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Speakers

From other cidermakers willing to share their expertise in not only cidermaking, but also from their previous backgrounds in other fields, to professionals from various backgrounds who just love cider and want to see us all succeed, we are so lucky to have such an amazing variety of people who are so generous about sharing their knowledge with us. You can learn more about all of our speakers below.

Meet Our Keynote Speaker

Sunny Gandara

Sunny Gandara

Sunny Gandara, a native of Norway, has worked in the food and wine business in NYC for nearly two decades, from sales and marketing to distribution, retail and wine education. She holds her WSET Diploma, is a Certified Wine Educator and Spirit Specialist through the Society of Wine Educators, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar and a Vinitaly Italian Wine Ambassador.

Sunny is the founder and owner of The Plant Curious Table, a plant-based food and wine education and consulting firm providing virtual and in-person classes and tastings for private and corporate clients as well as offering brand collaboration opportunities where she creates recipes and food and wine pairing content.

Sunny focuses her messaging to a non-vegan clientele who identify as “plant curious” based on her experience going from an omnivorous chef and food lover to converting to a vegan lifestyle later in life.

For several years Sunny was the United States Brand Director for world renowned winery Querciabella, a leading vegan, organic and biodynamic winery located in Chianti Classico in Tuscany, Italy.  She also worked closely with the owner of Querciabella, Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni as an associate at Vegan Capital, Mr. Castiglioni’s venture capital firm investing in carefully vetted plant-based ventures in fields as varied as fashion, food, healthcare, education, hospitality, and technology. Simultaneously she held the position as Global Wine Director and Advisor for Matthew Kenney Cuisine, a plant-based hospitality group with over 25 restaurants across 5 continents.

Sunny is a trained chef through the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC and the author of the popular food blog, Arctic Grub, where she veganizes traditional, Scandinavian recipes.

Meet Our Speakers

Kate Anstreicher

Kate Anstreicher

Session:

Cider’s Taste of Place: Trialing Apple Varieties and Regions in NY State

Bio:

Kate has worked at the Glynwood Center for Food and Farming since spring 2019. As Program Manager, Kate supports Glynwood's Regional Food Programs and Farmer Training Programs, including Glynwood's farm apprenticeship, the Hudson Valley CSA Coalition, and the Food Sovereignty Fund. In helping build and maintain Glynwood's networks of farmers, chefs, cider makers, and other food system actors, Kate works with the aim of establishing a more cohesive, equitable and robust Hudson Valley.

Kate graduated from Yale in 2018 with a degree in Environmental Studies. Her work for the Yale Sustainable Food Program gave her experience in event planning, organic farming, food justice, and outdoor education. Originally from Iowa, Kate sees sustainable agriculture as an imperative initiative to protect the environment and local farming communities. When she's not thinking about food and farming systems, Kate enjoys trail running, playing chamber music, and cooking.

Katie Black

Katie Black

Session:

Tackling Taprooms

Bio:

Katie Black entered the CiderCon® world just earlier this year as one of the first Kulture scholarship recipients. Her endless love for fermentation & product development peaked her curiosity on fruited ferments.

She calls the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina home. Here, she also graduated from the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast with a Brewing, Distillation, & Fermentation degree.

Consulting has been part of the last 6 years for Katie in various realms of business, with a primary focus in the food & beverage world. The majority of her experience started with the brewing industry; from business openings, management, SOP building, all the way to cellar work, & a LOT of cleaning. This landed her with reopening  & rebranding the original taproom at Artifact Cider Project. She spent most of the pandemic working in the cellar or behind the bar at DSSOLVR & a harvest season with the Biltmore estate.

Educating & advocating are two realms of the craft beverage industry that Katie hopes to continue to be a part of.

When she's not working you can find her camping, trying a new local restaurant, or traveling.

Stina Booth

Stina Booth

Session:

The 4 Components of Flavor: Orcharding for High-Flavor Fruit

Bio:

Stina has been orcharding in north central Washington for nearly 30 years. She realized early on that her small orchard was not going to make it growing normal fruit, which led to the quest of finding the best tasting varieties for her site, and growing them to perfection. With a background in geology and forestry, orcharding, with its interactions of trees and soil, has been the best of both worlds. While the bulk of the harvest went to fresh sales in Seattle, cider has always been part of the mixture. 3 years ago Stina and her husband, John Richardson, began scaling up the cider operation, and last year committed most of the harvest to cider.

