NWCA STAFF

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Emily Ritchie
Executive Director

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

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Laura Kennedy
Membership and Communications Coordinator

As the Membership and Communications Coordinator, Laura engages with NWCA's members and provides support to the board and staff. Prior to joining the association, Laura owned and operated a certified organic herb farm and herbal apothecary just outside of Portland. She brings a wealth of entrepreneurship experience, a passion for marketing, and enthusiasm for local craft cider to her work for NWCA and looks forward to connecting with and supporting the PNW cider community. Laura grew up in Massachusetts alongside her identical twin and older sister. She spends her free time camping, and in the autumn, she is an avid mushroom hunter frequenting forests in the PNW. Laura's email is info[at]nwcider.com

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Jana Daisy-Ensign
Marketing Director

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 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

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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