View Full Version : IMA Website up

12-21-2004, 11:59 PM
The initial IMA website is up at http://www.meadfest.org. At the moment it is mainly a bare site holding up forums.

The forums will only be open to registered users while the organization is being formalized. If you are a meadery owner, honey producer (at the commercial level), a mead distributor or other professional, please sign up for an account (free) at the website. People seriously working on opening a meadery (not just thinking about it) please sign up too. Right now there won't be much discussion on how to get started on a meadery, they'll be concentrating on starting the IMA.

Folks, if you're mainly a home meadmaker, please be patient. Right now, the focus is on getting the IMA up and running. There will be a great deal of involvement needed later, but right now they're trying to define the commercial side of the industry for financial and political reasons. We have to get a handle on the association layout, goals, dues and structure. Once we have that, I'll be posting here again with details and opening up the forums for a wider audience.

There *will* be a place in the IMA for us. But to get it up and running, and more importantly, *keep* it up and running, they have to organize. Until that happens, there won't be much we can do from the home end. Once it does, though, expect to see a lot of info in this section.

Back to your regularly scheduled mead-making....

Vicky - whipped and ready to sleep.....

12-22-2004, 03:33 PM
I can't say that I agree with the position that there isn't anything home mead makers can contribute to the framing of the organization. It really comes off as "let us get our professional organization off the ground and then when we need cash from subscriptions to this and that, or when we need the humble masses to up our impression rate on our adds we'll let you know".

I'm not saying this is what is happening but I think it's suicide to not include the home mead making crowd right up front. At this point you might as well change the name to the Internation Association of Professional Mead Makers as that would be more representative. Alienating a huge contingent of your supposed audience (or at least not letting them have representation) from the formalities pretty much insures they become second class citizens of the organization.



12-22-2004, 03:57 PM
Hey Jab,

My impression is that the IMA has to get it's collective act together before they include the general meadmaking rabble (you and I) because they really don't have an organization of note, or of record.

There are plenty of logistical tasks that they need to formalize at a professional/business/administrative/organizational/communications level that the average home meadmaker does not have to deal with on a daily basis. From a strictly formative basis, to me it makes sense for them to have a solid structure in place so they can put their collective "best foot forward" to the general public. From a business standpoint it also makes sense to begin with those entities that derive their income from licensed production of mead as a common set of stake holders.

I personally would be disappointed to see a half-assed effort from the professionals in the industry offered up to us as a representative assocation of professionals.

At the same time, the professionals need to bear in mind that we as the general mead making/buying public can make or break the organization they are trying to formalize simply by boycotting or putting the word out that it is a bogus organization. I agree that the home meadmakers input is very important/pivotal to the success of the IMA, and would think that they will be looking to us for input in the very near future if they want the organization to be really successful.

For my part, I'm content at present to take a "wait and see" approach to what the IMA will be and how it will be presented to us.



12-22-2004, 09:31 PM
And speaking as the head of one of the formation groups, I can assure you that the last thing on their minds is to alienate the mead-drinking and making set.

Oskaar is right. We have to get our collective shit together before we 'open the doors'. And, one of the main reasons that the old AMA fell apart was because they didn't have a firm focus and a firm hand on the wheel. When the founding member was killed, the whole organization unraveled.

We don't want that to happen again. So we're making darn sure that all the legal and organizational issues are put down, in writing, at the get go.

I am the liason to the rest of us. I spoke out for us at the formation meeting, and intend to keep doing so as a committee head.

If you have issues you'd like to get to the committees, then tell me. I'll make certain they get heard. But right now, 10,000 voices all putting in their 2 cents worth will not get us up and running.

These are the founding group. They've already laid out a great deal in time and legal and money to ensure that everything is properly done so what happened last time won't happen this time.

Vicky - committed to making sure that we aren't left out

12-22-2004, 10:53 PM
I understand. I don't think I ever stated that the entire non-professional crowd be allowed. My point was simply that everything up to this point really sounded like "once us professionals figure out what the feeble minded non-professionals can't, we'll show you want we decided you need" type of deal. I definitely understand the need for organization and a solid foundation. But I also know the need to have all participating groups represented from the get go. I realize Vicky that you are involved, and I think Dan is as well. That's great. Saying "If you are a professional step right up and help us with this thing" is great but the other side of that coin is essentially "If you aren't a professional there isn't anything you can bring to the table."

I guess it's wait and watch. Thanks for keeping us in the loop Vicky. And BTW, if the budding IMA is looking for some home brewers to round out the organization and rebalance the scales, for the love of all that is holy, don't pick me. My organizational skills are horrible. :-*

jason - trying not to be a pain in the ass...really, I am trying...

12-23-2004, 12:43 PM
Jason, there are a number of people on the various committees are aren't professionals. I'm there, as is Dan, Ken Schramm, John Dispensa, an aspiring meadery owner (but currently one of us). Dutch Carpenter, another aspiring meadery owner, Vince Galent, homebrewer, and Marc Johnson, aspiring meadery owner.

So, fully 1/3 of the committees right now are composed of non-meadery owners. There are meadery owners and mead retailers as well.

I'm surprised anyone is assuming that the homebrewers are being 'left out' of the formation. The IMA meeting took place at the MeadFest, and the attendees to the meeting were the folks who were interested in becoming part of that formation. Julia and David were adamant from the beginning that all areas of the mead making and drinking community be involved, and so they are.

So, the assumption that we as home-mead makers aren't being represented is not an issue. We are. We will continue to be.


Dan McFeeley
12-23-2004, 12:49 PM
Hello all -- coming in late on this one . . .

Don't worry, the amateurs are already involved in the IMA. Vicky, Ken Schramm, myself, we're all home meadmakers. I don't know the bios of all the people on the committees, but I'd guess there's a few others of us non-pros involved.

The forums allow for a more organized way for committee members to communicate with each other and see what the other committees are doing. Up to now, we've been exchanging e-mail communications, but we don't know what's going on with the other committees. The new setup will help tremendously.

Vicky is still working on the IMA site -- it's barely in place, only a few forums setup, and there's lots more to work on. She's been tinkering with it, and the final form, how loose or how structured it's going to be, is still in the makings.

The IMA is started, but there's still a ways to go before it's fully operational. Julia Herz has been a big encouragment here -- I keep throwing these ideas at her, she listens patiently and sends a timely reply, saying this will work out but first we'll need to do this, this, and some of that . . . Brings me down to earth real fast. Heck, I've been proposing running surveys while the IMA is still only in the organizational phase. Julia's been good with the reality checks.

Putting together a viable nonprofit grass roots organization is tough work. Right now, because of the stage the IMA is at, there are only a few people actively involved, putting together the nuts and bolds of the organization. After that, the IMA is up and running, there should be much more involvement. Gotta be! Pamela Spence, the founder of the American Mead Organization, gave the whole thing up at one point because it was simply too much work.

A thought occured to me -- with Vickie involved with the IMA, you could just about consider the GotMead forums as an informal extension of the IMA, and mostly for the homemeadmakers, because of the make up of the demographic population that hangs out here. Maybe not officially, but in practice, definitely so.