Richie Brady

Richie Brady

Session:

A Proposal for a Systemic Approach to Tasting Cider

Bio:

As part of a Masters in Gastronomy and Food Studies, Richie’s thesis focused on a systematic approach to tasting and describing cider as well as the history of cider in Gaelic Ireland, Georgian Ireland and modern Ireland. He has contributed to the cider magazine Malus and spoken on the cider podcast Cider Chat on these topics. He was co-author, alongside the Irish craft cider representative body, of a promotional booklet which was sponsored by Bord Bia (the Irish state agency promoting Irish food and beverages internationally) on Irish craft cider.

Richie comes to the world of cider from a background in wine and spirits where he holds the WSET Diploma. He is an associate judge at the International Wine Challenge, a qualified Cava educator and presented a paper on the broken language of wine at the 2022 Dublin Gastronomic Symposium. Having obtained the IBD certificate in brewing, he is also currently undertaking a postgraduate in brewing and distilling in TUDublin.

With over 25 years of experience, his primary occupation is in project management.

Dorien Clark

Dorien Clark

Session:

Making Your Mark: Innovative Brand Management and Trademark Strategies

Bio:

Dorien Clark is an Associate at McAndrews, Held & Malloy, focusing on patent litigation and corporate trademark strategies. Throughout his time at McAndrews, Dorien has worked on a variety of intellectual property matters, including various trademark matters involving registration of federal trademarks, portfolio building, and enforcement.

Dorien graduated first in his class and summa cum laude from the University of Illinois at Chicago, John Marshal Law School, where he a part of the inaugural class of the Dean's Leadership Academy and served as Lead Articles Editor for the Review of Intellectual Property Law. His student article, 'The Yeezy Boost 350 Copyright Registration: Did Kanye West Turn Justice Breyer's Fear Into a Reality?' was published in Vol. 19 of the journal. Prior to law school, Dorien attended the University of Cincinnati, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Chemistry.

Andrew Coplon

Andrew Coplon

Session:
Bio:
Andrew Coplon is the Founder of Secret Hopper and Craft Beer Professionals. Andrew helps businesses nationwide create more memorable and profitable taproom experiences using data-based insights gathered from thousands of visits. He has successfully built a community of 16,000 Craft Beer Professionals dedicated to the growth and betterment of our industry across the United States. When he isn’t building relationships on Zoom or meeting you for a pint, he enjoys climbing jungle gyms with his son, Max, or planning the next adventure with his wife, Stacie.
Jennie Dorsey

Jennie Dorsey

Session:

Happy Hour Cider Pairings

Bio:

Jennie Dorsey is founding member of Pomme Boots Society for women in the Cider Industry and has held numerous positions since she first entered the Cider Industry over a decade ago. Jennie actually began her journey in the coffee industry where she was a nationally ranked competition barista and trainer specializing in sensory analysis with a focus on food pairings.  The skills honed in competition led her on the path of beverage discovery, where she fell in love with cider and it’s unmatched pairing possibilities. Jennie is a working member of the Cider Certification team, and she was given the distinguished award of Cider Server of the Year in 2018 by the ACA. Jennie is passionate about food and beverage of all kinds, cinema, vintage lifestyle and can always be spotted by her brightly colored hair.

Jennie currently serves as the Cider Education Outreach Manager at the American Cider Association.

Jana Daisy-Ensign

Jana Daisy-Ensign

Session:

Win at the Cider Club Game

Bio:

Jana has been a champion of craft beverage for over fifteen years. She is a cider judge, Certified PommelierTM, founding member of Pomme Boots Society and published category writer. Deeply passionate about cider and community, Jana was the inaugural recipient of PICC’s NW Cider Leadership Award in 2019. She currently serves as Program Manager for Northwest Cider Association.

Liz Garibay

Liz Garibay

Session:

Tour Guide for Historical Tavern Tour

Bio:

Liz Garibay is a historian and award-winning museum professional who explores history and culture through the lens of alcohol. Beginning her museum career as a spry anthropology intern at the Field Museum at the age of 15, Liz has logged in over thirty years of experience in the arts. She has held curatorial positions at the Field Museum, the Museum of Science & Industry, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, and the Chicago History Museum.  

