Executive Board


Nick Gunn

BenchGraft Consulting

Nick Gunn is a native of Oregon, born and raised in Eugene. With a passion for sustainable agriculture and fermentation, Nick planted a cider apple orchard with his wife Mimi in 2003. In 2004, Nick founded Wandering Aengus Ciderworks with the goal of producing world class European styled ciders as well as breaking ground on new American styles. In 2016, Nick sold his ownership in Wandering Aengus to pursue his passion for cider education and outreach. In addition to his NWCA leadership role, he is currently the President of the Cider Institute of North America and has spearheaded projects such as the “Cidermakers Toolkit”, a wiki to help cider professionals get their business off the ground. Nick continues to offer consulting to startup cider companies and teaches cider making classes through the Oregon State Extension Office and various other organizations.


Eric Jorgenson

Vice President
Finnriver Farm & Cidery

Eric Jorgensen is a school-teacher turned cider-maker and small business owner now living on the Olympic Peninsula.  He teamed up with friends Keith and Crystie Kisler to found Finnriver Cidery in 2008 and they brought their first cider to the market in early 2010.  As juggling teaching, cider-making, and the business end of Finnriver got the best of him, Eric left his teaching job in the Spring of 2012 and has since devoted himself full-time to helping develop new ciders and wines at Finnriver as well continuing to manage the finances of the business.  He joined the Board of Directors of the NWCA as Treasurer in the fall of 2012, bringing his experience from Finnriver, and from years as a Board member and Finance Committee Chair of a non-profit school.  When he isn’t working, his favorite thing to do is spend time with his wife Abby and their two daughters, Claire and Stella.

Anne Hubatch

Secretary                                        Co-Owner, Alter Ego Cider

Anne is no stranger to fermenting fruit in the Northwest! For the past 15 years, she has been focusing on fine wine production in the Willamette Valley; most recently under her three brands: Helioterra Wines, Whoa Nelly Wines and Guild Winemakers. She has been recognized by her peers as an emerging leading in the wine industry. She currently sits on the Board of Directors ofthe Willamette Valley Wineries Association and she was the past Secretary of the Portland Urban Wineries Association.
 Two years ago, she and friends Nate & Kris Wall launched their Portland based cider company - Alter Ego Cider. Anne has a great interest to be more involved in the rapidly growing and emerging world of cider. To the Northwest Cider Association, she brings the experience of the wine industry and her enthusiasm to help grow our cider industry. We are at a critical time in defining 'What is craft cider?' and Anne is excited to contribute to this process.


Emily Ritchie

Executive Director
Northwest Cider Association

A native Oregonian, Emily Ritchie loves the people in the cider industry. As a dual citizen with the US and the UK, cider is part of her heritage. She is thrilled to be working in a burgeoning industry as she specializes in supporting new organizations related to food and beverages. She has spent careful time the last 4 years, immersing herself in the world of cideries here in the PNW, across the US and parts of Canada (hi Quebec!), in England, France, Spain, and even Chile.

Before her role as Executive Director, she worked for an Oregon cider company, a start up food manufacturing company in Salem, and spent two years at the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Marketing Department, managing the FoodCorps Oregon program, as the first Fellow in the state. She has been an activist, a garden educator, a lobbyist, a sales associate, a Slow Food board member, and many other roles since she graduated with honors from Occidental College in Los Angeles. In her free time she loves to swing dance as well as feel the soil beneath her fingernails, from her vegetable garden.


David Bauermeister

Executive Director
Northwest Agricultural Business Center

Prior to joining NABC in 2006 as its first Executive Director, David Bauermeister served as Director of the Agricultural and Natural Resources division for the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of Northwest Natural Resources Institute. His agriculture background includes experience as the head of the Spokane Ag Expo, General Manager of Pacific Northwest Fiber LLC, and Assistant Manager and Shareholder of the Northwest Pea and Bean Company. David enjoys hiking and cycling and is the former head of the Inland Northwest Trails Coalition of Spokane, WA. David is a graduate of Washington State University.


Board Members

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Ruth Howell

Cider Enthusiast and Strategic Communications Professional

Since enjoying her first taste of hard cider during college long before the recent resurrection of the traditional American beverage, Ruth has been an avid follower of the American cider industry. A resident of the Pacific Northwest and consumer of its agricultural bounty for over twelve years, Ruth is pleased to apply her strategic planning and communications skillset to the innovative and enterprising cider industry.

Ruth has led collaborative planning and communications efforts around the globe as a communications director for NOAA Fisheries for over 8 years. She advises leadership teams on strategic direction to create lasting change and has guided the development of NWCA’s strategic communications plan. Her previous board posts include the Women’s Aquatic Network and The Coastal Society and she holds a degree in Communications Leadership from the University of Washington. A lover of all things water, free time finds her hiking to mountain lakes for frigid yet invigorating dips, ideally followed by a cold PNW cider.


Philippe Bishop

Co-Owner, Alpenfire Cider

Alpenfire Cider is a small organic orchard on the Olympic Peninsula where we produce all of our ciders.  I’ve been involved with cider in the Northwest since 2008 in a variety of capacities…as you all know, with any small company, we all wear many hats!  I have experience working in distribution, importation, collaboration, marketing, and direct sales.   I also have previous experience working on the board of another local non-profit.  There has been much growth and many changes since the NWCA was launched, and I’m proud to say Alpenfire was a founding member at the time.  I am confident that my past experiences will lend greatly to a position with the board.

