This month, ACSA announced that its recent elections mark a first in drinks industry history, as a 100% women-identifying-led board will steer a national trade association. Additionally, women currently comprise 40% of the elected Board of Directors, which welcomed three new and two returning members.
Becky Harris of Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. in Purcellville, Virginia, was re-elected as President; Gina Holman of J. Carver Distillery in Waconia, Minnesota, was elected as Vice President; and Jessica Lemmon of Cart/Horse Distilling in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, was elected as Secretary/Treasurer.
The newly elected Board Members include Lucy Farber of St. George Spirits in Alameda, California; Mark A. Vierthaler of Whiskey Del Bac in Tucson, Arizona; and Kelly Woodcock of Westward Whiskey in Portland, Oregon. Jeff Kanof of Copperworks Distilling Co. in Seattle and Amber Pollock of Backwards Distilling Co. in Casper, Wyoming, were also re-elected to the Board.
Departing the board after the completion of their terms are Ryan Christiansen of Caledonia Spirits in Montpelier, Vermont, and Molly Troupe of Freeland Spirits in Portland, Oregon. We’d like to extend our thanks to Ryan and Molly for their years of service to the board and their ongoing contributions to ACSA.
Moreover, we extend our gratitude to P.T. Wood of Wood’s High Mountain Distillery in Salida, Colorado, and Kanof, whose terms as Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer, respectively, expired. Each helped guide the association, as a part of its executive leadership team, during particularly trying times due to COVID-19. Their business acumen and responsiveness to unprecedented demands, kept not only this trade association afloat, but aided in securing COVID-related relief for our industry.
Together, Harris, Holman, Lemmon and the current and newly-appointed Board of Directors will work with CEO Margie A.S. Lehrman to address the key issues facing the craft distilling industry, including the organization’s continued push for direct-to-consumer shipping.
“I am honored to be selected again by my fellow board members, a group of incredible leaders within our craft distilling community, as President, and I am excited to continue the incredible momentum behind our industry on the heels of our federal excise tax (FET) victory and the slow, but changing direct shipping ecosystem,” said Harris, as she begins her second term as President.
Lehrman added, “As a woman in drinks, particularly at a trade association level, [this] marks an important milestone as we announce the election of our first-ever women-led Board. Though ACSA remains focused on critical industry issues such as parity, tax reform, trade, and direct shipping, we continue to pour our hearts and efforts into the STEPUP Foundation, the 501(c)3 non-profit immersive internship program we helped create late last year. Through STEPUP, our work is narrowly focused on an important mission: to change the face of the drinks industry, one intern at a time. While we still have so much work to do—particularly within the communities that have been most marginalized historically—we are beginning to see a shift in drinks.”
Following these elections, the ACSA Board of Directors will also be appointing leadership to its governing committees. Those committees include Membership, Ethics, Convention, Education, Elections, Safety, ACSA PAC, Mentorship, Judging, Government Affairs, State Guilds, Technology, Finance, DtC and Development.
The national digital election was administered with the help of the Election’s Chair, Renee Bemis of Driftless Glen Distillery in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and Jeff Wuslich of Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington, Indiana.
The 2022 Board of Directors, representing the craft spirits industry nationwide, is comprised of the following individuals:
Becky Harris, Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. (VA)
Amber Pollock, Backwards Distilling Co. (WY) (re-elected)
Mark A. Vierthaler, Whiskey Del Bac (AZ) (newly elected)
P.T. Wood, Wood’s High Mountain Distillery (CO)
Lucy Farber, St. George Spirits (CA) (newly elected)
Jeff Kanof, Copperworks Distilling Co. (WA) (re-elected)