ATCHISON, KANSAS, U.S. — MGP Ingredients Inc. (MGPI), a supplier of premium distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches, announced on April 7 that James L. Bareuther has agreed to serve as a board director if elected by MGP's common shareholders at the annual shareholders meeting May 19.

Bareuther served as chief operating officer of Brown-Forman Corporation from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. At Brown-Forman, he was responsible for the company's spirits and wine business in more than 140 countries across the globe.

Prior to joining Brown-Forman as director of U.S. sales in 1994, Bareuther was executive vice-president of sales and marketing for the Seagram Classics Wine Company in New York, U.S., and California, U.S. He previously worked for Beringer Vineyards, a leading wine firm in Napa Valley, California. He is a former three-term chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), a national trade association based in Washington, D.C., U.S., representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the U.S. and around the world.

He has served as a director of First Beverage Group since 2012 and as chairman of its board of directors since April 2014. Additionally, Bareuther has served on the boards of directors of Luna Winery since 2013 and Windy Hill Spirits since 2012.

“We are extremely pleased and honored to gain the vast experience and industry knowledge that Jim Bareuther will bring to the MGP board of directors,” said Gus Griffin, president and chief executive officer of MGP. “His wisdom, expertise and insights will be an invaluable resource in helping guide the evolution and expansion of our Distillery Products business segment.”

Bareuther was nominated for election as a director to fill the vacancy created by current director John Bridendall's decision not to stand for re-election when his term expires at this year's annual shareholders meeting.