Community Relations

Our Communities Sustain Us

Our communities sustain us and as such we actively give back and invest in their well being. Stewardship is a bedrock of our culture, and both our company and our employees strongly believe in donating their time, talents, and treasure to enrich lives and leave a lasting legacy.

Just Cycling for Refugees

We’re very proud of our efforts to provide life changing, long-term support for those in need.


Middle Eastern refugees fleeing to Europe include thousands of unaccompanied children lacking basic humanitarian aid and facing an uncertain future. Moved by their plight, Netherlands-based Endre Szabo, VP and Area Director for Partner Markets Europe, brought his Brown-Forman colleagues together to make a difference.

 “In 2015, I initiated a GoFundMe campaign to help in any way possible and sent it out to my Brown-Forman family. We raised $10,000 within days and Brown-Forman matched our donation. The money went towards 24/7 medical tents for refugees. Our Greek colleagues, led by Ileana Louloudaki, extended our efforts by collecting socks for refugees arriving on Greek islands.

I started thinking about doing something more lasting than this one-time donation.

In 2016, I collaborated with No More Walking and organized Just Cycling, a bike ride dedicated to unaccompanied refugee minors. Seventeen cyclists, all Brown-Forman employees or family members, rode from Amsterdam to London and back. We raised €25,000 for Metadrasi, a Greek non-profit for child refugees. Our donation helped fund a ground-breaking program to move five children from Greek refugee camps to Portugal, where they could restart their lives. The funds support all their expenses for a year, helping them find safety, education, and opportunity.

We’ve now expanded from Just Cycling to include Just Running, where participants can opt to run various races across Europe instead of cycling. Our 2017 events raised €50,000, with around 80 Brown-Forman employees from our main European offices taking part. Funds raised will help resettle eight more child refugees.”

Endre Szabo, VP, Area Director of Partner Markets Europe, and founder of Just Cycling, participates with other employees, friends, and family members, in the bike ride to help unaccompanied refugee minors.
Refugee child studies new language after being accepted by Portugal with the support of Just Cycling.

Our long history and deep roots in Louisville, Kentucky make our hometown city our main focus, although we make community investments across our global locations, especially where we have a production presence.

As a major local employer for more than a century, Louisville remains at the center of our philanthropic efforts. On a global scale, 20 of our production and regional offices have a Civic Engagement Committee that decides how to best allocate our budgets to community needs and our priority impact areas. We’re especially active in Lynchburg, Tennessee, where Jack Daniel’s whiskey is made, and in Amatitán, Mexico, where our Casa Herradura tequila distillery is located.


Total monetary contributions

Our employees have strong connections to their communities, and we foster these close relationships. Through opportunities to volunteer and donate, our people receive greater fulfilment by supporting those in need.

780Employees volunteered approximately 15,000 hours

132Employees serving on
non-profit boards

We look to enrich the experience of life for our neighbors by improving the living standards of those less fortunate, supporting healthy lifestyles and sustainable living, and enhancing cultural life through arts and education.

$2.9MHealthy and Sustainable Living

$3.9MBasic Living Standards

$4.0MIntellectual and Cultural Living

We are proud of our longstanding commitment to the vitality of our hometown, a contribution that extends beyond dollars and cents.

In order to better understand the scale and breadth of the difference Brown-Forman makes, in 2015 we commissioned University of Louisville Emeritus Professor of Economics Paul Coomes to conduct an economic impact analysis. The study focused on the annual impact of Brown-Forman jobs on the Louisville region and the business generated by our local operations. Dr. Coomes organized data by two types of Brown-Forman jobs — distillery (including headquarters operations) and cooperage (wood barrel manufacturing) employment — as each requires different skills and training and a unique set of goods and services.

The study concluded that Brown-Forman’s presence results in the following estimated annual benefits for the Louisville region:



$340MWages and salaries

$34MTax revenues to Kentucky state and local government

Our company also makes significant contributions to the local travel and hospitality industry, the report found. Each year, our employees and business partners book over 2,200 rooms at downtown hotels, and generate enough airline business for at least 10,000 flights through the Louisville airport. This activity, in turn, directly supports a wide variety of local businesses, including restaurants, entertainment venues, transportation companies, and retail businesses.