A natural storyteller, her work and overall expertise has been lauded by international publications including The Huffington Post, the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Toronto Star, and The Scotsman. She has served as a consultant and contributor to a variety of historic publications and radio and television shows.

Liz is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Brewseum, the world’s first non-profit dedicated to highlighting the dynamic history and culture of the global brewing industry. She currently serves on the Board of Directors the Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing & Distilling, an organization working to diversify the modern craft beer industry.

Elizabeth Garofalo

Elizabeth Garofalo

Session:

The Impacts of Drought on Apple Production

Bio:

Elizabeth Garofalo is currently the Marketing and Outreach Manager at Red Tomato Food Hub. Elizabeth W. Garofalo grew up in Shelburne MA, having spent the first ten years of her life in Buckland, MA. After much travel, and a stint in the Air Force as a Security Forces fire team member, she returned home and received her Associates, Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Plant Soil and Insect Sciences at the University of Massachusetts. She worked for with the University of Massachusetts Extension fruit team for seven years performing applied research studies and related timely pest management information to commercial fruit growers.

Joe Gaynor

Joe Gaynor

Sessions:

Cider’s Taste of Place: Trialing Apple Varieties and Regions in NY State

Equipment Decisions When Scaling Up Production

Bio:

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. Joe is also a Certified Pommelier™.

Chris Gerling

Chris Gerling

Session:

A Guide to Cider Carbonation Methods

Bio:

Chris Gerling is an Extension Associate in the department of Food Science at Cornell University. He works with the craft beverage industry to create educational programs that support the growth and improved quality of premium wines, ciders and distilled spirits. He is the manager of the Vinification & Brewing Technology Lab, where fermentations are conducted for research projects and applied trials; and the Cornell Craft Beverage Analytical Lab, where products may be submitted for troubleshooting, routine analysis or sensory appraisal. He also organizes and conducts workshops and seminars that focus on production and analytical techniques for farm-based beverages. Chris is the past chair of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture/ Eastern Section and serves on the ASEV national chapter’s laboratory proficiency committee. He is a member of the Cider Institute of North America’s executive committee.

Yann Gilles

Yann Gilles

Session:

Fostering the Aromatic Expression of Your Ciders

Bio:

Yann Gilles is a French Oenologue and Cidrologue, founder of cider and apple-spirit making consultancy Malus & Vitis, and has 25 years experience working in the cider sector.

Born in Normandy where he discovered cider made by his grandparents, Yann holds an engineering degree in agriculture and food industry from Ecole Supérieure d'Agriculture in Angers and a diploma of Oenologist from Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin Jules Guyot in Burgundy. Yann launched his own consultancy in 2020 where he partners with cider producers to create apple juice, ciders, perries and spirits using a range of methods. Prior to this, Yann was scientific director at the French R&D Cider Institute for 10 years, and before that he worked for more than a decade in a professional organization for agriculture, consulting to 50 cideries and leading a team of oenologists working on cider.

Tim Godfrey

Tim Godfrey

Sessions:

Is SO2 Necessary?

The Certified Pommelier™ Program’s Structured Sensory Evaluation of Cider

Bio:

Tim Godfrey has been involved in the cider industry for over ten years, making cider commercially in the Midwest as well as on the West Coast, and has volunteered for the American Cider Association since 2019. Tim currently works at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, MI in the Wine and Viticulture Program, running the teaching winery and instructing enology coursework. He continues to stay involved in the cider industry through the ACA, as a consultant to startup and emerging cideries across the U.S. through his business Godfrey Beverage Solutions, and as a home orchardist and cidermaker. He is also a Certified Pommelier™.

Mary Guiver

Mary Guiver

Session:

The Shelf Space Race and How to Win

Bio:

With 17+ plus years in the grocery retail landscape, including over a decade of category management in bev-alc, Mary Guiver’s dynamic background at Whole Foods Market Inc provides a unique blend of retail insights.

As the Principal Global Category Merchant for Beer & Spirits she continues to enhance the WFM program with a continued focus on craft and local cider, beer, innovation categories, with a steadfast commitment to consumer demand, supplier partnerships, and industry-leading quality standards. With a keen eye for trend evolution and a collaborative approach to chain retail, Mary can elaborate on the inner strategies of one of the top chain retailers in the market.

