By David Fasman
Recently, we held the annual membership webinar. We did things a bit different this year. We held three interactive webinars, recorded them, and will have them posted online for your viewing pleasure. We covered all of the exciting things happening with the Barista Guild of America.
In case you haven’t heard, there are three relatively new executive council members – myself, Gabe Smentek, and Mark Hundley. Other current members include Laila Ghambari, Todd Mackey, Lorenzo Perkins, Alexandra Littlejohn, Miguel Vicuna, Matt Scott, and Sarah Leslie. Please feel free to reach out to us if you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns. You can find our contact information on the BGA website and you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t know who to reach out to.
Membership of the BGA has continued to grow over the past few years. As our vision is to be the world’s most important network for the professional barista, we want to see the BGA flourish and the power exists in our membership. We can all be advocates for the BGA. And if we could explain to one friend a year how amazing it is to be part of such a vibrant community, we could double our membership every year.
Available resources and content continue to grow. The BGA blog has more posts than ever, and as a member, you have the ability to contribute! You can share your ideas with the world. The Specialty Coffee Chronicle is bursting with incredible information. Class resources are available online and the BGA’s social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) is booming. Also, if you have ever wanted to find BGA members in your area, the recently released member map is the tool for you. You can find other members, local groups, and executive council members.
As a BGA member you can run your event as a member driven event. The BGA will post about your event on its social media and you can get free swag for the event as well. Our events committee is currently developing out of the box templates for events that can help you run the event you have always wanted to, but didn’t quite know how. Barista Camp is still the premier event for barista education and Bloom is succeeding as an event that promotes dialogue and discussion within the coffee community.
Education is still a major focal point of the Barista Guild. There are near 1600 certified level 1 baristas! Our pathways committee is constantly working to improve the quality and quantity of our education, while ensuring that we stick to our mission of innovating, sharing, and demonstrating best practices in coffee preparation. A mentorship program for individuals seeking barista certification will be rolling out soon. The barista campus program is flourishing, and with unification, the committee is working to determine an SCAA/SCAE equivalency.
The future is bright for the BGA and personally, I can’t wait to see what the BGA looks like in 5 years. I expect us to grow in membership, our events to be better than ever, and our education to be next to none. For more information on the guild head over to the website, watch the webinars, and most of all – feel free to ask any questions!
Missed the Annual Meeting? Watch the webinars: