Russell Scott Fletcher II

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Russell Scott Fletcher II
Russell Scott Fletcher.JPG
Born
Russell Scott Fletcher Jr.

(1978-02-03) February 3, 1978 (age 43)
NationalityAfrican-American
CitizenshipUnited States
OccupationEntrepreneur
Organization
  • EMSDC
  • Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber Board of Governors
  • Allentown Chamber of Commerce
Height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Spouse(s)Tetyana Fletcher
ChildrenRussell Scott Fletcher III
Websitedrinkmishka.com

Russell Scott Fletcher II (born 3 February 1978) is an African American entrepreneur and business executive. He is the founder of This Life Forever - a former lifestyle company turned distillery based in Lehigh Valley,[1] known for its best-selling flagship brand, Mishka Vodka.[2] He is also a member of EMSDC, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber Board of Governors, and Allentown Chamber of Commerce.[3]

Fletcher has gained recognition as the founder of the first sipping vodka and is the owner of Pennsylvania's longest functioning and only Black-owned distillery. He is also the recipient of the New Commitment Award for outstanding work as a business and individual in the community and a Double Gold Medal at the World Spirits Competition.

Fletcher is regarded as one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania and has been featured in several local and national media outlets for his steadfast journey, such as The Morning Call Newspaper, Channel 69, Black Enterprise,[4] Lehigh Valley Ledger,[5] Pivot Week, NBC Philadelphia,[6] and The Courier Express[7] to name a few.

Early life

Fletcher was born on 3 February 1978 in Brooklyn, New York, to Brenda Lee Wells and Russell Scott Fletcher Sr.

Career

Fletcher started his career in 1998 in the entertainment industry. Initially, he worked for several record labels including Loud Records and Def Jam, alongside industry giants like Jay Z and Kanye West. Simultaneously, Fletcher also ran New Swag City, a multimedia company based in New York.[8]

In 2010, Fletcher entered the wine and spirits industry by pivoting This Life Forever, a former lifestyle company, into a winery and distillery. The company soon launched its flagship brand Mishka Vodka becoming the country’s first dual-licensed minority-owned winery and distillery. Mishka under the leadership of Fletcher became a global brand offering three exotic flavors - premium, honey, and cranberry. It also won the Double Gold Award at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition two years in a row.[9]

With the outbreak of the 2019 COVID worldwide pandemic, This Life Forever began producing advanced-formula hand sanitizer containing 80% alcohol and aloe vera. During this time, Fletcher also donated hand sanitizers (almost two tons) and meals to nurses and EMTs at Lehigh Valley Health Network and several nonprofit organizations. He also expanded his customer base in such trying times including FedEx Freight, Comcast, USPS, UPS, and Lanta. Since then, This Life Forever has been selling sanitizers through its contracts with the regional United States Postal Service and Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Personal life

Fletcher is married to Tetyana Fletcher, and the couple has a three-year-old son named Russell Scott Fletcher III.

Awards

  • New Commitment Award, 2021
  • Double Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2021

In the media

References

  1. Kovacs, Scott. "African American Vodka Distiller Blazing a Trail in Lehigh Valley". www.brctv13.com. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  2. "Allentown's Mishka Spirits with Russell Fletcher | The Inside Dish". WDIY | Lehigh Valley Public Radio. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  3. "Black-owned distillery in Allentown's growing, after years of hard work". WFMZ.com. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  4. "This Entrepreneur Owns Pennsylvania's First And Only Black-Owned Distillery". Black Enterprise. 22 July 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  5. Ledger, The Valley (25 July 2020). "Interview with Russell Fletcher the founder of This Life Forever and creator of Mishka Vodka – by Victoria Durgin". The Valley Ledger | Its All About The Lehigh Valley. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  6. "These Vodkas Have Become a Part of This Lehigh Valley Distillery Owner". NBC10 Philadelphia. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  7. Walzak, Josh. "State Highlights Impacts of 'Back to Work PA' on Economy, Communities". The Courier Express. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  8. Salamone, Anthony. "From 'liquid to lips': Black-owned Lehigh Valley distiller Russell Fletcher looks to grow in Pa. and beyond". mcall.com. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  9. Harris, Anthony Salamone, Jon. "Do Lehigh Valley business owners think President Biden's 'Buy American' plan will work for them?". mcall.com. Retrieved 16 October 2021.

External links