Maker's Mark Names Rob Samuels Chief Operating Officer

Loretto, KY. (October 26, 2010) – Rob Samuels has been named to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer of Maker’s Mark, one of Fortune Brands’ (NYSE: FO) premium spirits brands.

As Chief Operating Officer, Rob Samuels will work closely with his father, Bill Samuels, Jr., on the day-to-day business of Maker’s Mark. He will also serve as General Manager of the historic Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto.

Rob Samuels, the grandson of Maker’s Mark Founder Bill Samuels, Sr., is the eighth generation to continue the tradition of Bourbon making first started in Kentucky by his namesake in 1784. Like his father before him, Mr. Samuels learned about Maker’s Mark firsthand from his grandparents, Bill Sr. and Margie, and worked every job at the Maker’s Mark Distillery, which instilled in him a unique appreciation and understanding of how Maker’s Mark continues to hand make its Bourbon exactly the same way his grandparents did almost 60 years ago. Most recently, he has served as Director of Global Brand Development for Maker’s Mark.

“Rob has proven himself as an excellent leader,” said Kevin George, senior vice president and global chief marketing officer of Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. “We look forward to his expanded contributions to Maker’s Mark as he continues the family legacy and takes on custodianship of the brand as Chief Operating Officer.”

“This opportunity means a great deal to me, and I have many ideas that I look forward to implementing. I bring some unique perspectives to Maker’s Mark, not only in terms of my personal values and those of my grandparents, but the point-of-view of my generation which represents the most dynamic segment of our customer base. The growth potential for the Maker’s Mark brand is enormous, but to achieve it we must stay true to what has brought us this far – our values, our brand fans and how we make our bourbon,” said Rob Samuels.

Prior to becoming the Director of Global Brand Marketing at Maker’s Mark, from 2003 to 2005, Mr. Samuels was Florida Territory Manager for the distilled spirits portfolio of Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine and Ohio State Manager in the preceding four years. Previously, he served as Regional Manager in Houston and, before that, managed sales development for Maker’s Mark in the Dallas/Ft. Worth region. Mr. Samuels received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Sciences from the University of South Carolina, and subsequently completed both the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Executive Education Program, as well as the Harvard Business School General Management Program. He is a devoted family man and passionate about giving back to his community, serving on the board of directors for The Healing Place, The Leadership Kentucky Foundation and The DePaul School.