Andy Hannas

Andy Hannas

Session:

Tackling Microbial Spoilage During Aging: Comparing the Effects of Chitosan and Hideki Tannin

Bio:

Andy was born and raised in the Tidewater region of Virginia before moving to Richmond, VA for 10 years, all of which were spent working in the culinary field. His love of food led to an interest in fermentation and agriculture which eventually led to him leaving the restaurant industry to pursue an internship in small scale farming, and ultimately stumbling into a cellar position at Potter's Craft Cider. He spent his early years washing kegs, filling bottles, and delivering cider around the state while also using his culinary background and natural curiosity to experiment and push Potter's in new directions. His love of experimentation, local agriculture and Belgian beer are all evident in the current portfolio at Potter's Craft Cider.

 

Darlene Hayes

Darlene Hayes

Session:

The Certified Pommelier™ Program’s Structured Sensory Evaluation of Cider

Bio:

Cider expert and author of Cider Cocktails - Another Bite of the Apple, Darlene Hayes has traveled throughout the world interviewing cidermakers, growers, and researchers, all the while drinking many fabulous ciders and trying to wrap her head around cider, past and present. She is a well regarded international cider judge and teacher, editor of the cider zine Malus, and writes about cider for a variety of other publications, including a regular column for Spirited Magazine, as well as at allintocider.com. She makes a bit of cider of her own from her orchard where she is conducting research on the impact of terroir on apples used for cider.

Julia Herz

Julia Herz

Session:

Speaker for Cidery Guild Leadership Network

Bio:

Julia Herz is executive director of the American Homebrewers Association® (AHA)—the nation’s largest hobbyist not for profit organization for homebrewers and fermented beverages.

Julia is a BJCP Certified beer judge, Advanced Cicerone®, medal-winning homebrewer, and experienced zymurgist having made beer, mead, cider, and fermented foods since 1994. Julia is the co-author of Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros (Voyager Press, 2015) and the CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Guide.

Prior to joining the AHA, Julia was the craft beer program director and publisher of CraftBeer.com for the Brewers Association, where she led the development of the Brewers Association’s Independent Craft Brewer Seal.

Julia has been a guest on national media outlets including National Public Radio, Sirius/XM, CBNC Squawk Box and Closing Bell, Fox News, Good Morning America, the Food Network, and American Public Media’s Splendid Table.

Julia has been at the helm of the 43-year-old membership organization since December 2021

Andrew Hummel

Andrew Hummel

Session:

More Than a Beverage: Cider Category Performance

Bio:

Andrew Hummel is a Client Solutions Director for CGA Strategy and is responsible for driving the success of On-Premise Operator & Supplier partners within the channel.

Andrew brings 10+ years of comprehensive three-tier system experience and valuable BevAl/CPG industry knowledge to the CGA team. His background helps clients contextualize data and generate actionable strategies from CGA’s leading US market insights.

Andrew attended Indiana University – Kelley School of Business and currently lives in Chicago, IL.

Dr J Nikol Jackson-Beckham

Dr. J Nikol Jackson-Beckham

Session:
A former professor of Communication Studies, Dr. J Jackson-Beckham dedicated her academic career to the study of American beer. Today, she helps craft beverage organizations develop inclusive, equitable, and just practices that drive success, build communities, and empower individuals through her consultancy, Crafted For All, LLC. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Craft x EDU (pronounced “craft by E-D-U”), a nonprofit whose mission is to champion equity, inclusion, and justice in the craft brewing community through education and professional development. She is an author, speaker, and vocal advocate for the craft beverage community. In 2018, Dr. J was named the Brewers Association’s first ever Diversity Ambassador. In 2020, she was named Imbibe Magazine’s 2020 Beer Person of the Year.
Claude Jolicoeur

Claude Jolicoeur

Session:
Bio:
Claude Jolicoeur is the author of the recently released Cider Planet and of The New Cider Maker’s Handbook, which has been acclaimed worldwide as a major reference on the topic of cider making. A mechanical engineer and research scientist by profession, he started in the late 1980s making cider as a hobby and has since earned many awards at competitions, including Best of Show at the prestigious Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP). Claude has traveled widely throughout the Cider Planet, is regularly invited to be a guest speaker or cider judge at international cider festivals and events, and actively participates in discussion forums such as the Cider Workshop. He lives in Quebec City.
Lester Jones

Lester Jones

Session:

Alcohol Beverages and Cider: 2023 and Beyond

Bio:

Lester Jones is the Chief Economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Jones tracks the economic factors that impact the beer distribution industry and alcohol policy decisions at the federal, state and local levels. He evaluates and develops primary industry data, including economic impact, tax impacts, sales and volume data.

