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Check out the 2024 GLINTCAP Award Winners

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The MCA Board of Directors works tirelessly for our members and the Michigan cidermaking community to continue growing a thriving Michigan cider industry. In addition to their work within their cider businesses, they serve on committees, foster critical connections and collaboration opportunities, help develop our strategic plan, and serve as a resource for MCA members.

Elections for our four-person board are held during The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo at the MCA Annual Meeting. All board members volunteer to serve and commit to a one-year term with the option to run for re-election.

John Behrens - Treasurer

John Behrens is the Founder and President of Farmhaus Cider Company, located in Hudsonville, Michigan. Farmhaus Cider Co. was founded in 2015 and has gone on to win many national and international accolades and awards. John began his first term as President of the Michigan Cider Association in 2018. Previously, he worked as a Certified Public Accountant for over 10 years at BDO USA and Steelcase. John holds an MBA from Grand Valley State University, in addition to degrees in Accounting and Finance.  John represents the Midwest region for the American Cider Association, as well as serving as the ACA Board Treasurer.


Sean Niemisto - Secretary

Sean Niemisto is a cider fanatic. While cutting his teeth in the beverage industry as a production brewer, he quickly fell in love with the northern Michigan cider scene. He is now the cidermaker for Townline Ciderworks, located in Williamsburg, MI where he crafts blossom to glass ciders with estate-grown fruit. In his free time, he enjoys fruit foraging with his wife, Gillian, and trusty pup, Arlo. Sean is a Certified Pommelier, has completed a program through the Cider and Perry Academy, is a member of the Northwest Michigan Cidermakers Guild, a regular judge for the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP), and is forklift certified.

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Dr. Nikki Rothwell

Dr. Nikki Rothwell leads the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center (NWMHRC) with her MSU team members, using 21st-century research methods and honoring MSU’s agricultural historical roots and continuing mission of discovery and outreach. In addition to research, the station offers education on cutting-edge growing techniques, pest and pathogen control, irrigation, and other items to help local farmers thrive. In the fall of 2008, Nikki and her husband, Dan Young, opened Tandem Ciders in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Nikki and Dan added Sadie B. to the Tandem team in 2012, and they are on the lookout for a bicycle built for three. There is rarely a time when you can’t find one of them behind the bar!

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Paul Vander Heide - President

In 2006, Paul and his wife Amanda started Vander Mill, currently located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The vision was simple: build a small-town cider mill where people can feel at home. Though the brand quickly gained momentum, the ciders still have the same craft and care at their core. Paul has served as a board member and President of the American Cider Association, as well as a founding member and President of the Michigan Cider Association. He also serves as an executive board member for the Cider Institute of North America.

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Paula Englin - Executive Director

A Michigan hard cider enthusiast for over a decade, Paula has long been delighted and inspired by the hard work and creativity that characterizes every aspect of the cider process – from sapling to sip! Paula joined the MCA as the first-ever full-time staff member in 2023. She brings a robust background of non-profit leadership, communications, and government affairs to meet the goals of the MCA to grow exposure to Michigan’s vibrant cider culture, foster a spirit of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and mutual support, and provide access to practical education and advocacy tools for everyone connected to Michigan cider community.

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