Please meet the candidates for the 2022 Board of Directors! We will email active cidery level members their ballots Wednesday and they will close Friday.
At Large Cidery Seat – 3 Candidates
Christine Walter, Bauman’s Cider Company
I know that an organization like the American Cider Association makes a thousand small decisions and hosts hundreds of conversations all along the way to be the effective industry-shaping force that it is. Casting a broad net with regard to diversity and inclusion is no little thing. Spearheading and advocating for the kind of lasting legislation that makes or breaks cidermakers of all sizes is transformative work as well. I want to bring my creativity and energy to the board, to help shape the conversations and lean on my experiences as a small farm-based producer to make the climate of cidermaking more friendly to both big and small cider businesses.
I grew up on my family’s farm in rural Oregon. Raising apples and pressing juice with my family are some of my earliest memories. I studied Biochemistry in college, and started and ran a small retail company for 22 years before discovering and quickly falling in love with cider. It took me a couple years to convince my family that cider was a real thing and that I might be able to make it on the farm if they would only let me use a small corner of a barn.
I think you can imagine that I have since taken over the whole barn, and created a huge following among my family. And I absolutely love making cider, drinking cider and being around cider makers!
I am currently a member of the board of The Cider Institute of North America and regular guest instructor.
Adam Ruhland, Wild State Cider
I want to see your cidery succeed. The realities of owning a successful cidery extend well beyond making amazing liquid. I’d like to help support the ACA and it’s members by being a champion for practical resources and initiatives for the average cider business owner. This includes increased support and programming around finance/funding, marketing, distribution, product innovation, human resources, and retail strategies.
It’s a tough market out there for even the most established brands, and we need to work together to grow our individual cideries and, in turn, the whole category. Cider exists in a strange and ever-changing place in the alcohol market. Our relevance depends on the strategies used by our members to meet our customers where they are, which involves frequent change and re-thinking how we operate our businesses.
As a board member, I’ll help the ACA maintain a focus on how it can practically support the needs of the average member working hard to succeed in a crowded market.
Adam Ruhland is the co-owner of Wild State Cider and president of the Minnesota Cider Guild. WIld State is a Duluth, MN based cidery started in 2019 that sells cider in five states and employs 27 individuals. Adam spent five years as a special education teacher before making the jump to entrepreneurship. He believes anything is possible through creativity, hard work, and education. Adam is married with two young children, a dog, and a cat named Kevin. He loves cross-country skiing, trail running, and mountain biking with his kids.
Steve Hance, Number 12 Cider
One thing my experience in serving non-profits has taught me is that there is typically no shortage of great ideas but a great shortage of initiative. Volunteer board members have day jobs that take priority and organizations often struggle to find people that will actually dedicate real time and effort to the organization. For better or worse, I have always been one to raise my hand and volunteer my time when it comes to this kind of service. The reward is seeing the positive impact and being directly involved in something worthwhile.
We all want to see cider grow, and hopefully not just for the bottom line, but because we want to share the joy of cider with everyone. I think a strong ACA is critical for that goal.
The ACA has already made great strides to help cider grow since its inception. CiderCon is an incredible event for us to come together and share ideas. The CCP program is a great way for us to develop our own conventions. Gathering and sharing market data is essential for us to understand how we can fit in to the economy and grow.
Moving forward, I would like to help the Board expand on these and other existing initiatives, but also to find new ways to connect with more of those potential cider-makers and drinkers out there. One thing I see for cider compared to other products, is a lack of resources for people seeking to learn how to start making cider themselves and all of the different styles of cider.
We have a great foundation, lets build on that but also start looking beyond the die-hard cider fanatics and market to the next generation of cider-makers.
I would be honored to serve on the Board if you choose to elect me.
I am the President of Number 12 Cider in Minneapolis where I live with my wife and our 14-year-old son. I have been making cider for about 25 years. Most of that time I have been “that guy” who always had plenty of cider to share whenever the chance arose. I am a student of history, and I love learning about the tradition and history of cider.
Although I am a lawyer by trade, a few years ago I decided to follow my passion and started an orchard-based cidery in the small town of Buffalo, Minnesota with my friend and business partner Colin. We were one of the first cideries in Minnesota when we started in 2014. Four years later we built a new facility in Minneapolis.
I helped to create the Minnesota Cider Guild where I have served as its President and Treasurer. It has been a joy to see cider grow in Minnesota and nationally since then. Outside of my law career and cider, I have dedicated countless hours to other non-profits as Organizer, Board Member, President and other posts.
CT, MA, ME, PA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT.