Jones has more than 20 years of experience in research, survey methodology and applied economics. He previously served as chief economist at the Beer Institute, where he developed and executed significant research initiatives that helped shape America’s beer industry.

In addition to his decade of work at the Beer Institute, Jones previously worked for Arbitron Company (Nielsen) in Columbia, Maryland, and the Regional Economic Studies Institute in Towson, Maryland. Jones holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Delaware as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Jocelyn Kuzelka

Jocelyn Kuzelka

Session:

Tackling Microbial Spoilage During Aging: Comparing the Effects of Chitosan and Hideki Tannin

Bio:

Jocelyn Kuzelka is a winemaker, cidermaker, and technical consultant. Since 2003, Jocelyn has followed her love of fermentation and enology all around the world with experience working wine grape harvests in the U.S., Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. Her education includes a B.S. in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and a M.S. in Oenology from the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

Jocelyn has been serving as a consultant to winemakers and cidermakers across the country, as well as creating small batch wines and ciders in Virginia since 2008.  Jocelyn’s company Panacea Wine & Cider Consulting has helped producers build successful, thriving wine and cider companies; working with many different producers over the years has given her a high level of mastery and proficiency in the field.

Jocelyn also serves as the Cider Specialist for the Virginia Winemakers Research Exchange, a non-profit organization of Virginia producers pursuing quality improvement through practical experimentation in vineyards, orchards, wineries, and cideries.  The organization supports wine and cider makers to refine ideas or questions through experimental design, protocol design, funding laboratory analysis,  and finally conducting sensory and statistical evaluation.

Jacob Lahne

Jacob Lahne

Session:
Bio:
Jacob Lahne is an assistant professor of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech.  He holds a BA in Mathematics from Oberlin College, an MS in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a PhD in Animal, Nutrition, and Food Sciences from the University of Vermont.  The overall objective of Dr. Lahne's research program is to develop new methods for the sensory evaluation and analysis of foods and to use those methods to generate knowledge in unexplored areas of sensory science.  Dr. Lahne's current projects mostly focus on understanding the sensory qualities of Virginia (and American) hard cider, the application of Natural Language Processing methodologies to unstructured consumer descriptions of food, and the critical integration of food science and food studies.
Megan Larmer

Megan Larmer

Megan Larmer is Senior Director of Regional Food Programs at the Glynwood Center. She leads projects that convene food and farming professionals to execute training, collective efforts, and creative projects that further the development of a regional food system in the Hudson Valley. Primary amongst these are the Cider Project, the Hudson Valley CSA Coalition, Grains and Staples, CSA is a SNAP and the Food Sovereignty Fund.  Previously, Megan was Director of Strategic Initiatives and Community Outreach for Slow Food USA. She holds an MA with distinction in Anthropology from SOAS, University of London, where her research focused on seed exchange, first-generation women farmers and food heritage. Megan is currently a PhD researcher in anthropology at the University of Exeter’s Center for Rural Policy Research investigating the social dynamics of the local food movement in the Hudson Valley. Megan has a broad range of experience in food and agriculture, including ten years as a restaurant professional, farmer's market manager, and community garden organizer.
Nicole Leibon

Nicole Leibon

Session:

To Blend or Not to Blend? A Tasting to Explore Varietal Characteristics and Blending Techniques

Bio:

Particularly known for her skill at tasting and blending, Nicole LeGrand Leibon has been cited as one of the best cider judges because of her generous feedback. As the first cider-specific hire for Farnum Hill Ciders and Poverty Lane Orchards in 2000, she helped create a style that honored the terroir and the fruit, while gaining renown for the best ciders in America. In 2018, while finishing her 19th harvest at Farnum Hill Ciders, Nicole went on to expand her skills to distilling. She became the Assistant Distiller at SILO Distillery in Windsor, VT, as well as Head Cidermaker. In her first year working solely with dessert and heirloom varieties, her cider won acclaim and was a Finalist for the 2020 Good Food Awards.

