Read on to learn more about the nominees in this year’s
Craft Maltsters Guild Board of Directors Election.

Member Malthouse Nominees

Brian Estes, LINC Malt

  • Role: Partnerships Director
  • Location:  Spokane Valley, WA
  • Guild Member Since 2017

What is your personal vision for the craft malt community?

I envision a craft malting industry that builds on the successes of the craft beer and spirits communities — one that is internationally well regarded, continually building market share with an engaged consumer base, raising the bar for quality across the beer and spirits supply chain while shaping how we understand the value of the people involved in their creation. Central to that vision is our industry functioning as a community: a community that is collaborative, innovative, diverse, dedicated to improvement, and invested in the many hands that make grain-growing, malt production, and the crafting of beer and spirits possible.

Why are you interested in serving on the Guild’s Board of Directors?

Despite the incredible difficulties of the last two years, I understand our craft malt community to be presented with a critical growth opportunity, in which both the prospects and risks feel immense. I am excited to be doing the day-to-day work of helping run a regional malthouse but recognize that my experience with coalition building, advocacy work, and non-profit governance also positions me to support our shared effort at the Guild. I am eager to do what I can to support the talent and vision of our Guild community and to lend my own experiences to our organization’s work.

What skills, resources, and/or connections do you feel you will be able to contribute to the Guild’s Board?

Over the past 15 years, I have served as a Board member and in executive leadership roles within a variety of organizations. These opportunities have taught me how to address issues at the local, state, and national scope, and how to approach the responsibilities of organizational governance, program development, member relations, legislative advocacy, and coalition building. I feel familiar and comfortable with playing a leadership role in an organization similar to that of the Guild.

My work as Partnerships Director at LINC Malt has helped me learn the opportunities and challenges craft malt presents to farmers, maltsters, brewers, distillers, academics, and critical supply chain and manufacturing partners. I get excited about new initiatives and new solutions which take into account the diversity of experiences facing our community. I feel especially prepared to help coordinate the energy and vision of our diverse set of stakeholders towards initiatives beneficial to our entire community.

What other long-term volunteer opportunities have you been involved with (include service on other Board of Directors)? Please list and describe your responsibilities with each below.

  • National Young Farmers Coalition Policy Committee (2019-current) — Part of a 15 member committee shaping policy priorities and supporting staff to affect federal legislative change benefitting young and beginning farmers across the US.
  • Washington State Food Policy Forum (2018-current) — Appointed by WA State, working as a stakeholder alongside major agricultural commissions, food system and food security organizations, state agencies, and elected officials to develop policy proposals and inform legislative and agency process within the State of Washington.
  • Cascadia Grains Conference Steering/Planning Committee 2019 conference (2018-2019) — Served as part of the steering committee supporting the annual conference and ongoing programming and industry engagement.
  • Washington State Farmers Market Association (2012-2018) — Served two Board terms, including as President of the statewide industry organization supporting 100+ member organizations.

What do you hope to get out of your experience as a Craft Maltsters Guild board member?

It really excites me that we have member malthouses — peers of mine and our team at LINC — all over North America, as well as internationally. I’d really like to expand my knowledge of where our community is at in its growth and development; where there are shared experiences and where there are differences. I think there is an incredible story to be told about our work, which is at once occurring in specific pockets but also part of a bigger shift in the malting industry. An opportunity to serve on the Board would help me better understand that larger picture, and to be better able to share that story.

What is one thing that your fellow Guild members should know about you?

For a long time, my professional focus was almost entirely on systems, big-picture work, ‘ideas stuff’ — all of which led me to roles that were primarily in the non-profit or supportive-organization roles. As a member-owner at the LINC Cooperative, and as LINC’s sales guy: having the last 4 years of experience being an entrepreneur in the malting industry has been invaluable to my understanding of the big picture. I’m certainly more primed to pursue the ‘ideas stuff’ of serving on the board of a membership organization like the Guild than I ever have been.

Daniel Galvagni, Root Shoot Malting

  • Role:  Accounts Manager
  • Location:  Loveland, CO
  • Guild Member Since 2016

What is your personal vision for the craft malt community?

My personal vision for the craft malt community is to be looked at as a first-tier ingredient resource for the Craft Brewing and Distilling industry.

Why are you interested in serving on the Guild’s Board of Directors?

I have been serving on the BOD now for two years. During that time I have been able to strengthen my personal network within our community. This has exposed me to the challenges our members face and has put me in a position to be a part of working toward greater solutions. Since joining the BOD I have seen a lot of change in our board leadership and structure. I feel that we have taken great steps toward better unity, and are on track to take our board to the next level of stability and relevance on how we serve our members. We have faced a number of challenges over the last 24 months, and have been very successful at completing these said challenges. This includes, but is not limited to hiring a new ED, structuring multiple workgroups to focus efforts on our community’s needs, implementing and growing the craft malt seal, organizing and executing our first virtual conference, as well as navigating a global pandemic that rocked the foundation of our industry. I am very happy to be serving this community and look forward to continuing the effort.

What skills, resources, and/or connections do you feel you will be able to contribute to the Guild’s Board?

I feel that I have brought my skills of listening and reasoning to the table. For me as a mediator, it is always important to be open to all sides and find the middle ground that is most beneficial to the majority of the group. I try to not have a personal agenda, and see my service to the board as a representative to my constituents.

What other long-term volunteer opportunities have you been involved with (include service on other Board of Directors)? Please list and describe your responsibilities with each below.

Before I joined the Guild BOD in 2019 I was the President of my HOA and had been since 2014. I still sit in that position. In addition, My 5-year-old son Conor has begun school and is in an early childhood education program here in Denver. As a parent, I want to be a part of his schooling as much as I can and decided to join the Community School Committee. I am now the chair of that board and happy to be of service to the community.

