The Los Angeles County Brewers Guild (LABG) is proud to announce the formation of the McFerren Fund for the advancement of women in craft beer in memory of LABG Founding Member Rob McFerren who passed away in December 2020. Rob McFerren was a pioneer of the L.A. craft brewing industry, founding Wolf Creek Brewery and Restaurant in 1996 with his wife and co-founder Laina McFerren. Rob was an incredible advocate for women in the beer industry. His immense support of his wife Laina as a board member and President of our Guild was palpable. As a proud father of two daughters, Rob’s devotion to the empowerment of women came from the most genuine place. We could not think of a better way to honor his memory than to create a special fund within our nonprofit dedicated to curating professional networking and development opportunities for women in the beer industry.
The McFerren Fund will be a special financial allocation earmarked in our organization’s budget for professional networking and development programming. Donations are accepted and sponsorship opportunities will also become available. An initial goal of the fund is to work hand-in-hand with the LABG’s mission to increase efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the craft brewing industry.
Donation to this fund will go towards activities including but not limited to:
– Hosting professional networking events to connect women in craft brewing
– Curating guest speakers and professional development programs to advance women in craft brewing
– Creating mentoring programs and sponsorship opportunities to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the craft brewing industry
McFerren Fund events and opportunities will also work hand-in-hand with a wider educational and developmental efforts by LABG to build DEI resources for the betterment of the craft brewing industry as a whole.
“I was lucky enough to be married to Rob for over 30 years. In that time, we built a family and a business together. It was always a partnership and he was most often content to let me lead the way, and supported me every step; often picking up the slack at home so that I could volunteer for one more thing. Rob was an absolutely amazing “Girl-Dad” who encouraged our daughters and myself in everything we ever did. He did not need to be the center of attention, but reveled in our success. He was always cheering at the skating competitions or making dinners for sleepovers (often when I had to work late), and never once did I hear about something that should have been “women’s work.”
Rob mentored many people including several women in the brewing industry and was so proud of their successes. He generally just wanted good people to succeed in whatever they were doing and was happy to help them along the way.
There is a proverb that says, “Behind every great man is a great woman”. In my case, behind this woman was a really great man and I miss him every day. While he might not have loved all the attention, he would have greatly appreciated the cause. My family is proud to add the McFerren Fund to Rob’s legacy.” – Laina McFerren