With over 900 cider producers and counting, the cider industry is a mosaic of business models, cider styles, geographies and individuals. Since we first earned our non-profit status in 2014, USACM has worked to push forward programming that benefits everybody in our industry’s ecosystem. One way we do this is by making efforts to ensure different types, sizes and regions of cideries have representation on our committees and Board. This requires regular evaluation as the industry continues to grow and our programming adapts to meet the industry’s needs.
Recently, the Board of Directors paused to examine the structure of our membership regions and board. Two changes were the result of that reflection.
USACM Creates Pacific Coast Membership Region for California and Hawaii
Our membership elects regional chairs to the board of directors. The Mountain West region previously included Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. Geographically, the region is vast to say the least.
With over 100 cider producers and counting, California is vying for the most-producers-per-state distinction. The USACM board felt that between unique market challenges and sheer number of producers, it was time to carve out a new region that included California. Hawaii, previously in the Northwest membership region, will also be included. We are calling this new membership area the Pacific Coast region. Next January will be the first opportunity for members from this region to elect a chair to the board of directors.
USACM Board Hopes to Recruit Small Producers
The cider industry is comprised of many small operations and a few larger ones. Although we currently have smaller producers represented on our board (45% of our board members produced under 60,000 gallons each in 2018), we want to be sure that the smallest cideries are always at the table. These smaller cideries are a large volume of our membership and the industry, and we want them to feel welcome and listened to. We are adding a new ‘At Large’ seat to the roster, and we are strongly encouraging producer-growers from small-by-design cideries to run for this seat in the 2020 election.
2020 Board Elections
There are new three-year terms starting for the following 5 board positions:
Regional Chairs (4) (under 1M g/yr)
- Midwest (IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI, KY)
- Northwest (OR, WA, ID, MT, AK)
- Mountain West (AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY, SD, ND, KS, NE, OK, TX)
- Pacific Coast (CA, HI)
At Large (1)
- We are strongly encouraging producer-growers making less than 25,000 gal/year to run for this seat.
Considering running? Please join us for this information webinar on November 20 (11AM PST/2PM EST). We’ll discuss what it’s like to serve on the board and answer any questions. All board positions are volunteer roles.
Our board is increasingly diverse in some measures, but it remains homogenous in others. We have initiated efforts to address representation on our board, in the industry, and throughout the cider consumer base. Fostering diversity and equity takes commitment, and we’ve just begun our journey to define this goal and its strategy. We hope you’ll join us in inviting our colleagues of underrepresented groups to be involved in the association.
Last year we switched our voting to 100% electronic to allow our members to vote regardless of whether or not they can attend CiderCon. The voting will take place as the same time as CiderCon, January 28-31, 2020