Growth of the USBG
By Sheila Rosario, USBG Director of National Programs
I came to the USBG in 2009 with a background in Meeting Planning. I was working from home and looking for another “project” to work on. The USBG had just changed their national logo and I was asked by the local president in Las Vegas (who just happened to be my husband) to help out. I thought that I would be around for a few weeks to help create and mail out membership cards. I was immediately smitten with this amazing community and excited about all of the things that the USBG was doing. I wanted to do whatever I could do to help. I mean seriously, how fun…managing membership and assisting with cocktail competitions and events. I was happy to find a permanent home at the USBG!
One of the things that I remember very vividly is making all of those membership cards! At the time, the USBG had just launched their 13th chapter and there were about 650 members. The vibe in the industry was really high and the trade was booming. For the USBG, we were being contacted weekly to open new chapters all over the US! During the next few years, we saw a rapid and steady increase of both chapters and members and closed out 2012 with 36 chapters and just over 2,100 members!
April of 2013 brought the launch of our first member driven community which allowed online member-to-member engagement for the first time and add on value for members. A one stop place to get information on everything bartending and USBG…including member printed membership cards! The community, member word of mouth and the USBG reputation for career success helped to continue the upward movement of USBG Membership throughout 2013 and 2014. With the increased membership, we have attracted many more Sponsor Brands that want to engage with the Guild bringing even more education and value.
In response to this growth, we countered during 2013 adding additional staff members including an Executive Director, a full Board of Directors with 5 Regional Vice Presidents in our newly formed 5 regions. We have continued to add additional staff members, new policies and best practices to set the stage for success to handle all future growth.
We have been gaining strength with the ability to bring more innovative and exciting educational events and competitions to all USBG members. We only see this increasing in the year to come! But new houses get small quickly and we realized that we needed something bigger and better! Our new community encompasses everything that our members will need and not only offers member-to-member, but member-to-partner engagement, resources, an active USBG Calendar, partner programming and more! Check in daily to see what’s going on!
We currently have 52 Chapters and over 5,500 members! We’ve come a long way since I started back in 2009. Our members have proven to be high quality bartenders thirsting for more knowledge and competition involvement…I am dedicated to making that happen!
There is no limit to where the USBG will go!