Above: Karen Cousins has been appointed the first General Manager for Moosehead’s new small-batch brewery, which is anticipated to open in 2017.
Today we are pleased to announce that MBA author Karen Cousins has been appointed as the first General Manager of Moosehead’s new small-batch brewery.
The appointment is the next step in the year-long project, which is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Oland family brewing business – a milestone the company will reach in 2017.
“Karen has been a valuable member of the Moosehead team for sixteen years,” says Andrew Oland, President and CEO. “Her journey through the company has exposed her to virtually every aspect of our business, including brewing, packaging, human resources, operations, marketing and sales – giving her the kind of cross-functional skill set this new role requires.”
Karen spent her first five years at Moosehead as the liaison with our US importer. She then became the Sales Licensee Manager for the Maritimes. Next, she joined the Marketing team as Senior Brand Manager for Moosehead Lager, Alpine Lager and Moose Light. From there she took on the role of Director of Business Development, and managed the Moosehead Country Store. In 2011 she became Director of Beer Appreciation – joining the brewing team – and launched the Moosehead Beer Academy program. In 2015 she completed her Green Belt certification and moved into our Packaging area, where she supported improvement initiatives as Rapid Deployment Champion.
“Karen’s passion for beer is evident to everyone who meets her,” says Patrick Parent, Vice President of Operations and Human Resources. “We are confident she will take this opportunity and run with it, bringing our products and our passion for beer making to our consumers in new and exciting ways.”
More and more women are taking leadership roles at small breweries around North America, and we’re very proud that Karen will be joining those ranks.
We thought we’d ask Karen to share her thoughts on her time at Moosehead, and her short term priorities for the small-batch brewery project.
MBA: You started at Moosehead right out of university, is that right?
Karen: I started at the company in January 2000 while I was a co-op student in the business faculty at the University of New Brunswick. When my work term was finished, I stayed on full time, and finished my degree on-time by taking classes at night.
MBA: How would you describe your career at Moosehead?
Karen: My career so far has been an amazing experience. I’m always learning, and every day is different. I have enjoyed a lot of responsibility and ownership here, and I always feel that I am treated with respect, and that the Olands trust me and believe in my capabilities.
MBA: What do you have to say about Moosehead’s commitment to growing its people?
Karen: In my opinion, Moosehead is a leader in developing its employees while respecting their individual work styles. Throughout the company, you can see how that investment pays off in the passionate, talented, and hardworking people working here.
MBA: What are your thoughts about this new role?
Karen: I’m excited and honoured to have been given this great responsibility. I understand the significance of the job, and I’m up for the challenge!
MBA: You recently got back from the small-batch brewery road trip – what were your top three learnings from visiting all those breweries?
Karen: First, we need to be ourselves, and just own that. Second, we need to support the community in whatever we do. Third, we need to showcase the city and its people.
MBA: What are your top three short-term priorities for the new brewery project?
Karen: Selecting a location and an architect are right up there. After that, we’ll need to finalize the project timeline.
MBA: How close are you on the location?
Karen: There is a lot of interest in the location of the new brewery. We anticipate a decision in the near future, and we’ll share it as soon as we can. We are really thrilled at the amount of excitement there is for this project, and thank everyone for their support.
Stay tuned for more great updates on the project as things unfold!