Clearly last month’s column has struck a nerve in our industry. In fact, the first indication was when the number of Facebook “Likes” on this editorial outnumbered the number of current SCAA Members before the issue was even distributed in print. Then the comments, calls, and emails started to pour in. Here are just a few…
- Bravo for taking the stand with SCAA to let them know how under appreciated we, the firms that have consistently paid dues and been trade show supporters are. We have exhibited consistently, without missing a show since 1988. We’ve always taken 2-4 booths. I can’t remember anyone from the organization stopping by to even feign interest. I have spoken in many sessions a featured speaker and served on panels, yet the pattern of the organization’s supporters getting benign neglect is consistent.
- I had to thank you for your October 2013 The View regarding the SCAA. Over the years I have been a supporter of the SCAA but I too feel that it has been off of the rails for a few years. I have been a volunteer presenter several times and have volunteered in other ways. Two or three years ago I attempted to have a conversation with the management of SCAA regarding two specific things, the joke that is called elections and the chaos that is the volunteer support within the SCAA. After being blown off and spoken down to I gave up. It seems that the only options are to support other coffee and related business groups or create a new one.
- I hear those sentiments all too often. I, too, would love to get involved in a committee again, but no one from SCAA will even acknowledge me. Even when I helped with the first two Symposium’s there was no thank you for the work – or follow up, or anything – Just a pompous attitude of we don’t need your help any longer (although they never said those words, their actions spoke for them). It’s a shame – it’s an insider’s club, and if they don’t want you in it, then forget about it (to your point of being ‘invited’) I used to hear all about the call for committee members – and yes, the board nominees are basically future board members – all groomed to walk the walk and talk the insider SCAA talk.
- I want to applaud you on the article that you wrote about the SCAA. I have to concur with you 100%. Being a long time member and exhibitor for that matter, I feel that I have the credibility to commend you on a well-written “rant.”
- As I was reading the letter to the SCAA I went between thinking it was I who was writing it and becoming incensed. With some slight differences in details my experience over the last year plus has been the same: over 12 years serving on a subcommittee and not having the common courtesy, manners, professionalism nor appreciation to tell me there is no more need nor want of my volunteer time. Over 12 years of time, money, effort and an evening before each class I was to teach of worry that the class I am giving will go off well. A PAID class!! My volunteer, unpaid time– all for the benefit of the SCAA! I wondered if I was the only one. I wondered if I was being petty. I wondered if I should show more professionalism. Well, there are many others like me. I will truly reconsider where I spend my company’s dollars. Next year will the beginning of making the conference a lower priority. Many other areas I can put those limited dollars if it is not as needed nor appreciated by the SCAA.
- There are a few gems on the staff and volunteer base of the SCAA that would listen to me and agree. But NO ONE from a higher level of the SCAA staff or volunteer base ever reached out.
- It is about time they get a wake up call as to what they stand for and what is their responsibility to US, their membership.
- Thank you for being the brave pioneers to put this out there. I know for a fact that there are many more that feel the way we do.
- I am an old timer around SCAA and I agree with many of your points, including the benefits and certain individuals of SCAA. My experience and perception is the SCAA has an elitist attitude that includes a lot of exclusion. If you don’t look the look and talk the talk you are dismissed. The whole milieu smacks of an intellectual and cultural hubris, as opposed to humble and helpful service. I have made my perceptions clear at a few SCAA: they lose good hard working specialty coffee companies all over the country because of this attitude. I hear it all the time from our customers. Nonetheless, we continue to participate in the hope we can create some change, but it ain’t easy.
- I suppose I’d be hoping too much that someone from the SCAA actually said “Hey, you said some poignant things, let’s talk about it.”?
This last statement is a great question! In response I have sent emails with the hopes of starting a dialog directly to SCAA:
- “My goal is truly to help the SCAA become a better and more responsive organization that supports its members. We have had so much response to the editorial that it is very clear the issue should be discussed. Would you like to talk?”
No word as of yet. However, the hope is still there! So here is one final quote from another member…
- It’s never too late SCAA!!