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Our Expert In Export

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Kate MacDonald enjoying some Outer Hebridean sunshine.

If you’ve visited us here in Harris over the years, then you may have met many of our distillery family, from knowledgeable tour guides to the hardworking Canteen and Shop team. However, as a working distillery there are many other unsung heroes behind the scenes that you won't have crossed paths with.

One such heroine we’d like to introduce you to is Kathleen MacDonald, or simply Kath as she’s known around here. Kath has been a part of our business since August 2017 after making the long move north from Preston, Lancashire.

With expertise in accounts and export administration, on a day-to-day basis you’ll find her swimming in a sea of spreadsheets or arranging the next international shipment to leave our Tarbert shores, as she tells us…

‘My role at the distillery, as Commercial Administrator, is quite a varied one and mainly involves the coordination of export orders, implementing accounting systems and procedures, stock and accounts reconciliations, month-end reporting and other administrative duties.’

Kath in her natural habitat.

All these complicated sounding jobs confirm Kath plays a vital role in sharing our spirit with the world, from ensuring Isle of Harris Gin shipments reach our far-flung customers in places like Mexico or New Zealandto crunching the numbers of bottles leaving our doors each month.

But, when she’s not counting cases or in contact with our international partners, she can be found walking the hills with her canine friend Mitch or out kayaking on the seas near her home in Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis.

Kath has also been indulging her love for nature and wildlife since making her move to the Outer Hebrides, training as a Marine Life Medic with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue. Seal pups can often be found abandoned or injured around our islands and so any requiring rescue in her area will find themselves in safe hands with Kath nearby.

Kath with apprentice distiller Rebekah and good friend Sue after completing their Marine Life Medic training.

It’s clear to us that Kath is well-suited to island life and it seems she wouldn’t have it any other way…

‘Following a family holiday here in 2015 we immediately fell in love with the island, with its natural beauty, dramatic landscape, fabulous beaches and the warmth of the islanders. Community life is so rewarding, and we have been made to feel so welcome.’

With her now grown-up children Charlotte and Josh living many miles away in the city of London, we’re happy to report that Kath has also found a work family here in Harris as she explains…

‘The distillery is a big part of my life now and is a fantastic place to work. It is like being a part of one big family and each member is always willing to help each other and offer support where needed.’

And, likewise, our family wouldn’t be complete without Kath, so our thanks go to her for sharing her expert knowledge with us here in Harris and joining us on our journey to share our spirit internationally.

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