Poll

Do you have an AHA membership?

Yes
743 (86.7%)
No
83 (9.7%)
No Pants
31 (3.6%)

Total Members Voted: 845

Author Topic: AHA Membership  (Read 155495 times)

Online denny

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Re: AHA Membership
« Reply #375 on: October 27, 2021, 01:50:33 pm »
I chose not to renew my membership a few years ago for several reasons. I know many here won’t agree and that’s OK. I’m not mad at the AHA or anyone that disagrees. I just chose to walk from membership and here’s why:

1. The BA is a trade group (aka political lobby). AHA falls under that umbrella as an advocate for the HomeBrew community. One of the advantages of the 501(c)(6) tax status is that it allows organizations to engage in unlimited amounts of lobbying. I don’t want or need to be a member of a political lobby. I likewise am not a member of the Army Aviation Association of America, the Association of the United States Army (or AARP ) for the same reason.

2. They don’t follow their own by-laws. Members are supposed to be aware of what happens at meetings thru published minutes. After bringing this to mgmt attention, instead of using the opportunity to communicate with their members to demonstrate the actions they are taking on their behalf, they grudgingly published minutes that were a useless outline as zero source of information. Once. They haven’t published minutes before or after that one useless time.

3. The Governing Committee is powerless. Members are made to feel as if they are voting for representation in meetings where decisions are made and issues resolved. From the clarification issued, that is a misunderstanding.

4. Conference presentations are a sales event. That’s OK as long as that’s what you’re looking for. While it’s true some presentations are given by enthusiastic homebrewers not trying to sell something, many more are simply selling the latest book, software, product, etc. The best presentations IMO are from those not selling something and are trying to pass good information for the good of the community.

5. Likewise, Zymurgy is a series of advertisements with a few beer articles thrown in between, along with lists of competition winners or upcoming events that require membership. After asked for recommendations for improvement, I suggested a Consumer Reports-style or America Test Kitchen-style equipment comparison series in order to help members navigate the pros and cons of similar pieces of equipment. I was told they can’t do that because they may offend advertisers if their equipment doesn’t come out on top. Advertisers pay the bills. I understand you can’t publish a magazine without cash but are they here for members or advertisers?

6. If clubs and competitions didn’t require membership in AHA, I imagine the AHA membership roles would be much much smaller. If you truly want to know who is the best home brewer, or want local home brewers to join your club, why limit membership to AHA members? I get it, membership numbers sell lobby influence. But if I don’t want to be a member of AHA I can’t be a member of a local club or submit a sample to a competition? Weird.

7. Despite having ~25% of membership by the published AHA demographics map, the in-person conference hasn’t been held in the South for more than a decade. They tried Nashville after a decade but COVID canceled it. NE, N, PNW, and W are well represented in past and future conferences. FLA was over a decade ago. Reasoning has been the various laws that prohibit the event in the South. I was told to change the laws myself. I thought this was a lobby organization. If I have to change the laws myself why be a member of a lobby? If I join a lobby why wouldn’t they work to get the laws changed or a variance to allow the event?  Again, weird.

…just my thoughts.



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Thanks for those cogent comments.  I've passed them along in the hope that they can help improve the organization.
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Offline goose

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Re: AHA Membership
« Reply #376 on: October 27, 2021, 02:52:34 pm »


2. They don’t follow their own by-laws. Members are supposed to be aware of what happens at meetings thru published minutes. After bringing this to mgmt attention, instead of using the opportunity to communicate with their members to demonstrate the actions they are taking on their behalf, they grudgingly published minutes that were a useless outline as zero source of information. Once. They haven’t published minutes before or after that one useless time.



Brewbama:

Although I personally fully understand your concerns, I will not personally comment on many of them until we can discuss them at a future Governing Committee (GC) meeting.  However, I do want to address the above quoted comment.  Please understand that I am not being critical here, I just want to clarify this point.

Based upon your suggestion over a year ago, and as the current Governing Committee (GC) Secretary, I pushed really hard to have a summary of our monthly Governing Committee proceedings posted to the GC page on the AHA website.  You can find those summaries there.  If I recall, you thanked me for doing so a while back.  I am in the process of writing up the meeting notes from our October meeting and will have a summary of them posted once I complete them.  If anyone in the general membership has any questions after reading the summaries, they can address them to any GC member or the AHA staff. You can also express any ideas you may have that would benefit the general membership. Our individual email addresses are listed on the GC page. Normally, we do not hear much from the general membership.  In addition, prior to this year's annual meeting, each GC member was tasked to do a kind of "listening tour" at local club meetings to get input from the general membership on what they would like to see from the AHA.  I personally attended the meetings for the three clubs I belong to and brought their ideas to our annual meeting.

Per the Bylaws, which were revised just this year and appear on the GC Page of the AHA website, we are only required to publish the meeting notes (they are not really formal minutes but present bullet points and fully discuss what we are working on) of the annual GC meeting.  Although the annual meeting notes from this year's annual meeting are quite lengthy, they outlined what we are trying to focus on to benefit the general membership and brought many of the ideas from the listening tour to the annual meeting.  But as an act of good faith, we now summarize what was discussed at our monthly meetings because you and others asked for it.

