Ellen McGeeney

Ellen McGeeney

The CEO of the company that makes the only soft drink invented in Kentucky still being sold will give the keynote at the Wednesday, Dec. 2, Venture Connectors Luncheon. Ellen McGeeney joined Ale-8-One in September 2013 as the first person outside the founding family to run day-to-day operations.

Ale-8-One is a fourth-generation, family-owned company, and the drink is still bottled in Winchester, Ky.

Since McGeeney joined Ale-8-One, the company has broken all previous sales records. Under her leadership, the company has updated its marketing and branding and expanded its distribution. She also has made changes in employment and invested in additional training and benefits.

McGeeney previously owned Grasshopper Distribution, a local online grocery and food distributor designed to support small, local, family farms. Her previous beverage experience includes time with Rooibie Red Tea. She also has held both operational and consulting roles in the consumer products, health care, communications and technology industries.

McGeeney earned her BA from Brown University and her MBA from Yale. She is an eighth-generation Kentuckian who grew up in both Kentucky and Connecticut.

Venture Connectors Luncheon meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the meeting runs from noon-1:15 p.m. Registration is required at: ventureconnectors.org. Members attend free; associate members pay $30. Guests who register online by noon the day before the lunch pay $40.