By Hylan Joseph
Boston architecture has always had a place in my heart. I’m always dazzled by brick buildings and industrial revolution design. The planning, details, organization and time it takes to build these massive structures that are meant to last for decades, even centuries. One could wander for days taking shots of the buildings. I’m reminded of the David Brinkley quote, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” I’ll circle back to this thought.
This year’s Expo was resplendent – odd word maybe – but it describes the impressiveness of the show well, all of the new equipment, and watching how our community has grown over the years.
Our industry is driven by innovation, commitment to new ideas and community. I was awed by some of the new equipment on the floor; new roasters, well-designed espresso machines, espresso grinders, new brewing technology
The Coffee Technicians Guild had a booth for the second year in a row, and it was busy as a coffee shop all day long. I was lucky enough to work there quite a bit and was able to talk to our current membership and a whole slew of great people. It was fascinating to hear what our members want now, and what they want to see for the future. We got over 125 people requesting more information!
Our annual mixer was like a high school reunion. Guild founders and new members alike mingled and discussed our industry – and in some cases the Red Sox game that was on that night. The accompanying meeting introduced several changes coming to the Education Program, and we acknowledge that there were many members left with unanswered questions about the future. We may have caused more confusion about the program than intended or anticipated, but I personally assure you that these questions will be answered in the next few months.
As a guild, we are over 200 members strong. We have 50 members connecting with us on our LinkedIn page, and over 7,500 total messages share between 175 members on our Slack channel. This is an amazing feat.
Education is an important aspect of the Guild but is not the only component. What we’re building here is something that transcends just one subject.
The Coffee Technicians Guild is the Slack channel, networking, and being there to support the new and up-and-coming technicians and the specialty coffee community. The Guild is the community who willingly gave their time to manage the booth at Expo. We are building something that will have a life to it well after the original architects have moved on. Our current members are those architects.
I look back to my first speech encouraging us to embrace the crowdsourcing philosophy and work to build the Coffee Technicians Guild. I’m proud of what our Leadership Committee has done to date and proud of our membership contributions. Our foundation is set with the bricks thrown at us, we have big plans and the members to execute them, now it’s time to build.