Eleanor Leger, Eden Ciders
I believe more than ever that cider’s future is strengthened when we draw the connection from apples to orchards to cider. Stories of growers, varieties, and the flavors that apples bring to ciders and to food pairings are what can move people to a greater appreciation of the diversity among cider offerings and a greater openness to considering cider as a choice on the shelf or at the table. These stories will benefit large and small cideries alike, across all price points and methods. Our fruit is what makes our product more expensive than grain or cane sugar-based alcohols. We all must celebrate it if we are to claim the price points we need for economic sustainability across size and method. In this sense, we are truly united in our “big tent” approach. All cider is made from apples and we as a category share pride in that. As passionate as I am about the high end, expensive ciders I make from rare and delicious apples, I want cider as a broad category to succeed, at all price points and across all processes. I am excited to engage with all the wonderful cideries in the large Eastern Region, to seek their input and feedback, to work collaboratively with Michelle and fellow board members to reach sound decisions, and to move us all forward.
Eleanor started producing ice cider with her husband Albert in the basement of their Vermont farmhouse in 2007. For the next eight years they built the business themselves, planting 1,000 trees, developing partnerships with other small local orchards, and working together in the cellar to produce ice ciders, and eventually expanding into dry wine-style ciders and apple-based aperitifs.
Today Eleanor primarily runs the business, the team has grown to six people, and in 2020 they launched a new line of harvest-driven ciders in cans. Before cider Eleanor was an over-educated execu-mom who was underwhelming her potential in corporate america. Now she parses TTB forms and depletion reports with gusto. With spare time she doesn’t have, she occasionally writes about small cidery economics at cidernomics.com.
In addition to serving on the board of the ACA as an At Large Member from 2015-2018, and Eastern Region Chair from 2019 to the present, Eleanor is a founder of the Vermont Cider Makers Association, and was appointed to the inaugural Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board, proving once again that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV, MD, DE, DC.
American Cider Association is the liaison between cider-makers/enthusiasts, and law makers, consumers, and buyers. As a member of the ACA board, David will work as the voice for cideries to promote industry growth and to broaden consumer education. David is a 4th generation apple grower and fresh juice provider. His understanding of the base industry will contribute immensely to supporting sustainable practices that lead to high quality juice/cider and hopefully orchard expansion. In selling fresh juice to over a dozen cideries throughout the South, David will represent the southern region with a strong understanding of what cideries need, and what the consumer wants. David has worked/lobbied with USApple and is familiar with policy making that helps protect our industry. With an end goal to keep the land in apple trees, David will do what it takes to get more people drinking more apples!
David Glaize is a 4th generation apple grower in Winchester VA, and co-owner of Old Town Cidery. Alongside his brother (Philip) the two convinced their dad to plant cider varieties back in 2010, and to construct a processing facility in 2018. The juice company, Glaize & Brother Juice Co, provides custom juice blends to cideries, wineries, and breweries up and down the East Coast. In working to keep the family business vertically integrated, David and his brother opened Old Town Cidery in 2021. David resides in Winchester VA with his wife Mimi, and two children, Charlotte and Walker.
Large Cidery Seat
Ben Calvi, Vermont Hard Cider
I have served on the ACA board since 2016 as a representative for large producers. Over the years, I have worked on the CCP, Legislative, Financial, and AEI committees. As board treasurer, I advised the ACA on its business plan, financial policies, and tax returns. I continue to work on the legislative committee addressing legal and regulatory issues important to Cider following passage of the Cider Act in 2015. And most recently, I joined the Anti-racism, Equity & Inclusion committee to support its development and outreach to members. There are 2 strategic goals I am most excited to participate in: (1) building Cider’s Political Power and (2) creating a more Sustainable and Inclusive Future for cider. The ACA has a unique position to speak on behalf of the cider industry. From lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. to liaising with state and regional chapters, the ACA must work to ensure regulations align with how cider is made and sold in the U.S. and to make sure laws and regulations allow all our members to remain competitive and well represented in the bev-alc landscape. Cider is a small and niche industry, however, it is not isolated from the broader social and cultural changes rippling through our nation. In the past few years, the ACA has begun to look within our organization, to educate ourselves, and to advocate for a more diverse and inclusive industry. It is not an easy task, nor always a comfortable one, but it is necessary so that cider becomes a beverage for all and a place where all people feel welcome.
Ben Calvi was born and raised in Vermont and is an accomplished cider & wine maker. He joined Vermont Hard Cider in 2015 and now leads operations as COO. At prior roles in California, Germany, and Vermont, he has made wines and ciders for Quintessa, Esser, the Robert Mondavi Institute, Burklin-Wolf, and Champlain Orchards. Ben earned a Master of Science in Viticulture & Enology from the University of California Davis, a post-Bach from the University of Vermont, and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College. He serves on boards of the American Cider, Vermont Cider, and Vermont Tree Fruit Growers associations, and he was a founding member of the Atletico Middlebury Soccer Club. Ben lives in Cornwall, VT with his wife and two children enjoying music, sport, and anything outdoors.