Blackwater Distilling taps Lily Bengfort as Chief Marketing Officer

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Spirit and Technology Enthusiast Appointed to oversee marketing and build retail partnerships involving Blackwater Distilling’s current product lines of award-winning Sloop Betty vodkas and Picaroon rums. Blackwater is Maryland’s oldest and most awarded craft distillery.

Blackwater Distilling™, Inc. (“Blackwater”), today announced the hiring of a Spirit-ed Enthusiast and Technologist, Lily Bengfort as Chief Marketing Officer. As CMO, Bengfort will oversee marketing, brand management, and retail partnerships involving Blackwater’s current product lines of award-winning Sloop Betty vodkas and Picaroon rums, and the launch of new products including Biergeist, a whiskey distilled from German lager beers, and Sloop Betty Caramel vodka. Founded in 2008, Blackwater is Maryland’s most awarded craft distillery.

"Lily has been the driving force behind hugely successful business start-ups in Maryland, and she now brings that entrepreneurial spirit and creative energy to craft distilling," Blackwater CEO Christopher Cook said. "Her superpower is the ability to bring people and organizations together in ways that are exciting to all involved."

"For years, I've personally enjoyed Blackwater's products, which are grounded in tradition but apply slight twists that surprise the drinker with new flavors," Bengfort said. "I now have the privilege of introducing the products to even more people."

Blackwater's mix of tradition and innovation brings an element of adventure to craft distilling, Bengfort said. "I love seeing visitors' eyes light up at a tasting and hearing them say, 'Wow, I didn't know vodka or rum could taste so good.'  My goal is to expand that experience through tastings in the distillery and area businesses, and by offering our products at corporate and organization events."

Bengfort obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and an MBA from Loyola College. She cofounded and provided executive leadership to several companies, including CenGen, Inc., a communications technology firm. She was a member of the UMBC Cybersecurity Advisory Board, a board member of the Howard County Technology Council, an instructor for the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a member of the Dean's Advisory Board at the Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore.

Bengfort was named the Maryland Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration and lauded as an Influential Marylander by The Daily Record. Other awards were bestowed on her by the State of Maryland, the Howard County Economic Development Authority, DARPA, and Smart CEO Magazine. A resident of Queenstown, MD, Bengfort is a member of the Queen Anne's County Chamber of Commerce and the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

About Blackwater Distilling
Blackwater Distilling™, Inc. is Maryland’s premier craft distillery, producing handcrafted, premium spirits on the Eastern Shore in Stevensville, Maryland. Blackwater was founded on a vision of reviving Maryland’s distinguished distilling heritage by crafting premium-quality spirits using the finest ingredients, supporting local farms and businesses in the process.

Blackwater Distilling is located at 184 Log Canoe Circle in Stevensville, MD. The distillery is open 7 days a weeek, 12PM-5PM, with tours kicking off on each hour through 4:00p.m.for tours and tastings. Please visit for the latest hours and to book a group tour.

For Media Inquiries:
Christopher Cook
Chief Executive Officer

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Lily Bengfort

Lily Bengfort
since: 05/2010
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