There are a number of things that are discussed in the GC meetings that are made public to the general AHA membership through official released announcements from the AHA.  It is not the GC's responsibility to do this.

I hope this clarifies the above point you raised.  Although Denny has already sent this to all GC members, I will also bring your concerns to the next meeting
Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified
AHA Governing Committee Member

Offline tommymorris

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Re: AHA Membership
« Reply #377 on: October 27, 2021, 06:07:24 pm »
6. If clubs and competitions didn’t require membership in AHA, I imagine the AHA membership roles would be much much smaller. If you truly want to know who is the best home brewer, or want local home brewers to join your club, why limit membership to AHA members? I get it, membership numbers sell lobby influence. But if I don’t want to be a member of AHA I can’t be a member of a local club or submit a sample to a competition? Weird.
Is it common for clubs to require AHA membership? I know the one here does but I always thought that was odd. When I lived in Mississippi the local club didn’t require AHA membership.

Same question for competitions. I know the NHC requires AHA membership but do other local/regional competitions? That would definitely limit entries.

Offline BrewBama

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AHA Membership
« Reply #378 on: October 27, 2021, 06:14:33 pm »


2. They don’t follow their own by-laws. Members are supposed to be aware of what happens at meetings thru published minutes. After bringing this to mgmt attention, instead of using the opportunity to communicate with their members to demonstrate the actions they are taking on their behalf, they grudgingly published minutes that were a useless outline as zero source of information. Once. They haven’t published minutes before or after that one useless time.



Brewbama:

Although I personally fully understand your concerns, I will not personally comment on many of them until we can discuss them at a future Governing Committee (GC) meeting.  However, I do want to address the above quoted comment.  Please understand that I am not being critical here, I just want to clarify this point.

Based upon your suggestion over a year ago, and as the current Governing Committee (GC) Secretary, I pushed really hard to have a summary of our monthly Governing Committee proceedings posted to the GC page on the AHA website.  You can find those summaries there.  If I recall, you thanked me for doing so a while back.  I am in the process of writing up the meeting notes from our October meeting and will have a summary of them posted once I complete them.  If anyone in the general membership has any questions after reading the summaries, they can address them to any GC member or the AHA staff. You can also express any ideas you may have that would benefit the general membership. Our individual email addresses are listed on the GC page. Normally, we do not hear much from the general membership.  In addition, prior to this year's annual meeting, each GC member was tasked to do a kind of "listening tour" at local club meetings to get input from the general membership on what they would like to see from the AHA.  I personally attended the meetings for the three clubs I belong to and brought their ideas to our annual meeting.

Per the Bylaws, which were revised just this year and appear on the GC Page of the AHA website, we are only required to publish the meeting notes (they are not really formal minutes but present bullet points and fully discuss what we are working on) of the annual GC meeting.  Although the annual meeting notes from this year's annual meeting are quite lengthy, they outlined what we are trying to focus on to benefit the general membership and brought many of the ideas from the listening tour to the annual meeting.  But as an act of good faith, we now summarize what was discussed at our monthly meetings because you and others asked for it.

There are a number of things that are discussed in the GC meetings that are made public to the general AHA membership through official released announcements from the AHA.  It is not the GC's responsibility to do this.

I hope this clarifies the above point you raised.  Although Denny has already sent this to all GC members, I will also bring your concerns to the next meeting
I stand corrected. You are spot on and I do recall your posting that now.

I admittedly have kinda ‘checked out’ since I no longer have a dog in the fight …but I do appreciate your effort to make it right.





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« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 06:17:38 pm by BrewBama »
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: AHA Membership
« Reply #379 on: October 27, 2021, 06:48:33 pm »
And thanks, Goose, for the "zoom appearance" with my local club.  It was informative and well-received.  I don't get too worked up about the AHA, BA, or NHC - like any other organization, they need to defray costs of operations and that is done through sponsors.  I don't have any disillusions on this.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline riceral

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Re: AHA Membership
« Reply #380 on: October 27, 2021, 11:43:09 pm »
6. If clubs and competitions didn’t require membership in AHA, I imagine the AHA membership roles would be much much smaller. If you truly want to know who is the best home brewer, or want local home brewers to join your club, why limit membership to AHA members? I get it, membership numbers sell lobby influence. But if I don’t want to be a member of AHA I can’t be a member of a local club or submit a sample to a competition? Weird.
Is it common for clubs to require AHA membership? I know the one here does but I always thought that was odd. When I lived in Mississippi the local club didn’t require AHA membership.

Same question for competitions. I know the NHC requires AHA membership but do other local/regional competitions? That would definitely limit entries.

My local club, Hogtown Brewers in Gainesville Florida, does not require AHA membership for club membership or club competitions. Out of our 200+ members, less than 25% are AHA members. Something that I am disappointed with but it is what it is.

Ralph R.

Offline goose

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AHA Governing Committee Elections
« Reply #381 on: October 29, 2021, 02:47:17 pm »
Just a reminder, the window for nominations for three open seats on the AHA Governing Committee is now open and extends through November 30, 2021.

You can nominate a person to run or can nominate yourself to be a candidate.  One stipulation is that a potential candidate needs to be an AHA member in good standing to be eligible to run.  Go to https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/aha-governing-committee/ for more information and to submit a nomination.
Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified
AHA Governing Committee Member