March is International Womens Month, and Craft Beer has enlisted some of the most talented women in the industry to drive the narrative. This month, we’ll be introducing you to the women of LHBCo, in all departments, Sales, Brewing, Taproom, Marketing and Finance!
We’ll be highlighting women in our company weekly, so this article will continue to evolve. Enjoy and as always thanks for the love!
Meet our Taproom GM – Kate Ballenger. Kate doesn’t love to be photographed but we bribed her with a 10AM Godmother, and she was all about it. Sometimes, all it takes is an Imperial Stout 🙂
Meet our Regional Manager for New England – Crystal. We caught up with her, over a Boomsauce a little after 11AM (prime time for Boomsauce, obviously) and here’s what she had to say.
What song plays when you walk into a room?Naturally…anything by Cardi B or Beyonce. When I’m not feeling sassy, “September” by Earth Wind and Fire.How do you see women influencing the growth and diversification of craft beer?I think this entire industry as a whole could use a little woman’s touch. Whether that’s through the lens of marketing, brewing, sales, management–diversification as a whole is key in influencing change in this industry. I personally take every bit of professional experience I’ve had (preivously was in Human Resources and Recruitment) and infuse it into what I’m trying to accomplish with our New England sales teams.What’s your day job at LHBCo?I am the Regional Sales Manager, I manage our Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York markets. The majority of my responsibilities involve making sure our sales team is executing our top-level goals as a company, growing and developing our team, managing our distributors, and strengthening our key account relationships. It’s a whirlwind to say the least, but I thoroughly enjoy this journey in my career!
What’s one piece of advice that you’d give to women looking to rise in a male dominated industry?Trust yourself and trust your gut. When something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Be assertive when you need to. I’ve realized my instinct and assertiveness has contributed to my growth in my career. I do also at times (certainly not always, because I work with some incredible people!) feel like it’s easy to not be taken as seriously because I’m a woman, and a woman in sales. I trust myself because I know that I’m doing everything in best interest of Lord Hobo, and it’s all backed by my experience and education.How did you get into craft beer?My experience in marketing, sales, and HR made me realize the insane opportunity that’s in this industry. I saw it was truly a fusion of all of my skills and a way to make a meaning of my past. For example, I know sales separately from knowing marketing; I see myself serving as a liaison between the two because I know both sides. I apply my sales experience as a Recruiter in knowing exactly how to achieve aggressive goals to help grow our business. I apply my HR experience into management mostly, I want our entire organizing to know and understand our culture.What’s your go to beer, after you’ve achieved something great?Sorry LHBCo team, but it’s definitely a glass of whiskey or scotch.What’s next for women in craft beer?We just keep doing what we know how to do, whether that’s sales, marketing, brewing, accounting. It’s important to continue to have a voice and shine some light on how fewer women there are in the industry but I don’t see it as a set back, I look at everything as an opportunity to make a positive impact.If you could have a beer with any of your female heroes, who would it be and why?I read a book to my daughters every night called “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” and one woman’s story really inspired my oldest daughter, Grace. She’s an engineer at heart and intrinsically was so interested in Margaret Hamilton, a computer scientist who went to MIT and worked on the Apollo 11 space mission. She was able to trust herself and her skills when a major error was going to abort the mission. Ultimately resulting in a successful moon landing. Anyone who sparks a light in my daughter’s eye, I want to meet.