Pernod Ricard

Are you ready to join one of the leading teams in creating high quality Kentucky alcohol for Jefferson’s Bourbon ambition? Come join our team supporting our new and exciting carbon neutral Distillery that offers a distinct experience within the booming KY bourbon trail. Careers that unlock the magic of human connection!

Please take a look at this exhilarating video to learn about us!

Position Summary

The Distillery Operations Lead will be responsible for managing, leading, training the Whiskey Engineers, and sometimes performing the shift operations as needed for Pernod Ricard’s distillery. This includes distillation, blending, and maturing operations. Development and ownership of a positive, engaged, and inclusive 100% salaried site is critical in addition to supporting the strategic operations plan. The Distillery Operations Lead must have flexibility particularly during startup to be available for shift support, in addition to rotating on-call responsibility. Pernod Ricard’s distillery is currently under construction. As such, this role will involve construction, commissioning, start up and transition into day-to-day operations. Timeframe for construction to day-to-day operations will run approximately 18 – 24 months. This is an on-site position.

The salary range for this role, based in Kentucky is $75,100 to $103,300, range will vary if outside of this location. Base salaries are determined during our interview process, by assessing a candidate’s experience, skills against internal peers and against the scope and responsibilities of the position.

Key Responsibilities

  • Building and developing a self-directed team-based work organization with defined role clarity in decision rights and ways of working with deep empowerment at the team structure level.
  • Comfort in delegating significant authority and decision-making rights to self-directed teams and continuously building this capability over time.
  • Developing and fostering a culture of empowerment deep into the organization that facilitates and enhances a self-directed team structure and ways of working.
  • Building teams that are diverse, in terms of inherent and acquired diversity, and ensuring leadership behavior that is truly inclusive.
  • Provide substantial, critical input in the construction, design and hands-on startup of the distillery including regular construction review meetings, approval of drawings and decision-making/input on the project and design with a lens towards functionality and operability.
  • Have input into the overall maintenance and engineering and capital budgets, monitoring the cost and effectiveness of activities to optimize resources and prioritize spending based upon operational efficiency / continuous improvement priorities.
  • Setting high performance exceptions for self and others and holding them accountable for meeting established targets and results.
  • Develop plans to drive Operations performance to world class standards including Sustainability & Responsibility targets.
  • Building a highly competent distillery Whiskey Engineer team through coaching, training, targeted assignments, and selection and creating a work environment where employees can maximize their talents and perform at or above expectations.
  • Support capital projects, delivering results first-time, on-time and on-budget.
  • Support, lead/assign the Whiskey Engineers personnel to own key areas of the site as subject matter experts and to support or develop training material, manuals, and own management of change.
  • Work collaboratively with internal and external partners and customers to ensure overall business success.
  • Develops business strategy for the engineering and maintenance in tune with Pernod Ricard operations pillars, including business, production and/or organizational priorities. Drive business strategy by linking to department and individual performance plans.
  • Leads the effort to achieve stretch business results by maintaining/instituting a Continuous Improvement culture utilizing Lean Manufacturing tools.
  • Maintain Operations and Maintenance KPI’s and drive improvements based on variance against long term plans.

Required Skills & Abilities

  • Prior experience in operations facilities in a related production environment (distillation, chemical manufacturing, food & beverage).
  • Technical and leadership capabilities to provide hands-on training, troubleshooting and support, especially during startup and during on-call issues throughout the operations period and plant shutdowns.
  • The ability to manage and improve daily operations.
  • Very strong analytical, strategic thinking and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Ability to interact with and influence a variety of cross-functional teams at all levels of the organization.
  • Computer literate with experience in Microsoft Office (including Microsoft Project), production systems, inventory systems and maintenance systems.
  • Thorough understanding of lean manufacturing techniques.
  • Strong background in and desire to work in a highly collaborative, matrixed environment.
  • Ability to work other shifts as needed.


  • Required: Undergraduate Degree in Engineering, Industrial Maintenance Technology, Food Sciences, Finance or Business.
  • Preferred: Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Industrial Maintenance Technology, Food Sciences, Finance or Business.


  • Required: 2+ years operations management experience in a production environment (distillation, chemical manufacturing, food & beverage, or equivalent field).
  • Preferred:3-5 years operations management experience in a production environment (distillation, chemical manufacturing, food & beverage, or equivalent field).

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