Polls are now open to vote for the Specialty Coffee Association of America‘s 2014 Board of Directors. Every year, members are encouraged to select those who will volunteer their time and resources to lead the association over a 2-year term with the goal of making it better and more stable institution for the future. This year’s election is the most important in recent history.

Why do I care?

It’s simple: this year, members are choosing 1 of 2 possible candidates who will become SCAA Board President in 2016, set the direction of the association for future generations and, as the leader of the world’s largest and most respected coffee trade association, become the face and top ambassador of our industry. It’s big and it’s all up to you.

How did this situation transpire?

A volunteer group called the nominating committee, which is a rotating team of association members, board president and past association presidents, reviews the many nominations that are submitted by you each year and interviews them as potential board candidates.

The SCAA strives to select leadership from a diverse representation of its many membership categories, including green coffee producers, to roasters, retailers and industry service providers (allied services), such as myself. Finding a balance of candidates from the nominations submitted is not an easy task for the nominating committee, nor is choosing the best candidates from so many qualified applicants.

Once selected, the nominating committee submits a list called a slate of candidates to the board of directors for approval, which is then published as a ballot for membership vote. Complete details of the process are in the association’s bylaws.

Those who are not selected through the formal process of becoming a board candidate may also petition the membership directly for signatures to become a write-in candidate, which is what has been done this year for the position of 2nd Vice President. The 2nd Vice President position leads automatically to the Vice President in its second year and then to the board President, which along with Treasurer is one of the two most important member roles in the association.

What is the role of the SCAA Board President?

A nonprofit board president not only oversees the board of directors, she or he oversees all committee chair appointments, assists in the preparation of meeting agendas, runs each board meeting, oversees the recruitment of new board members and also evaluates the performance of the association’s executive director. She or he is an alternate spokesperson of the association will be regularly cited in widely distributed media and is our representative in high level meetings with other associations, business executives and government leaders.

How do I vote?

It’s easy, it’s online and it will take you less than 5 minutes, even after having to recover the password for your SCAA account.

Step 1: Review the candidate profiles.

Review the profiles of each candidate, here.

Step 2: Find your membership number.

For anyone that might not have their SCAA membership number committed to memory or tattooed across their knuckles, you can find it on the SCAA website. Go to SCAA.ORG, select LOG IN and enter your email address and password where indicated, below.
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After successfully logging in, look at the menu options on the left and select “My Information.”
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Your membership number is just under your name in “Profile Information.” Copy it (Command+C) or write it down.

Step 2: Go to the ballot page and vote.

Go to the 2014 SCAA election ballot, enter your information and cast your vote, here.

Like many in our small community, I am friends with both of the gentlemen under consideration as 2nd VP, enjoy their company and wish them both nothing but the best of success in all of their endeavors but must choose only one that will lead the association. As an SCAA Board Member who voted to approve this slate of board candidates after hearing all recommendations of the nominating committee, I fully stand behind our nominees.

The decision of who will lead the association in 2016 is now yours. It’s time for you to go vote.

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