The Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers, announced the recipients of its inaugural Mentor of the Year Award: Annette May and Ramon Tamayo.
“Through the larger mentorship program and our wonderful volunteer mentors, we’re moving the needle in the craft beer community by providing people with the tools and resources to be successful — especially those up against larger barriers,” said Dr. J Nikol Jackson-Beckham, equity and inclusion partner at the Brewers Association. “I’m proud to see Annette and Ramon making lasting, positive, ripple effects in the industry; they are setting a strong foundation to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs and industry professionals.”
The Brewers Association mentorship program aims to increase the diversity of the workforce, leadership, and ownership of small and independent breweries by providing structured mentoring and advocacy to those experiencing barriers to access or advancement in the industry. Since the program’s inception 15 months ago, 86 mentors have guided 89 individuals looking to develop their knowledge and skills in the craft brewing community. The Mentor of the Year Award recognizes volunteer mentors who provided outstanding mentorship to program participants and championed those who experience barriers to access and advancement in their professional journeys.
“Mentoring is a great way to give back to the community and make a positive impact in someone’s life,” said May, a founding faculty member of the Schoolcraft College Brewing and Distillation Technology program and the first woman to become a Certified Cicerone. “From serving and tasting beer to Craft Beer 101, I’m happy to have the chance to help mentor people who are looking to grow and thrive in the craft beer industry.”
“As a brewing community, we need to band together to help facilitate the continued growth of our members,” said Tamayo, brewing manager for Magnolia Brewing Co. “Through this program, I’ve met so many great people, both fellow mentors and mentees and heard so many wonderful stories. It was an inspiring experience that I am truly grateful to have been a part.”
Both award winners will be honored at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Minneapolis. To read more about the mentors, see here. The Brewers Association recently announced the selection of the third mentorship program cohort; with 34 participants, it is the largest cohort to date. To learn more about the Brewers Association’s mentorship program or apply to participate as a mentor or mentee, see here.