Latts said in a statement. “My dad, grandfather, and his brothers built a company with an enduring legacy of family and independence that is increasingly unique in distilled spirits. With the support of our incredible team, we are as committed as ever to preserving those qualities and ensuring our success for generations to come.”
At Heaven Hill Distillery, a great deal has changed through the years, but one thing’s for sure – the Shapira family’s commitment to producing exceptional Kentucky bourbon will remain the same.
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