Now that there is a new administration in the White House, the task of filling cabinet and advisory positions must be completed. One advisory position, that of veteran’s issues advisor, is being filled by a brewing industry legend. Jake Leinenkugel, retired head of Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., has been asked and has accepted a position as a senior White House adviser to the Office of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed January 24 that Leinenkugel accepted the position.
Leinenkugel headed the Wisconsin-based beer company as CEO for 25 years before retiring two years ago. But, it is a combination of him military experience and business acumen that made him so attractive to the Trump administration.
“Jake served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and is the father of two veterans,” Dick Leinenkugel, current Leinenkugel president and brother to Jake, wrote in an email to staff. “Jake knows firsthand the challenges and opportunities facing the men and women who leave the military and re-enter society. As an American citizen and a veteran, Jake feels very strongly about taking care of our veterans and this role allows him to make an impact on policies helping those who have served and protected our nation.”
Dick Leinenkugel continued: “We believe improving the lives of the men and women who have protected and served our nation isn’t about politics or political affiliations. And while Leinenkugel’s runs through Jake’s blood, Jake will have no formal involvement with Leinenkugel’s during this time.”
According to the brewery’s website, the Leinenkugel family brewery was founded May 1867 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin by Jacob Leinenkugel. He was a family man driven by an iron work ethic who knew that his German family heritage would play an integral part of his brewery’s success. As the brewery grew, it enjoyed great success and caught the eye of brewing giant Miller Brewing Company. IN 1988, Miller purchased the brewery infusing much-needed cash that enables the company to open a new brewing facility and leverage the larger company’s distribution footprint to bring “Leinie” to more consumers.