What do you hope to get out of your experience as a Craft Maltsters Guild board member?

I am hoping to continue to serve this community. I believe that the board is on a great path, and our members’ needs are continuing to be heard and developed. We have grown our numbers through new members, as well as seen prior members return to our guild. My experience so far has been personally enriching and has been impactful to the group as a whole.

What is one thing that your fellow Guild members should know about you?

I joined this industry by pure chance 5 years ago, and couldn’t be happier to have the success that I have had and to have met so many of you out there managing your own companies and ventures. This industry, and the people behind it, have a spirit of entrepreneurship that is unmatched, and ever relentless. It is an honor to be a representative of so many passionate pioneers!

Phil Neumann, Mainstem Malt

  • Role:  Co-Founder & CEO
  • Location:  Walla Walla, WA
  • Guild Member Since 2014

What is your personal vision for the craft malt community?

I envision a vibrant global network of local-to-regional craft maltsters, all uniquely positioned to strengthen the craft beverage industry and an ailing food system. I envision the Craft Maltsters Guild as an increasingly sophisticated industry association, bringing out the best in craft maltsters of all kinds. I envision an incredible diversity of craft malt stakeholders who are inspired daily to be a part of this movement.

Why are you interested in serving on the Guild’s Board of Directors?

Because this is SO much more than a title to me. I became a member of the Guild in 2014 and really dove into the community in 2015 at the Guild’s second annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. Alyssa and my business baby (Mainstem Malt) was born shortly after, I started volunteering as a Guild committee member in 2016, and I got my chance to become a Guild board member in early 2020. 2021 was a pivotal year for craft malt. 2022 will be the best year yet and I want to help lead the charge.

What skills, resources, and/or connections do you feel you will be able to contribute to the Guild’s Board?

The feedback I’ve received about my involvement in the Guild has been very positive. I’m a hard worker who brings an uncommon spirit of transparency, positivity, creativity, and understanding to team dynamics. Beyond my character, look to me for a wide-ranging network and in-depth professional experience spanning agricultural systems, conservation, supply chain management, brand development, and small business operations.

What other long-term volunteer opportunities have you been involved with (include service on other Board of Directors)? Please list and describe your responsibilities with each below.

  • Board Member, Craft Maltsters Guild (2020-2021) – Standard Board duties plus spirited involvement in multiple Guild Working Groups and the DEI Task Force.
  • Member, Blue Mountain Land Trust, Outdoor Rec Committee (2017-2018) – Member and interim chairperson in support of Walla Walla Valley recreational trails.
  • Member, Craft Maltsters Guild, Marketing Committee (2015-2016) – Helped guide contractors, gather content, and write copy for the website.
  • Program Director, Walla Walla Watershed Mgmt. Partnership (2013-2015) – Worked as an employee for a large, diverse nonprofit board in a conflict-prone environment.
  • President, Oregon State University Cycling (2012) – Organized intercollegiate race events; secured and managed a budget in support of a growing team.

What do you hope to get out of your experience as a Craft Maltsters Guild board member?

The craft malt community has become such a major part of my life and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. Being a Guild board member has been a challenging but cherished role, and I’m excited for the opportunity to keep growing into it. You get what you give, right?

What is one thing that your fellow Guild members should know about you?

I’ve heard I can come across as a bit too serious, but I hope you get to know me well enough to understand that I have a pretty hefty silly side. Beers at Craft Malt Con 2022 in Portland, Maine??

International or Developing Malthouse Nominees

Jean Girardeau-Montaut,  A VOS MALTS

  • Role:  Founder & CEO
  • Location:  Granges-les-Beaumont, France
  • Guild Member Since 2020

What is your personal vision for the craft malt community?

For me, the craft malt community is a community of independent maltsters for independent brewers working together to re-localize cereal and malt production, developing diversity and re-discovering malt organoleptic. Our shared passion and enthusiasm allow each member of the community to improve their skills and deliver quality malt to brewers.

Why are you interested in serving on the Guild’s Board of Directors?

Every step we moved was done thanks to the Guild and its members. At the start of our adventure, we met generous people who did not hesitate to share advice and knowledge with us. Our success wouldn’t have been possible without the Guild. I would like to return what I have received. I hope my international vision, my different way of thinking, and my French culture can enrich and be a benefit for the Guild’s board of Directors.

What skills, resources, and/or connections do you feel you will be able to contribute to the Guild’s Board?

I’m very excited about extending the Guild’s enthusiasm and friendship in France and abroad. I plan to launch a local entity for the 15 local craft malthouses in France. People contact me from Bulgaria, Germany, and Scotland for building their malt house. I’m sure we can eventually launch a European entity to strengthen the craft malt community around the world.

What other long-term volunteer opportunities have you been involved with (include service on other Board of Directors)? Please list and describe your responsibilities with each below.

I have been involved for several years in different responsibilities in the French largest educational teenagers volunteers organization. Our purpose was to teach respect, nature protection, and living together through outdoor activities like camping. My longest position was as a local unit director and I had to coordinate, organize, and justify all activities of the group.

What do you hope to get out of your experience as a Craft Maltsters Guild board member?

Getting more involved in the Guild would strengthen my connection with its members, allow me to meet malt pioneers, make me grow myself, and be in a dynamic of continuous improvement. I’m totally excited to meet members like I met Phil, or Randy, or Robert.

What is one thing that your fellow Guild members should know about you?

My friends say about me that I am a passionate person with endless curiosity. No difficulty stops me in my projects. I’m a self-taught who learns thanks to the beautiful meetings I make. Passion crosses borders! It’s certainly why I apply today to the Guild’s board.

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