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Shannon Forgues

BC Tree Fruits Cider Co.

Shannon comes from a world of great wine and hospitality.  A WSET certified sommelier, Shannon utilized her knowledge at some of the best Okanagan hot spots including the Front of House and Marketing Manager of Waterfront Wines and Marketing & Sales Coordinator at Quails Gate Winery.  Shannon helped people navigate through the great Okanagan as Social Media & Marketing Coordinator with Tourism Kelowna before finding her way to BC Tree Fruits Cider Company.  Her love for community, hospitality, and all things delicious lead Shannon to her position as Sales and Marketing Supervisor.  When she’s not slinging cider at events or organizing the troops, Shannon likes to spend time with her dog, Pearl Mae, and indulge in her culinary talents with, you guessed it, a glass of Broken Ladder cider in hand.



Erick Garman

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Erick Garman has been a Trade Development Manager for the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) since October 2015. His role at the ODA includes marketing Oregon food and agriculture products locally, domestically and internationally. In addition he is responsible for collaborating with industry groups to strategize opportunities to open new markets for Oregon food and agriculture. Prior to working at the ODA, Erick spent over 16 years in marketing and broadcast television advertising. His experience includes raising marketing funds for non-profit and government organizations, building strong relationships with buyers and sellers and encouraging new and innovative ways to bring products to market and promote them effectively.


Nick Shephard

Irvine and Company

I am a CPA and partner with the firm Irvine and Company based in Portland, Oregon.  Our firm loves working with alcohol beverage clients and we currently work with a number of cideries, wineries (we represent over 250 wineries in Oregon; over 40% of the Oregon production), distilleries and breweries.  In addition, our firm donates considerable pro bono time to at least 10 non-profit organizations, which includes the tax preparation for the NW Cider Association.  My board seat would be further supported by Jake Unger, an entrepreneurial, cider loving CPA in our office who has been attending the semi-annual meetings regularly.

Personally, I’ve got a wide mix of professional experience including:

  • 5 years’ experience as a CFO
  • Extensive experience with business advisory and tax compliance for small and medium sized companies, including non-profits
  • Former Board Chair and board member of Portland State University Bookstore, a non-profit with $12 million of annual revenue (6 years)
  • Former board member of Friends for Portland International Raceway (6 years)
  • Active shareholder of two businesses



Holly Tenant

WSU Cider Horticulture

Holly is a WSU graduate student in agriculture and a writer for Cider Culture, an online magazine. Her studies, under the mentorship of Dr. Carol Miles, have been centered around cider apple horticulture, and breadth of studies have also included economics, fermentation, food safety, sustainability, business management etc. Holly brings a wide range of experiences to the NWCA board, including retail management (snowboards), blogging (food), and work experience in locales everywhere from Northern British Columbia to East Harlem. Holly writes cider travel articles, profiles on cider makers, and most notably a series of articles on women and cider. Volunteer work has been undertaken throughout the Pacific Northwest cider community since 2012: for NWCA at Summer Cider Day and recruiting; for Northwestern Research and Extension Center, for Seattle and Portland Cider Summits and in the lab occasionally assisting Drew Zimmerman for Peter Mitchell’s classes.


Jeff Walter

Co-Owner, Bauman's Cider

A long-time technology marketing leader, Jeff Walter and his wife Christine (Bauman) Walter started Bauman’s Cider in 2015 on the Bauman family farm in Gervais, Oregon - which has been farmed continuously by the Bauman family since 1895. 

Jeff is a graduate of Whittier College, where he graduated with honors in both Economics and International Business. He also holds a MBA from Portland State with an emphasis in managing technology and innovation.

Throughout his over twenty-year career at HP, Jeff has helped grow multiple new businesses including leading the marketing efforts of HP’s Photosmart and Deskjet printer organizations. He has also managed a range of traditional marketing functions and currently leads a team of professionals responsible for launching new HP products into the market.

When not working Jeff is an active outdoor adventurer - cherishing his time on a ski slope, hiking somewhere in the Northwest, or traveling around the world. Finally, Jeff is active in the community and is a former board member of Habitat for Humanity Portland and currently sits on the board of Africa Bridge. 



Jon Clarenbach

Co-Owner, Western Cider

Jon grew up in Eugene, Oregon graduating from the University of Oregon in Economics and International Studies. He earned an MBA degree from the University
of Montana in 2013 specializing in entrepreneurship.  Jon has an extensive business background in the food industry from managing an award-winning French bakery to
territory sales for the largest organic produce supplier on the West Coast.

Jon is the board president of Budwood, a Northwest Montana apple growers’cooperative. He has created numerous partnerships with co-operatives and growers
to access new markets for local farmers and producers.

In the summer of 2015 Jon partnered with his friends Matt LaRubbio and Michael Billingsley to start Western Cider. Western opened its doors to the public in April 2017.

Jon is excited to combine his business acumen and conservation ideals in further developing Western Cider. Jon spearheaded the Great Bear Apple Drive to highlight a community cider benefiting the Great Bear Foundation’s efforts to glean
Missoula fruit trees and prevent human-bear conflicts.

His work at Western has focused on sales, events, strategic planning, financial, and general management.
Western Cider has created award winning ciders in its first year and strives to advance the cider renaissance in the West.