Deeply experienced in cider, from orchard to package, Nicole has been there for industry growth from its tiny beginnings to the juggernaut it is today. She has traveled extensively to taste and judge cider, and to teach sensory analysis. Previous gigs as brewer and yeast lab tech. Super powers:  sense of smell and ability to break glassware. Cider blend consultant LeNose Knows.

Nicole is also a board member for CINA.

Megan MacLean

Megan MacLean

Session:

Tackling Taprooms

Bio:

Megan MacLean is the Director of Hospitality for Artifact Cider Project in Massachusetts. She is a relative newcomer to the world of cider, but has an extensive background in the hospitality industry. She has been a bartender, pastry chef, and events director, to name a few. In recent years, Megan has honed her skills in operations through management positions at some of Boston's best restaurants. In her position with Artifact, she has opened and reopened taprooms, built a successful private events program from scratch, and created a culture of inclusive hospitality. She is passionate about craft beverages, culture building, and hospitality above all else. Megan is a proud bar mom, leading her teams in innovative new directions, and hopes to make a positive impact on the future of beverage culture at large. She is now a Certified Cider Professional, and lives in Boston with her rescue dog Rosie.
Ian Merwin

Ian Merwin

Session:

Cider’s Taste of Place: Trialing Apple Varieties and Regions in NY State

Bio:

Ian Merwin grew up on a farm in the Hudson Valley, graduated from Reed College in 1969, and then lived in Chile before working 14 years in the California horticulture industry. He completed a PhD in Pomology and Plant Ecology at Cornell University in 1990, and then worked as a professor at Cornell until he retired in 2013 to devote my remaining years to fruit-growing and cider-making.

His family has been making cider since 1985 and managing a 64-acre farm in the NY Finger Lakes  region since 1992. They grow more than 145 apple varieties, including many traditional cider apples from  the US and Europe. Their farm winery —Black Diamond Cider—makes 14 hard cider blends, all based  on their own homegrown fruit.

Christian Miller

Christian Miller

Session:

Wine and Beverage Consumer Trends for Cider Strategy

Bio:

Christian Miller has worked in market research, brand and category management for over two decades. He is the proprietor of Full Glass Research, based in Berkeley California, which provides market research and industry analysis for food and beverage producers and marketers. Recent Full Glass Research projects have included trade and consumer surveys, package tests, analyses of direct consumer sales, new product marketing plans and studies of the interaction between various categories of beverage alcohol. Clients range from small producers to large multi-brand companies to regional and national organizations, and cover the wine, beer, cheese and cider categories. In prior jobs, Christian marketed brands ranging from a few thousand cases to over a million, as well as working in retail and restaurants.

Christian also directs research for the Wine Market Council Miller, and has taught courses in marketing for UC Davis Extension. Mr. Miller holds a BA in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College and an MBA from Cornell University.

Mary Mills

Mary Mills

Session:

More Than a Beverage: Cider Category Performance

Bio:

Mary Mills joined 3 Tier Beverage in 2022 from NielsenIQ, where she spent 14 years across client management, business development, and innovation insights. She has experience working with various clients in the food, beverage, and consumer goods industries, with 9 years focused on alcohol specifically. She holds a Marketing degree from The Ohio State University and is an avid Buckeye fan. She resides in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Andy and two children, Luke (4 years old) and Ava (2 years old).

Brighid O'Keane

Brighid O'Keane

Sessions:

A Guide to Cider Carbonation Methods

Bio:

Brighid O'Keane is the Executive Director of the Cider Institute of North America; a non-profit organization with the mission to support a quality-driven and sustainable cider industry through education and research. Steered by the industry for the industry, CINA offers cider-specific training and certification for every stage of a career as a cider maker. Brighid joined CINA in 2016 with 15 years of experience in non-profit organization development in the agricultural and specialty beverage industries.

Greg Peck

Gregory Peck

Session:

From the Ground Up: Opportunities for Mechanical Apple Harvesting

Bio:

Gregory Peck is an Assistant Professor of Horticulture in Cornell University's School of Integrative Plant Science. He has conducted research in fruit-crop production systems in California, Washington, New York, and Virginia. Dr. Peck's academic training spans horticulture, plant physiology, soil science, entomology, food science, plant pathology, ecology, agricultural economics, and education. His research program is designed to support and improve the sustainability, productivity, and profitability of tree-fruit producers. Current projects focus on hard cider production, sustainable soil and ground cover management for apple orchards, and improving crop-load management in apple trees through the use of a pollen tube growth model.

Dan Pucci

Dan Pucci

Session:

The History, Pomage and Terroir of New York State's Cider

Bio:

Dan Pucci is the co-author of the book American Cider: a Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage to be released March 2, 2021, published by Ballentine, He was the founding beverage director at Wassail, New York City's first cider bar and restaurant, and has since traveled the country in a continued pursuit of cider education, awareness, and research. He is a partner in Wallabout Hospitality, a New York City-based consulting and hospitality company.

Julie Rhodes

Julie Rhodes

Sessions:

Building Sales SOPs for Your Distribution Partners

Increasing Retail Sales with Strategic KPIs

The Shelf Space Race and How to Win

Bio:

With over 20,000 hours of experience on the business side of the specialty beer industry, from field sales to digital marketing to regional management, a BA in Marketing from Texas State University at San Marcos, and more than 15 years of experience in the service industry, Julie Rhodes is an authority on beverage sales, marketing, sales team management, distributor partnership management, supply chain logistics, and customer service. She is the owner of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions, an educational services and consulting company that teaches sales, marketing & distribution management strategies to craft beverage professionals.

Bryan Roth

Bryan Roth

Session:

The Cider-Only Consumer No Longer Exists: Why Your Decisions Should Start with Cross-Category Drinkers

Bio:

Bryan Roth is a product and market analyst for Feel Goods Company, a full-definition creative studio for beverage brands. He’s covered beverage alcohol for a decade, with his reporting and research focused on consumer behavior, sales trends, and helping leaders across all tiers make decisions to help their business. His work regularly appears in Sightlines+ and Good Beer Hunting, the company's strategic editorial channels, where he works as news editor, data journalist, and podcast host. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Elizabeth Ryan

Elizabeth Ryan

Bio:
Elizabeth Ryan is the producer of Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider. She is a renowned fruit grower and cidermaker and has studied cider making in Somerset and Hereford in England. She has a degree in Pomology from Cornell University. She made her first barrel of cider there as a student in 1980. She bought Breezy Hill Orchard in Dutchess County in 1984 and has since expanded to operate two more orchards, one of which, is Stone Ridge Orchard in Ulster County. She is one of the founding GrowNYC Greenmarket farmers. She received the Cornucopia award from Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and was a Smithsonian Fellow. She was a keynote speaker at the NY State Governor's Alcohol Summit where she pushed policy that would support small-scale hard cider production.
Kary Shumway

Kary Shumway

Session:

Actionable Strategies for Taproom Success

Bio:

Kary Shumway is the founder of Craft Brewery Finance, an online resource for beer industry professionals. He has worked in the beer industry for more than 20 years as a certified public accountant and a chief financial officer for a beer distributor. He currently serves as CFO for Wormtown Brewery in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Craft Brewery Finance publishes a weekly beer industry finance newsletter, offers online training courses on topics such as cash flow planning, financial forecasting, and brewery metrics. During this crisis, Craft Brewery Finance is offering a Free 60-Day Subscription. Visit www.CraftBreweryFinance.com for details.

Clayton Slaughter

Clayton Slaughter

Session:

Succession Planning for Small to Mid-Sized Cideries and Orchards

Bio:

Clay Slaughter is the head cidermaker at Slaughter Orchard & Cidery in Bloomington, Indiana.  A natural educator, he frequently describes himself as a cider evangelist and loves helping people understand the source of their food.

Beyond cidermaking, Clay enjoys helping businesses with legal and strategy issues.  He has over 16 years of legal experience and has served in a range of business roles including CFO, COO, and CSO.  He has experience in large corporations, successful startups, non-profits, and family-owned businesses (both as family and as a non-family member).  He strongly believes that all types of businesses can benefit from all types of business planning – including the often discussed but seldom finalized succession planning.

As part of his legal career, Clay has taught a variety of university courses in business communications, legal writing, legal research, cultural awareness in criminal justice, and First Amendment Free Speech.

