Kim Kirk, chief experience manager at Swilled Dog in Upper Tract, was selected as a “Generation Next: 40 Under 40” honoree by The State Journal.
The West Virginia State Journal’s 40 Under 40 program honors the young professionals striving toward the mission of economic growth and development in West Virginia who also remember to give back in their communities. It also honors people who are making a significant difference in their business.
“Kim embodies this ideal, and we would not be the internationally awarded and recognized business we are without her and her contribution to our mission and values,” says Brooke Glover, CEO and co-founder of Swilled Dog. “She pushes everyone around her to be better and her entrepreneurial spirit helps to drive our business forward every day.”
As the chief experience manager, Kirk is responsible for the overall customer experience and bringing the Swilled Dog brand to life. She has been instrumental in the growth of Swilled Dog, helping to open their first tasting room location in West Virginia and overseeing the company’s branding, marketing and charitable giving efforts.
The majority of her professional career has been dedicated to the nonprofit sector. Not only is she giving back to West Virginia through her skills and leadership at Swilled Dog, she’s made an impact in the surrounding communities. For almost eight years, she was a part of the revitalization efforts in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia, as the director of marketing for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. Her experience working with entrepreneurs to tell their story is what attracted her to Swilled Dog.
Kirk grew up in Monterey, Virginia, where the importance of community and volunteering was instilled in her at a very early age. This sense of community and her background in nonprofits made Swilled Dog a perfect match.
“One of the things I love most about Swilled Dog is our commitment to supporting charitable causes,” said Kirk. “We are currently working to make an even bigger impact on a national level, but just to know that we are championing animal-related charities and making a small difference makes what we do even more fun and rewarding.”
She has a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from James Madison University and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University. She is a Level 1 Certified Cider Professional, a certification by the American Cider Association.