Joe Gaynor

Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, Joe has always had a deep-rooted passion for fermentation. A member of the team that helped open Angry Orchard’s Cider House in 2015, Joe started as a tour guide and worked his way into the cellar, where he is currently the Cider Maker. In his role, Joe runs the daily production and Orchard operations, aides as an educational resource for new and current team members, and works closely with a variety of cider and agricultural organizations near and far. Playing an integral part in new product development and Orchard innovation, Joe draws inspiration from the rich and diverse history and community cider has to offer. 

Paige Flori

Paige’s journey into hard cider began with a chance introduction to the beverage at an Irish pub in Queens, NY in her early 20’s. Intrigued, she sought more options in the category until finally deciding to open her own shop. Boutique Wines, Spirits and Cider opened in 2017 in the Hudson Valley, NY, featuring an expansive, curated collection of over 300 different skus of hard cider, and New York State’s only tap system in a liquor store. Paige enjoys educating customers, introducing them to hard cider and helping them pair with their meals.

Paige’s other certifications include: Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers), Level 2 Wine with Distinction (Wine & Spirits Education Trust), Certified Bourbon Professional (The Council of Whiskey Masters), Certified Sommelier (Wine Education Institute) and Champagne MOOC with Distinction (Comité Champagne).

Meredith Collins

Meredith Collins is the blogger behind Along Came A Cider, where she has been tasting and reviewing hard cider for almost ten years. In addition to managing her blog, Meredith has judged cider for the Good Food Awards, the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry competition, the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and the New York Cider Competition. She has presented at CiderCon® and taught classes on the cider business and America’s cider renaissance. You can find her articles on food and beverage topics in Cider Culture, Libations, and Edible FLX among other online and print publications.

Meredith decided to pursue her Pommelier™ certification because she wants to be a part of the cider industry as we build our language, culture, and educational resources. She loves how vibrant and inventive cidermakers and drinkers are, and she wants to be a part of the process of building knowledge and tradition for the future. Meredith says, “Besides, I’m a tremendous nerd, and I couldn’t resist the challenge of putting my pairing ideas and taste buds to the test.”

Matt Wynkoop

Matt began his cider journey as a part-time tour guide and bartender at the Angry Orchard Cider House in Walden, NY. Quickly, he developed a love for everything the cidery had to offer, particularly conducting tours and tastings. This experience, coupled with a brief stint working on several local orchards, has given him a great appreciation for the apple industry as a whole. In Matt’s current role as Tour Center Assistant Manager, he oversees Angry Orchard’s experiential team responsible for educating guests about the orchard, cider and more. He believes that storytelling accompanied by tastings is the best way to introduce people to the expansive world of cider.

Matt chose to become a Certified Pommelier™ because he is passionate about what he does and wants to continue to learn and educate others about what cider has to offer.

Marina Borsalina

Marina is an international finance professional who converted to wine religion. She has been working in the wine industry, mainly focusing on promoting US wines. She has a WSET 3 certificate and was working as a consultant for the USDA representative office in Russia, who commissioned her to write a book on US winemaking – the first book in the Russian language on the subject. She has been working in the cider industry since 2020, spreading the word of cider. She judged at GLINTCAP in 2022. 

The cider industry in Russia has been booming for the last 6 years and since Marina is a big fan of this beverage she had to get involved. Almost three years ago she started researching local production and as a result ended up working for one of the main cidermakers in Russia. She was participating in the first cider festivals and cider conferences, and was also invited to judge the cider competition – Moscow Cider Days. While she was making wine during 2021 harvest at a winery in the US, she decided to try her luck with the Certified Pommelier™ exam. She is excited to be the First Russian Pommelier™.

Elissa Booth

After uprooting her life and moving to the Hudson Valley in January of 2021, Elissa’s only plan was to finish her Bachelor’s Degree and find a part-time job. A few months later, she started working at Angry Orchard as a Cidery Ambassador, giving tours of the property and guiding tastings. It wasn’t long before she fell in love with the cider industry. With a newly ignited passion for cider, she wanted to learn as much as she could, both for her guests’ sake and her own. She considers herself very lucky to be surrounded by an amazing and talented team who have not only supported, but encouraged her passion.

Elisha took the Certified Pommelier™ exam to establish an increased confidence when sharing cider with guests. Angry Orchard’s tour programs at the orchard are all about educating guests on all things cider. She says this accreditation helps to show cider has its own unique history and deserves its own place in the American consciousness.

Katie Campos

Katie is a passionate cider maker, tester and appreciator. Katie’s mind was blown after trying Eve’s and ANXO ciders, and as she sought out other incredible ciders and cidermakers, she fell in love with the cider community. She has apprenticed at both Eve’s and ANXO. Katie has a small cidery, Beau Fleuve Cider, in Buffalo, NY where she makes cider from largely foraged apples found in the City of Buffalo and in abandoned orchards around Western New York.  As a Certified Pommelier™, Katie is always talking to local bars and restaurants about the best ciders to pair with their draft list or menu, hoping to introduce as many people as possible to the wonderful world of cider.

Roland Poirier

Roland is an orchardist, home cidermaker, and cider enthusiast living in the Capital District of New York. He is in the process of planting a ten acre holding of European and heirloom bittersweet/bittersharp apples as an effort to preserve and propagate good cider fruit in his region. A consultant for government healthcare programs during the week, Roland spends his weekends combing the local area for good craft cider producers and supporting them however he can once he discovers them. Roland makes cider by sourcing both cultivated and wild apples from friends/family as well as state and town parks.

Roland took the Certified Pommelier™ exam because he feels there are a lot of phenomenal small producers of sophisticated and sustainably produced ciders out there that do not get the attention that they deserve. He took this certification so that he could support and promote those cideries and cidermakers in his local area while speaking a common language as other consumers, producers, and enthusiasts across the country. Roland finds everything about cider fascinating from the history, to apple cultivation methods, to the fermentation and blending of varieties. Obviously, consuming it is the best part if he had to pick one.

Will Loughlin

Will Loughlin started his career in cider as a pourer at a regional New York cider company and moved his way up to Head Cidermaker. Currently he is the Assistant Cidermaker at The Angry Orchard Innovation Center in Walden, New York and a sitting board member of the New York Cider Association. To supplement on the job training he has taken many classes through the Cider Institute of North America and regularly attends CiderCon®. Coming from a teaching background, he believes that if you aren’t trying to innovate and learn you are only hurting yourself. 

Jenn Smith

Jenn Smith runs Grow-NY, a food and ag startup program, for Cornell University, where she draws on her background in craft beverage market development, most recently as the founding Executive Director of the New York Cider Association and the Director of the New York State Distillers Guild. In addition to working with NYCA and NYSDG, Jenn was an NYC-based consultant to entrepreneurs creating value-added products and hospitality ventures. Before that, she was the marketing director of New York’s largest wine and spirits retailer.