Melissa Rift
Bulleit Single Barrel Ambassador, Proof Media Mix for Bulleit Distilling Co
Melissa currently works for the Bulleit Distilling Co Visitor Experience in Shelbyville, Kentucky, where she serves as the brand’s Single Barrel Ambassador. After working the past three years with experiential marketing firm, Proof Media Mix, Melissa has worked in every facet of visitor experience at both the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery as well as the new state-of-the-art Bulleit Distillery. Melissa’s journey in the bourbon industry began as a tour guide, hosting bourbon enthusiasts from around the world and quickly grew to a passion for brand storytelling and spirits education. After taking a leadership role with the tour team at Stitzel-Weller, Melissa took on the opportunity to open a new tour experience in Shelbyville and launch Bulleit’s first ever single barrel selection program. Melissa now acts as an ambassador to Bulleit, hosting selection groups from across the country and coordinating the supply, fulfillment, and distribution of barrel orders with global spirits corporation Diageo and national distribution partners. Melissa comes from an educational background in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri and a master’s of science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, specializing in Couple and Family Therapy. After previous work with homeless youth services in Colorado and home-based family therapy in Kentucky, Melissa found a passion for small local business, hospitality, and tourism in her hometown of Louisville. Employment in local farm to table catering, local brewing, downtown nightlife tourism and eventually the bourbon industry gave Melissa a kind of local education that was then bolstered by her becoming a Certified Tourism Ambassador with Louisville Tourism as well as an Executive Bourbon Steward with the Stave and Thief Society. Melissa currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky with her partner, Brittany and four adoring pets. Outside of work, Melissa is active in her local gym community and enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible, either on the Big Four Bridge, at local Olmstead parks, or running off to the Red River Gorge. When she is not around friends and family you can find her with headphones on, enjoying a variety of favorite podcasts or studying up on the history and culture of bourbon, America’s Native Spirit.