By Bruce Nissen, Board President, firstname.lastname@example.org
USACM gained non-profit status in 2014. Right at the get-go, we adopted a structure to support the diversity of our membership:
(1) Tiered membership levels based on annual production.
(2) Board seats carved out for geographical regions and for large producers.
Our board functions with 11 seats: five are regional chairs, three are at-large, and three are set aside for large producers. These carved-out seats simultaneously provide for the inclusion of large producers and keep their influence in balance. Until now, the large producer benchmark has been a half million gallons a year. 500,000 gallons of cider was a lot for even our most widely-distributed members in 2014.
Today, our industry has changed. You are expanding distribution, adding production lines, and entering new markets. It’s great news for the cider industry. To reflect this phenomenal growth, we are updating our benchmark for large producers. Moving forward, the three large producer board seats will be for cideries making more than a million gallons a year.
The diversity of USACM’s membership is our greatest strength. We have cideries of all shapes and sizes, and we work hard to make sure our programming supports all your needs. For example, we will have an entire track for orchard-based heritage cider producers at CiderCon 2018.
It pleases us to need to respond to your growth. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, and thank you for growing with us!
By the way, if you are producing 500,000-999,999 gallons a year, your membership fee will be lower as a result of this change. Good news for you!