Co-owner, 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.
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.
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 growersto 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.
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.
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.
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.
Scott was born in Chicago, IL but was raised in Boise, ID. After graduating from Seattle Pacific University, he began working at Seattle Cider Company in 2014 and became Head Cidermaker in early 2016. In addition to fermentation innovation, Scott’s passions include waste stream management, creative problem solving, market analysis, and industry networking. As we look to the future, Scott is excited to continue to advocate for education and awareness within the region. Not only will he be a voice for cideries in and around the Seattle area, but also an experienced resource for start-up cideries throughout the region. Scott is excited about the opportunity to be on the board and to continue to promote Northwest cider and its cidermakers.
As Owner and Cidermaker at Snowdrift, Tim’s passion is making ciders that express the delicacy and nuance of apples grown specifically for cidermaking. His cidermaking philosophy with the trees and is always rooted in the bounty of the orchard. He firmly believes in using apples with intent - and that every apple has a natural and unique character that can be unlocked, given enough time. His personal favorite apples varieties are Nehou, Harry Master's Jersey, Yarlington Mill and Dabinett. Tim would love to participate on the board to provide a voice for growers and traditional cidermakers alike and would love to help bridge the gap between the two.
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.
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
Kristen Needham Jordan
Founder, Sea Cider
Kristen Needham is the Founder of Sea Cider, a certified organic orchard and Ciderhouse on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Since launching Sea Cider in 2003 when she re-planted the family’s orchard with European cider varieties, Kristen’s team has grown to nearly 50 staff, and Sea Cider's wholesales span Western North America. Prior to launching Sea Cider, Kristen worked as an International Development Consultant in Ethiopia, South Africa, Ukraine and Nepal, with a particular focus on food security and environmental management. Kristen holds two graduate degrees from Yale University, an undergraduate degree from McGill University, and an International Baccalaureate from the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales. She is a founding Board Member of the BC Farm Crafted Cider Association and the Cider Institute of North America. Kristen is a fifth generation farmer and a mother of two teenagers. Kristen feels strongly that the NWCA plays an important role in the industry. She is running for a position on the Board to bring a Canadian perspective, some strategic insights and a collaborative approach to issues we all face as cideries in the PNW.
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.