Faculty & Corporate Fellows

Online Distilled Spirits Business Certificate


photo of Joel Adams

Joel Adams

Joel Adams (MBA, University of Louisville) is a lecturer in Entrepreneurship Department, a legislative agent, and executive director of a statewide education advocacy organization. He co-founded and led the launch of Rhythm liqueur, which grew to 11 states of distribution, and later joined forces with a publicly traded spirits company, working on its regulatory filings and acquisitions. Joel is currently pursuing his Ph.D. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

photo of Jacob Burgdorf

Jacob Burgdorf

Jacob Burgdorf (Ph.D., Clemson University) is an assistant professor in the Economics Department and is a member of the Center for Free Enterprise, where he teaches a variety of economics and statistics courses. His research has investigated the nature of contracting and the relationship between firms in the vertical supply chain in the alcoholic beverages industry, and has examined the impact of laws such as the three-tier system, franchise laws, and other regulations in the industry.

photo of Shalin Shah

Shalin Shah

Shalin Shah (MBA, University of Louisville) is a lecturer in the Management Department, where he teaches operations management. He also is an experienced operations leader with over a decade of experience driving profitable business functions within competitive markets. He currently is the owner of Om Hikes Inc., which operates multiple restaurants under the Subway franchise system. Previously, he co-founded Systemica Health and worked in advanced product development at Cummins Inc.

photo of Charles Sharp

Charles Sharp

Charles Sharp (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin) is an assistant professor in the Marketing Department and an award-winning teacher. His expertise is in consumer behavior, market segmentation, strategy, and advertising. He also has more than 15 years of experience working at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as a brand manager, from which he gained deep insights into promotion of “sin products,” navigation of highly-regulated industries, and responsible marketing.

photo of Tamara Sluss

Tamara Sluss

Tamara Sluss (Ph.D. Biology, University of Louisville) is an associate professor in the Urban and Public Affairs Department, where she serves as director of UofL’s Interdisciplinary Master in Sustainability program. Her research expertise includes sustainability of freshwater resources, renewable energy, and urban/small-scale agricultural practices. She also has developed and taught a study abroad class in London and Dublin on the biology of ethanol. Tamara is Past President of the Kentucky Conservation Committee and an avid outdoor adventurer.


These industry leaders partner with our faculty to bring an insider's view of distilled spirits business to every course.

photo of Mark Huffine

Mark Huffine

Mark Huffine (CPA, MBA, University of Louisville) is an experienced financial professional with nearly 20 years of experience working in the distilled spirits industry. In his financial leadership positions with Brown-Forman and Wild Turkey Distillery, he was responsible budgeting, reporting, inventory tracking and more. He also played a key role in the development of the Woodford Reserve® brand.

photo of Linda Lewis

Linda Lewis

Linda Lewis (MEng, MBA, University of Louisville) is the Regulatory Technical Manager at Beam Suntory, the parent company of the Jim Beam® and Maker’s Mark® brands. She began her career in the distilled spirits industry as a chemical engineer. For the past 10 years, she has been a leader in the Global Regulatory Department working on international alcohol beverage regulation changes and providing regulatory guidance for innovation launches.

photo of Matthew Zurkuhlen

Matthew Zurkuhlen

Matthew Zurkuhlen (MBA, Bellarmine University) is a Logistics Operations Manager at Brown-Forman and a licensed Customs broker. He has 19 years of supply chain operations experience. Currently, he is responsible for the distribution logistics network for Brown-Forman. His expertise includes lean manufacturing, regulatory compliance, and project management. He was the project management leader for supply chain operations for the Old Forester® Distillery launch in 2018.

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