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A Distiller and an Economist Walk into a Bar...

Jennifer Mulholland & Jeff Shuck
May 23, 2022
During the month of May we've had the good fortune to travel to various points around the U.S. to celebrate the past, cherish the present, and envision the future with our client friends and family. 
Our first stop was Clermont, Kentucky, for the grand re-opening of the new James B. Beam Distilling Company campus. We've worked with our friends at Beam Suntory on various social purpose strategies and activations for nearly five years, and to be a part of what they've created at their factory and campus is truly special. 
Four years ago this campus was just a set of drawings. Now it is a showpiece to both Beam's legacy and their dreams for the future. To say the campus is an upgrade to their prior facility is a major understatement –  beautiful, rustic, accessible, friendly, and hard-working, this is the foundation of the Bourbon Trail and absolutely a must-visit stop.
We were especially pleased to be invited to see our friend Freddie Noe be inaugurated as Beam's 8th Generation Master Distiller and our friend and Beam Senior Director Tom Bufalino be recognized for the major part he played in making this vision a reality. As part of their work, Beam has already donated over $5,000,000 to the future of bourbon through the Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at UK. We're proud to have been a part of that.
And as for all of the Old Fashioneds, well, it’s a rough job but someone has to do it!
From there it was a 300-mile drive to Chicago to lead the monthly meeting of the Elevate Leadership Forum, a peer group of 20 Chicago-area executives that Plenty has the privilege to facilitate every month. The meeting had a distinctly different tone as we were joined by Kellogg School of Management Professor and Economist Sergio Rebelo for an deep, intense look at current economic trends and how they will impact business and leadership. 
What both of these events have in common, besides the common thread of Plenty, is the reminder that being a conscious leader requires a blend of honoring the past, envisioning the future, and living here in the present. As we all look to the world we want to create, the path we've already walked is an incredible treasure trove of experience. But we can't walk into the future by keeping our feet stuck where they were. In a similar way, if we completely disavow where we've come from, we run the risk of living into someone else's idea of what the future can be. 
Conscious leadership is partly about the skill to draw what works from the past to create something fresh and new in the future – while remembering that we can only do the work right here, right now. 
Here's to you and your past and future – may dreams of both help you live better today!
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