MBAA Proactivity, Now and Then

MBAA continuously demonstrates a very proactive level of involvement on different levels.

At the ultimate, top-down level, on Friday, May 8, 2015, our association will hold its spring Board of Governors meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota. With a diligent dedication to our original charter, the Executive Committee, committee chairs, district representatives, and technical directors will convene and willingly donate their time to the ongoing success of MBAA, just as their dedicated predecessors have done for the previous 127 years.

There will be a roll call for attendance and we will share a moment of silence for members in memoriam. Then, we will methodically get down to business. A wide range of presentations will ensure that our professional technical organization continues to effectively function.

From my personal “heritage mindset,” each BOG meeting is a commemoration. Each BOG meeting is a symbol of indebtedness to the ongoing and rotating membership of our association, which has contributed so generously, for so long. Each BOG meeting is a process of scrutiny of our very purpose and our reason for being. The purposes of MBAA were clearly established at its inception, but the methods we use to achieve them have had to be adjusted with each challenge to our industry. Sometimes those "challenges" took on monumental proportions, including the pressures of politics and the influ¬ences of history... two world wars, grain restrictions, recessions, the Great Depression, presidential assas¬sinations, “local option” laws, and outright national prohibition. And yet, year after year, a rotating list of volunteers continued to convene, ensuring MBAA would not only adjust, but would always remain a good "Association Citizen," even to the communities that support our industry.

MBAACon1941.jpgCase in point...the image to the right depicts how, at the 38th MBAA Convention in 1941, on the eve of World War II, our association presented an exact replica of the Star Spangled Banner to the City of Baltimore. (photo from MBAA Archives)

So, as we sit for another BOG meeting, we members can revel in the fact that this semiannual event continues to serve us preciously... from the top-down level, as our founders intended.

At a far different, hands-on level... I continually marvel at how often heritage-minded people are so forward-thinking. An individual recently contacted us with the following request:

"I am contacting this organization because I would like to donate or return to a family member a rare Budweiser can printed with William von Minden's image celebrating his Brewmaster career at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Houston Texas.

Please contact me about this matter, as well as another rare commemorative can celebrating Charlie Heil's career at the same brewery"

We have in place an action plan to initially deal with such requests. It includes the following initial steps:

  1. Contact all members of the Heritage Committee and share the request with them for any possible input that they might be able to offer.
    • An email has been sent to our members to share this information.
  2. Contact the local MBAA district, in this case District Texas, for possible information from their archived records.
    • I have contacted some District Texas officers and shared the request with them.
  3. Contact Headquarters to see if they might be able to shed some light on the requested information from their records.
    • Headquarters has already checked the records. We know Bill von Minden retired in 1993 and resigned his MBAA membership as recently as 2010. There are no records for Charlie Heil.
  4. Post the request for heritage information in the Communicator.
    • This issue of the Communicator achieves just that.

Our association has always been comprised of an ongoing rotation of dedicated folks, busy with the work at hand, at all levels... "to promote, organize, advance, improve, and protect the professional interest of brewery and malt house production and technical personnel."

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