The Sons & Daughters of Independence Leadership Team and Symposium Participants
The Sons & Daughters of Independence Leadership Program presented by the USBG and Bluecoat Gin was proud to recognize 10 exemplary leaders in the hospitality community over President’s Day weekend at its annual Leadership Symposium.
The participants not only learned the rich history behind Bluecoat American Dry Gin, inspired by the American Revolution - specifically American liberty and freedom - but quite a bit about the gin, itself. During the exclusive distillery tour, they learned first-hand how the original American dry gin is ever-so-carefully distilled with just the right amounts of organic California and Florida citrus, balancing a softer juniper character with an assortment of other 100% organic botanicals to give Bluecoat an incredibly smooth, approachable character that is uniquely American.
The Sons & Daughters of Independence Leadership Symposium included a two-day educational experience and networking event in Philadelphia, PA. The detailed educational seminars were led by top leaders in the spirits industry, including Bluecoat Gin Co-Founder and President, Andrew Auwerda, Samson & Surrey National Portfolio Ambassador, Jim Ryan, Director of Brand Advocacy and USBG National President, Kyle McHugh, and Lynnette Marrero, Beverage Director of the Llama Inn in New York City and Speed Rack Co-Founder.
“I am forever grateful for this experience and look forward to sharing my knowledge with my hometown, seeing how my friends continue to shape and inspire their communities, and how Philadelphia Distilling continues to grow as well,” said program participant, Toby Darling. “The trip was incredible! The amount of care and hospitality shown by the Bluecoat Gin team was very welcoming.”
Leadership Symposium speakers included Lynnette Marrero, Beverage Director of the Llama Inn in New York City and Speed Rack Co-Founder (right), and Director of Brand Advocacy and USBG National President Kyle McHugh (standing, left)
The program’s key focus is to identify and empower up-and-coming leaders in the hospitality industry, providing them with the knowledge, skills, and professional network to be even more effective and successful leaders in their field and in their communities.
“It was a wealth of knowledge and everyone there was so willing to talk with us and help us with our questions,” said USBG Columbus Chapter President, Christina Basham. “We got a chance to talk about the steps of becoming a leader and how to take proactive steps to become an even better leader.”
The program also hosted visits to multiple iconic historical sites in Philadelphia, as well as several networking dinner events and an induction ceremony during the Philadelphia Distilling anniversary party on President’s Day.
“We went to the Museum of the American Revolution and learned so much. It was really cool to be so immersed in the history of Philly,” said Christina. “We got to spend a lot of time with the president of Bluecoat Gin [Andrew Auwerda] and I got a chance to emotionally attach to a brand that I wouldn’t normally get to.”
The 2019 Sons & Daughters of Independence class visiting the famous “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The induction ceremony invited past inductees of the Sons & Daughters of Independence back for a special private happy hour ceremony at the distillery where the new class received their custom program completion lapel pins, followed by a special moment at the anniversary party when Bluecoat Gin Co-Founder and President, Andrew Auwerda, revealed the 2019 class’ names added to the Sons & Daughters mural over the distillery’s bar.
“The Sons & Daughters of Independence Leadership Symposium was an amazing experience. Being surrounded by leaders from different chapters across the country gives you a unique perspective on what's happening nationwide,” said USBG San Francisco Chapter Leader, Will Young. “Also, being around people who are constantly improving themselves is inspiring; whether they were talking about building community or speaking on the traits of a good leader, learning from the industry vets was incredibly valuable.”
Bluecoat Gin’s Sons & Daughters of Independence inductees’ mural
“Unlike other events, this was such a small group; so this was a great opportunity to spend quality time with each other and, although I already knew a few of the people there, I got to learn more about people I didn’t know before,” said Christina. “One of the beautiful things about the USBG is the ability to network with others and connect with like-minded people.”
The 2019 Sons & Daughters of Independence class in front of Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture in LOVE Park