NWCA Staff


Emily Ritchie
Executive Director

Northwest Cider Association

Emily Ritchie is the Executive Director, nurturing the community, economy, and ecosystem of a thriving cider culture. NWCA has 3 specific goals to achieve our mission: a) Promote NW cider to increase demand, b) Empower cidery members and c) Encourage, provide training and support NW cideries' production of high quality cider. Emily is the visionary that gets us there through strategy and hard work. Through Emily's efforts, NWCA envisions the Pacific Northwest is at the heart of the craft cider movement with a vibrant, collaborative industry where anyone can share in the success and joy of cider. Before this, she worked for the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Marketing Department managing the FoodCorps program. In her free time she loves to swing dance and loves the feeling of soil beneath her fingernails while tending her vegetable garden. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their two fave cats Jake and Elwood, the Blues Brothers. Emily's email is emily[at]nwcider.com


MJ Harris
Program and Membership Coordinator

MJ joined NWCA in 2017 and has a background in non-profits and agriculture. She works with NWCA's members, manages the Portland International Cider Cup, and provides support to board and staff. MJ grew up in Oregon and England and worked in Maritime Education and Nautical Archaeology prior to a shift back to agriculture. She lives with her daughter on her family's farm in Washington County, Oregon. They grow flowers and apples and raise sheep and horses. She loves working with the innovative cider community in our region. MJ's email is info[at]nwcider.com

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Jana Daisy-Ensign

Program Manager

Jana has been a champion of craft beverage for over fifteen years. She is a cider judge, Certified PommelierTM, founding member of Pomme Boots Society and published category writer. Deeply passionate about cider and community, Jana was the inaugural recipient of PICC’s NW Cider Leadership Award in 2019. She currently freelances as a cidery sales & marketing consultation and serves as Program Manager for Northwest Cider Association. Jana's email is janad[at]nwcider.com

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Michelle Markesteyn, PhD

Strategic Communications Director

Michelle Markesteyn, PhD Strategic Communications Director
Michelle is the point person for PR and marketing efforts for the NW Cider Club. She also supports grant writing, grant management, and strategic planning. Michelle is new to the cider community and brings fresh eyes to the association's work to communicate the story of Northwest craft cider broadly. Michelle lives on a 4 acre farm in the Willamette Valley with her 2 growing boys, and her favorite vegetable to grow is an eggplant. Michelle's email is michellemarkesteyn[at]nwcider.com


Emily Becker

Program Manager

Emily coordinates the Northwest Cider Symposium and assists with the new NW Cider Club. Emily's email is emilybecker[at]nwcider.com