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Meet the 2023 Executive Board Candidates


Emily Hengstebeck

Running for President (unopposed)

Emily is the current Director for Communications. She has been a Fermenta Board member for over three years, a Sales Rep/Marketing/Pub staffer for Beards Brewery for over five years, a freelance craft industry writer for MittenBrew.com for over six years, and a craft beer drinker with over nine years’ experience. :)

Emily has participated in a multitude of Fermenta events, including off-flavor seminars, the malt event, Anniversary Parties, the UP yeast seminar, the water seminar, the Spiegalau glassware event, numerous tastings and social events.

Emily says, “I want to continue the growth and reach of this organization so more women feel supported and educated in the fermented industry!”


Emily Bennett

Running for Vice President (unopposed)

Emily is a published beer industry writer, assistant researcher for the Michigan Brewers Guild book, "A Rising Tide," and volunteer for the Guild. She has participated in many Fermenta educational and anniversary events over the years, and helped start and maintain Fermenta’s original website. 

Emily says, “I've participated more on the periphery of the industry for a number of years, supporting in various volunteer roles as an observer, writer, student and attendee. Fermenta has supported these quests and my search for knowledge with open arms and patience. I would be honored to solidify my contribution to both the industry and the organization through service as part of the Fermenta Board.”


Mary Ignatowski

Running for Treasurer (unopposed)

Mary is the current Treasurer. She is a homebrewer who has poured at numerous beer festivals for various breweries, is a volunteer for the Michigan Brewers Guild, and has volunteered as a steward for homebrew competitions. 

Mary has been a member of Fermenta since 2014 and has served on the Scholarship Committee since its inception. She has attended countless educational events, every Anniversary Party, and hopes to continue her work as Treasurer.


Danielle Fracassa

Running for Secretary (unopposed)

Danielle has been the head of the Detroit chapter of Girls Pint Out since 2019, and on the national advisory board since 2020. She is currently enrolled in the Schoolcraft College brewing and Distillation Technology Certification Program, is a past participant in the Brewer's Association Aspiring Professionals mentorship program, and is a member of the North American Guild of Beer Writers. She has been a contributing writer since 2020 to Better On Draft, a Michigan focused blog and podcast.

Danielle has been a member of Fermenta, has been to several events, and received several scholarships as a member.


Annette May

Running for Director at Large –Scholarships & Education (unopposed)

Annette is the current Director for Scholarships and Education. She has spent 25 years working in the craft beer industry, and has worked full-time in beer education since 2015. She’s an Advanced Cicerone┬«, and was the first female Certified Cicerone┬«. 

Annette has both organized and participated in too many Fermenta events to list over the years! She’s been with Fermenta since the beginning, and previously held the Events Coordinator position. 


Jamie Kidwell-Brix

Running for Director at Large – Communications & Outreach (unopposed)

Jamie is an owner and brewer at Earthen Ales in Traverse City, where the brewery is celebrating its fifth anniversary this December (woohoo!). She was a homebrewer for many years before opening Earthen Ales, and she enjoys good fermented foods.

Jamie has worked to coordinate Fermenta events in Northern Michigan, including an International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day, a Brave Noise collaboration, and a scholarship to support the discovery of Northern Michigan ingredients.

Jamie says, “As a female brewer in the industry, I believe we all need to be strong voices right now. Additionally, I feel like there is potential for a stronger Fermenta presence in Northern Michigan, and I would like to help continue to build that presence!”



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