Quarantine Production

Expert Profile

Sonat Birnecker Hart is the President of KOVAL, a Chicago craft distillery. In 2008, Dr. Birnecker Hart left her former career as a tenured professor to return to Chicago and found one of the nation's largest independent and female-owned craft distilleries. She has spearheaded product development, distribution, and marketing to grow her family business into an international success. KOVAL distillery has won over 100 international awards, and sells its alcohol products in over 55 export markets. Dr. Birnecker Hart is also involved in a number of philanthropic and public service organizations, and serves on the board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) of Chicago. Dr. Birnecker Hart and her husband were named 2017 Illinois Business Persons of the Year by the National Small Business Association. In March 2020, KOVAL converted part of its facilities to produce hand sanitizer that is donated to front-line workers and sold to consumers to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photographs

 

Thank you to KOVAL distillery's marketing team for providing these photographs.

Episode Transcript

 

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From Chicago Studies at the University of Chicago

Email: uchicagohiddengems@gmail.com