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KANSAS CITY, MO (March 1, 2021) – A new organization, the Better Sommeliers Association of America (BUSA), has been formed by industry leaders to support and promote the role of sommeliers in the United States. The BUSA is currently accepting entries for sommelier competitions, including entries for the new Sommelier Series and 2021 competitions, which aim to train and identify the best sommeliers in the United States. BUSA intends to join the ASI (Sommelier Association International) as a member of the Sommelier Association. ASI is a global organization dedicated to the development and advancement of the sommelier profession around the world. It promotes regional and global competitions to select the best sommeliers in the world.
BUSA is an independent, not-for-profit limited liability company and operates as a 501C6 licensed LLC. BUSA’s board of directors consists of distinguished sommeliers and business people who are committed to the highest standards of education, training and ethical conduct. The board of directors consists of Sarah D’Amato, Alejandro Ferris (secretary), Doug Frost MS, MW (president), Tim Geiser MS, Evan Goldstein MS (treasurer), Helen Gregory, Alexander LaPratt MS, and Veronica Rivest (vice president).
Registration for membership is now open and includes four categories of members : Sommelier members, wine trade members, friends of BUSA members and corporate/institutional members.
Before acting as a separate legal entity, BUSA hosted its first competition in February 2019 in partnership with ASI. Doug Frost judged the event and Veronica Rivest and Andres Rosberg, former president of the ASI, were the judges. Dustin Chabert was selected as the American candidate and will then fight for the world title in March 2019. BUSA will sponsor the next U.S. race in the fall of 2021. Announce date in accordance with VIDOC requirements and safety protocols. Potential candidates are encouraged to apply early in 2021 to take advantage of the higher education, training and networking support BUSA provides to compete with the best sommeliers in the world.
BUSA is guided in its activities by the following guidelines and rules of conduct:
- BUSA will stand up for members of the sommelier community who are marginalized and cut off from the system and institutions because they are people of color. BUSA recognized the need to address the ways in which racism manifests itself in its own community and to counter it through conscious engagement and self-reflection. Our staff and volunteers should reflect the great diversity of the BIPOC communities.
- BUSA strives to embody equality and inclusion with and among other marginalized communities, promote tolerance and acceptance within the sommelier community, and provide a safe, non-judgmental space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, curious, and straight people who share a common vision of social equality.
- BUSA represents all aspects of diversity and all marginalized groups, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ, religion, disability or age.
- BUSA is committed to providing a safe environment for all its members, applicants and employees, free from discrimination on any grounds and from harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment. BUSA maintains a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of sexual harassment in the workplace or at competition venues, takes all incidents seriously and promptly investigates all allegations of sexual harassment. Any person found guilty of sexual harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, termination in connection with competition or future BUSA business. Any employee or member of the BUSA Board of Directors must immediately report any complaint of sexual harassment to the Ethics Team; such complaints will be taken seriously and treated with respect and confidentiality. No one would be the victim of such a complaint.
- No member of the Selection Board or of the Competitions Committee may act in this capacity if he or she has any personal or material relationship with any candidate or competitor.
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