He has a genetic biology degree from Purdue University, law degree from Indiana University, and PhD in education from Indiana University.

Clay serves the ACA as a member of the Government Affairs Committee.

Cortni Stahl

Cortni Stahl

Bio:
Cortni is part of the Food Science Department at Cornell University. She is a laboratory technician in the Cornell Craft Beverage Analytical lab, where she runs beverage analysis for commerical and home wine, beer, cider, and kombucha producers. She also helps with extension courses at Cornell Agritech and is an instructor for the cider courses run by the Cider Institute of North America. Cortni is the founder, co-owner and head cidermaker at Star Cider in Canandaigua, NY. If she's not working she is probably exploring with her two littles, or in the garden (unless it is winter, then she is hibernating).
Amanda Stewart

Amanda Stewart

Bio:
Amanda Stewart is an Associate Professor of Food Science & Technology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, USA. Dr. Stewart addresses challenges in applied food and beverage fermentation science through an integrated research, teaching and extension program. Cider chemistry and cider fermentation are a major focus of her research, and she has been a regular speaker on cider science at regional and national conferences. Dr. Stewart holds a PhD in Food Science, MS and BS degrees in Agricultural & Biological Engineering and a BS in Biochemistry, all from Purdue University. Prior to academia, she worked in the wine industry in Oregon and New Zealand, and in engineering for sustainable development.  Dr. Stewart is a proud member of the CINA teaching team since early 2020.
Steve Trussler

Steven Trussler

Session:

Funk, Fault, or Phenolic Compound

Bio:

Steven Trussler is an instructor at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada and at the Cider Institute of North America. He brings a Master of Education, a BSc in Oenology and Viticulture, and five years of experience as a commercial winemaker to his passion for cider science education.

Malaika Tyson

Malaika Tyson

Session:

Making Your Mark: Innovative Brand Management and Trademark Strategies

Bio:

Dr. Malaika Tyson is an equity partner at McAndrews, Held & Malloy, whose practice focuses on corporate intellectual property and patent protection strategies. Malaika assists innovative companies in developing integrated approaches to the strategic management of intellectual property by providing patent and trademark prosecution, competitive intellectual property analysis and portfolio management, and management of complex multi-faceted intellectual property transactions. Malaika has developed innovative brand management strategies for several consumer goods companies.

She is named to IAM 300, a ranking that identifies the world's leading IP strategists. She was also selected as a Top 50 Women in the Law award honoree (2021) by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Malaika received her J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Purdue University.

Christine Walter

Christine Walter

Sessions:

Pet Nat's for the People: Lessons from Winemakers

To Blend or Not to Blend? A Tasting to Explore Varietal Characteristics and Blending Techniques

Bio:

Christine Walter started Bauman’s Cider out of a love of all things fermented and as a tribute to her family history of farming and orcharding. The farm was settled by her great great grandmother and her two sons in 1895 and Christine is the fifth generation of Baumans raising apples here.

She’s grown Bauman’s Cider to be the fifth largest cider producer by volume in Oregon. They specialize in both modern and traditional ciders, and strive to use the freshest and most local ingredients, if not from their own farm, then from neighboring farms, whenever possible. They aim to be good stewards of the land while creating enjoyable ciders.

Christine also serves on the board of the Cider Institute of North America (CINA).

Ria Windcaller

Ria Windcaller

Sessions:

The History, Pomage and Terroir of New York State's Cider

Bio:

Ria Windcaller is the producer and cider emcee at Cider Chat, a weekly podcast with makers, cider enthusiasts and folks in the cider trade around the world.

She is also an award winning, hobbyist cidermaker. She taught how-to make cider for the first 17 years of Franklin County Cider Days.

Brock Yenglin

Brock Yenglin

Session:

Implications of Category Management at Retail on Cider Sales

Bio:

Brock Yenglin is the Director of Visual Marketing at Market Technologies, Inc. After getting his degree in business from Ferris State University, he went to work for a beverage distributor executing merchandising strategies for Anheuser Busch InBev. Today, Brock has over a decade of experience in the retail industry and works with companies to manage their visual merchandising strategies. Brock has worked with Fortune 500 companies and Forbe's top 20 largest private companies to manage product categories at over 200,000 retail locations. When he's not hard at work, you can find Brock making cider from the varieties found in his family's century-old apple orchard.

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