Top 50 Under 40 Monica Pearce

This year OED is recognizing and celebrating Frederick County’s young professionals who are leaders in their industry, give back to the community and add significant value to their company and its culture. Join us as we get to know our Top 50 Under 40.


Monica Pearce, 36
Founder and Boss Lady
Tenth Ward Distilling Company
55 E Patrick St, Frederick

Monica Pearce started her career off in the conservation biology field specializing in endangered species work and eventually transitioned to found Tenth Ward Distilling Company in July of 2016. Her commitment to the community, her industry and supporting local agriculture, nonprofits and small businesses is showcased through her hard work, success and dedication.

What has been your greatest professional accomplishment? 

Having grown my business through a grassroots approach by keeping it ingrained in the Frederick economy and community. We’ve renovated a historic building, expanded to two locations, created 16 jobs, lobbied to improve local laws, and participated in countless nonprofit/service events.

Name one award you are most proud to have received.

The Governor’s citation in celebration of our five-year anniversary also served as a symbol for us to thank our staff and local and state officials that worked tirelessly to ensure we pulled through the pandemic after suffering so many financial losses and emotional struggles.

What is your experience with volunteering and civic engagement?

I sit as the VP for the Maryland Distillers Guild board, and recently graduated from the highly selective James Beard Foundation's Women's Leadership Program. I am also active with the American Craft Spirits Association and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.

I sit on the Visit Frederick Tourism Council Board of Directors, am an active participant in Frederick’s S.H.E Week, a member of Club Next and Rotary Club of Carroll Creek. I am incredibly proud to have participated in many service opportunities through these programs.

What was your first job?

Waffle House Server at 14! Yes, I’ve been in the hospitality industry since I was 14 but more importantly, my first career-related job was manager, long-term impact conservation programs.

Who is your greatest influence?

I take MAJOR inspiration and guidance from Tenth Ward’s advisory board. The members are all locally involved in the community, volunteer their time to lead our strategy and major decisions and are all made up of experts in fields that I have less knowledge in.

What do you like to do for fun in Frederick County?

Enjoying all of the AMAZING community services provided to me. Hiking, live music in the park, downtown Frederick events. And of course, visiting my distilleries/breweries/wineries brothers and sisters.

What leadership book would you recommend and why?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is the best read for any business owner! It’s kept me from panicking when we needed to replace a forklift, or the AC broke down on a 100 degree Saturday but mostly all of that led up to preparing me to keep my cool during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute to your success and why?

I have a natural ability to seek out talented team members. Tenth Ward’s success can only be attributed to them and their hard work!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Having grown my business to the point where I feel financially stable, that I’ve contributed something to our community, and have a healthy work-life balance.