Updated Code of Regulations for the BGA
Mission: The Barista Guild of America provides baristas a community dedicated to innovating, sharing, and demonstrating best practices in coffee preparation.
The annual Barista Guild elections process provides a great opportunity to review the document at the core of the BGA. The Code of Regulations of the Barista Guild of America ("BGA Bylaws") outlines, in essence, the things that guide the BGA and also how the BGA functions.
A similar document guides our parent organization, the SCAA, and sister guild, the Roasters Guild. Both are published online, and you may read the SCAA Bylaws here and the Roasters Guild Bylaws here.
Bylaws remain relatively static from year-to-year - after all, the Guild's membership (Individuals for whom coffee preparation is an integral part of their profession - baristas!) will always be focused on baristas. However, the BGA has seen dramatic growth in its membership over the past two years, and the BGA Executive Council took the opportunity to fine-tune the Bylaws to reflect this growth and set up a framework for the BGA to thrive in years to come. You can read the updated Barista Guild Code of Regulations here.
We encourage you to take a moment to read the Bylaws in its entirety, however we wanted to highlight a few items that we're particularly excited about, and also affect how the elections are being run this year:
• Vision and Mission: The vision and mission statements that frame the beginning of this post have been refined from previous versions to appropriately reflect who we are (the BGA Mission) and who we hope to be (the BGA vision).
• Number of seats on the Executive Council: The Executive Council has been increased from seven (7) members to a minimum of nine (9) and maximum fifteen (15). As mentioned, the tremendous growth of the BGA means that the EC can and should be able to accommodate more individuals to ensure that member voices are heard. For the 2013 BGA Election year, the maximum number of EC seats has been set at nine members.
⁃ Elimination of Regional Representatives ("Chapter Representatives"): With so many BGA members in so many places across the United States (and international members, too!) divvying the map into ten regions and asking one individual to be able to speak for and connect with all the members in the area became an daunting task met with varying success. Instead, increasing Executive Council members and adding the operational committees (more on that below) will provide a better way for baristas to connect and the Guild to thrive.
• Operational Committees: Three operational committees have been established. These committees exist to better involve BGA membership to help advance Guild business and member benefits and as a direct way for BGA members to get involved (beyond the normal ways of getting involved like taking classes, becoming certified, teaching courses, hosting an MDE, competing, volunteering at an event, attending an event, or just being a proponent of the BGA)
Specifically, these committees are as follows:
⁃ Membership Committee – The Membership Committee works to build and retain BGA membership by actively engaging potential members and the BGA membership base through innovative channels that speak to the current state of the Barista profession
⁃ Events Committee – The Events Committee works with SCAA staff to plan and coordinate activities at and around BGA events.
⁃ Education and Certification Committee - The Education and Certification Committee advises SCAA staff on all BGA Certificate programs and materials, and advises on appeals of BGA Certificate program decisions.
If you're interested in getting involved in any of these committees (monthly calls, idea generating, and other tasks) let us know!
• Elections Process: Aligning more closely with the SCAA and Roasters Guild elections process, the Nominating Committee will now propose a slate of nominees for election from the recommended nominees, with the option of write-in voting. This means that being nominated does not guarantee a position on the election ballot, and streamlines the ballot process.
Have questions about the above changes, or any other aspect of the BGA Bylaws? Leave us a comment, send us a tweet (@baristaguild), or e-mail us directly!