Entertainment and hospitality veteran leads world’s largest premium rum distillery visitor center
Cataño, Puerto Rico, and Hamilton, Bermuda, June 6, 2017 – CASA BACARDÍ, the brand home of the world’s most awarded rum, announces Wesley Elizabeth Cullen as its general manager responsible for the complete visitor experience and showcasing the more than 155-year history of the iconic BACARDÍ® rum brand.
As the second-most visited tourism venue in metro San Juan, CASA BACARDÍ plays host to approximately 200,000 visitors a year to learn the unique history of the Bacardí family and brand, as well as its craftsmanship and sustainable production techniques.
“CASA BACARDÍ is a storytelling and consumer engagement gem. I am excited to join such a vibrant, well-regarded brand with such a unique history,” says Cullen. “The BACARDÍ programming around music and arts aligns with two of my passions, and the importance of CASA BACARDÍ for tourism in Puerto Rico creates incredible potential. I look forward to creatively bringing our stories to life across many dynamic platforms in new and engaging ways.”
Cullen reports to Thibault Ruffat, global brand homes director for family-owned Bacardi, responsible for the venues and experiences for the brand homes of MARTINI & ROSSI®, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, BACARDÍ®, GREY GOOSE®, DEWAR’S®, BENEDICTINE®, OTARD®, and NOILLY PRAT®.
“Wesley’s expertise in hospitality and music is a great asset to further connect the brand home experience to BACARDÍ rum and its cultural pillars,” adds Ruffat. “Under Wesley’s leadership, we can better focus on showcasing the premium, high-end spirit that is incredibly drinkable and complex while increasing the profile of this world-class brand home already recognized as an outstanding destination by TripAdvisor.”
Cullen joins Bacardi from El San Juan Hotel, a beachfront property in Puerto Rico, where she was chief experience officer. Previously, she ran the 18,000 seat Coliseo de Puerto Rico, creating world-class experiences for concerts and events.
She has been recognized by Caribbean Business as one of Puerto Rico’s “Power 100,” as well as receiving the “Ideas for Puerto Rico” award from ConPRometidos and recognized by Venues Today as a “Woman of Influence.”
In addition to her work expertise, Cullen is active in the community. She founded and heads the non-profit organization Super Positivo dedicated to keeping the beaches clean. She is actively involved in promoting leadership, particularly for women. She is a member of the board of directors of SER de Puerto Rico and participates in the Visitor Economy Committee of the Foundation for Puerto Rico. She also participates in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Puerto Rico through volunteer work with local organizations and as an advisor to several local start-ups.
Among the attractions available at CASA BACARDÍ are the “Rum Tasting Tour,” a tour focused on the tasting of and sensory experiences of BACARDÍ rums; “Mixology Tour,” which is characterized by its unique experience of giving consumers the opportunity to go behind the bar to learn how to make cocktails including the BACARDÍ Cuba Libre, BACARDÍ Mojito and BACARDÍ Daiquiri; and the “Historical Tour,” a must-do for visitors to learn about the past, present and future of the world’s most awarded rum. The tours include a welcome drink, a commemorative 12-ounce acrylic glass and a booklet of recipes with different drinks made with BACARDÍ rum.
Tickets to the three attractions offered at CASA BACARDÍ can be purchased individually through www.visitcasabacardi.com. For more information about CASA BACARDÍ, call +1.787.788.8400 or visit www.facebook.com/bacardidistillerytour. Visiting hours are from 9am to 6pm from Monday – Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
Cullen succeeds Maggie Matias who retired from Bacardi after 29 years in a variety of marketing and management roles. Bacardi thanks Maggie for her dedication and commitment, and wishes her much success in this new chapter in her life.
About Bacardi in Puerto Rico
Bacardi Corporation was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1936, and is part of family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. The current facility was built in 1958 on 127 acres in the town of Cataño. The rum production facility is the largest premium rum distillery in the world, and one of 29 Bacardi manufacturing facilities globally.
Since 1961, Bacardi has operated the state-of-the-art Casa Bacardí Visitor Center, the second most-visited venue in metro San Juan, drawing nearly 200,000 visitors a year to learn about the rich history of the Bacardi family and brand, as well as its unique production. www.visitcasabacardi.com
About BACARDÍ Rums
In 1862, Bacardi revolutionized the spirits industry when founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó began producing his remarkable light-bodied, smooth rum. The unique taste of BACARDÍ inspired cocktail pioneers to invent some of the world’s most famous drink recipes including the Mojito, the Daiquirí, the Cuba Libre, the Piña Colada, and the Presidente. BACARDÍ Superior rum has won more than 750 awards for quality and taste making it the world’s most awarded rum. Today, BACARDÍ is mainly produced in Puerto Rico, following the production legacy set forth by Don Facundo Bacardi Massó – crafted in a five-step distillation process, mellowed in American white oak barrels, and filtered five times for unparalleled quality and smoothness.
The BACARDÍ® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. The Bacardi brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels including GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, and MARTINI® vermouth and Italian sparkling wines. www.bacardi.com