​How to do the Job of a District Heritage Chair

​During the MBAA Board of Governors’ meeting at the World Brewing Congress in Portland, Oregon, I was able to utilize 10 presentation-minutes with my esteemed, captive audience to once again make the pitch for district heritage chairs. There was the expected cordial attentiveness as I expressed my views, followed by a handful of questions. Finally, there was a request that I clarify, write up, and send to the Board of Governors my personal “expectations” for the role.
As I have written previously, I imagine that any district heritage chair volunteer would probably be the type of person who is somewhat historically minded. They would not necessarily be formally trained. They just might have more awareness, more of an attitude, an outlook, and a perspective that all leans toward the appreciation of  “heritage” and “history.” Perhaps they just like to read history. Or perhaps they enjoy genealogical research, already pursuing their own family roots and memories. The role would be considered very self-directed and do-it-yourself as decided by each individual volunteer.
My “vision” of the role includes three primary areas of participation: 1) helping to establish and maintaining a district “heritage tab” on the district web site; 2) capturing and preserving the memories of district events; and 3) preserving, possibly archiving, any pertinent district memorabilia.
  • Heritage Tab: The district heritage chair could work with the district web chair in establishing and maintaining a “heritage tab” on their district web site. I am in the process of establishing our District Cincinnati Heritage Tab, even as I write this. It will be launched by the end of the year. Ours will include
    • A posted “Introductory Statement” escribing the heritage tab.
    • A brief history of our more than 125-year-old district in PDF format.
    • Rotating “presentations” of items of interest specific to our district. These presentations might include anything—from old photos, letters, displays of certificates, articles of incorporation, antique books, journal pages, diaries, historical writings, brewery memorabilia, and archeological discoveries!
Once the heritage tab is established, its maintenance would be quite minimal. Our District Cincinnati Heritage Tab, when launched, could be used as a springboard for others to model.
  • Capturing and Preserving the Memories of District Events: When attending district meetings, dinners, or other events, the heritage chair might be just a bit more aware of the importance of ensuring that aspects of the meeting or event are captured and preserved. It could be as simple as deciding to be the event photographer, or at least ensure that there is a photographer to capture the event.
  • Preserving and Archiving District Memorabilia: If the local district owns items of historical value, such as old photographs, meeting minutes, books, convention materials, brewery memorabilia, etc., perhaps the chair could be involved in ensuring that these items are inventoried, archived, accounted for, and stored properly to minimize damage. If there are items that are privately owned or in an individual’s private collection, perhaps the chair could ensure that those items are identified, photographed, or scanned. I will be writing more about this in an upcoming MBAA Communicator and offering support for these activities on our new web site in the future.

I cannot emphasize enough that the volunteer role would be considered very individual and self-directed. The degree of involvement would be decided by each individual volunteer, having the license to be extensively involved, quite hands-on, or a bit more limited, more reserved, and more minimally involved. Any level of involvement helps the cause and represents a step in the right direction toward preserving our MBAA heritage at the local level.