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Mayor’s assistant leaving to work for Bardstown Bourbon Company

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By Randy Patrick

Bardstown City Hall is looking for a new executive assistant.

Kathy Graham, who was one of the mayor’s first hires, is leaving to be executive assistant to David Mandell, the president and chief administrative officer of one of the city’s newest industries, Bardstown Bourbon Company. She also will support Garnett Black, the company’s vice president of operations.

The Kentucky Standard is publishing an ad today seeking her replacement.

“She’s going to be missed, and whoever is hired … is going to have some big shoes to fill,” Royalty said Wednesday.

Royalty said Graham could complete any task he assigned her. In addition to naming her his assistant, he also made her the staff person for the city’s new code enforcement board and had her fill his spot on a local bourbon industry task force. She also filled in for City Clerk Barbie Bryant on occasion.

“She took on way more than anyone I’ve ever seen,” Royalty said.

Graham confirmed that she was leaving the city to work for the new distillery, but declined to be interviewed.

“I’m not going to comment. There’s no issue,” she said. But when asked whether the new job was a better position, she answered: “Absolutely.”

Royalty said there was no problem that precipitated Graham’s move.

“She had an opportunity she could not afford to let pass by,” he said. “That’s the reason she’s leaving.”

“We’re thrilled to have her,” Mandell said Wednesday when he confirmed that Graham would be his assistant.

Mandell has served with Graham on the Bourbon Task Force, and said he and others at his company were impressed with her skills, knowledge, demeanor and good judgment.

“Kathy has tremendous experience as an executive assistant, has a wonderful relationship with the community and is an extremely bright and energetic individual,” Mandell said. “She is exactly the kind of individual we want to have on our team here at Bardstown Bourbon Company.”

Graham replaced former Mayor Bill Sheckles’ executive assistant, Michelle Riordan, during Royalty’s first week on the job in January 2015. Prior to working for the city, she had worked for Wilson & Muir Bank and was an administrative assistant for Nu-Kote, a former office supply business in Bardstown.

She will begin her new job Dec. 19.