Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Alaskan Brewing Company Taps New CEO

Courtesy of Alaskan Brewing Co
JUNEAU, Alaska (May 11, 2016) – Alaskan Brewing Company’s long-time Chief Operations Officer, Linda Thomas, has been named the new CEO, while the founders of the company, Geoff and Marcy Larson, are looking forward to dedicating more time towards building the pioneering legacy of Alaskan, focusing on innovation and the spirit of craft brewing.

“Alaskan Brewing is growing and exploring many opportunities, which pulls Geoff and I further afield,” said Co-Founder Marcy Larson.  “We really rely on Linda Thomas here at our home office, and feel moving her into the pivotal CEO position will give us more stability for solid future growth.  Linda has been excellent at providing organization and infrastructure to our management group, so it makes sense and we trust her to step into the lead slot here at the brewery.” 

Geoff Larson will maintain his role as President and Chair of the Board, and will be sharing the “Beer Powered Beer” concept industry wide.  “This is a cutting edge use of the brewers spent grain that turns waste into fuel, and is revolutionary to the beer industry,” Larson stated.  “Additionally we want to showcase manufacturing successes in Alaska.”   Thomas noted that the Larson’s started Alaskan Brewing in the midst of a recession in Alaska in the mid-1980’s, and their ability to successfully weather the challenges of operating a nationally recognized regional craft brewery from the remote area of Juneau is a story that should resonate with today’s economic headwinds.

“Our brewery has so many opportunities to grow our leadership in the craft industry here in the U.S. and even internationally, and I’m excited to drive that train forward, while keeping to the core values and mission of Alaskan Brewing,” Thomas said. "We have met countless challenges of doing business in Alaska over the years, creating an internal strength and sense of pride in our company, and my goal is to have that success and pride continue for future generations of Alaskans and all stakeholders involved." 

Geoff Larson stated that in Thomas’ 22 years with Alaskan, she has been instrumental in developing a financially sound company, ranked in the top 1% of the over 4,000 breweries in the U.S. in 2015 according to the Brewer’s Association. She led the development of the brewery’s Employee Stock Ownership Program, or ESOP, and has fostered a talented and highly dedicated crew that is poised to build on the strong foundation for this remote craft brewery based in Alaska.

In addition to her own adventuresome and pioneering spirit that comes with being a lifelong Alaskan, Thomas has a long history of community and professional involvement in Alaska.  She has served as President of the Bartlett Regional Hospital Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Juneau, and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Board.  She has co-chaired the State Board of Accountancy, serves on a bank board established in Alaska and was appointed as a National Quality Examiner by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  In 2007, she was recognized as the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.  She holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a licensed CPA.

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