The Ohio Craft Brewers Association has hired Mary Martineau of Columbus to be the group’s first full-time executive director. The nonprofit association made the announcement late Tuesday night in a news release.
"I am thrilled to be chosen as the first executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association," Martineau said in a prepared statement. "I have a passion for championing and promoting small, local businesses and I am excited to represent the craft brewers of the great state of Ohio on local, regional and national platforms."
She currently works as director of marketing for the North Market in Columbus. She is expected to begin work Sept. 3 for the association.
"The growth of craft beer in Ohio has been explosive over the past couple of years and as our businesses have grown, so has the need for our association," group President Eric Bean of Columbus Brewing Co. said in the news release. "Hiring an executive director is a natural next step in our evolution. Mary Martineau will provide a dedicated focus to our mission of promoting and protecting Ohio craft breweries and allow us to explore opportunities that were out of reach for our volunteer-run association."
The Ohio craft beer industry has been growing quickly over the last several years thanks to the increasing popularity of craft beer nationwide. There were nearly 50 craft breweries in 2011. Today, there are more than 80, ranging from powerhouse Boston Beer Co. in Cincinnati to tiny nano operations such as Madcap Brew Co. in suburban Akron. And many more breweries are planning to open, with much of the growth happening in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton. Even more rural areas such as Bryan, Holgate and Bidwell have seen breweries open.
The association, founded in 2008, has more than 30 members. While the growth and interest in craft beer has been growing in Ohio, the association is well behind its peers in other states when it comes to promoting itself and the industry. Other trade groups have indepth websites, sponsor statewide events and push beer tourism. Others also have been successful in getting government backing for their promotional activities.
Association leaders have said the new director's role will be to better organize the group, launch association-sponsored events and promote the industry.
Martineau was selected out of 45 candidates who applied for the position. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus on marketing and a bachelor's degree in international studies, both from Miami University of Ohio.
She is from Cleveland and worked as a small business owner in Columbus before being hired as the executive director of the Short North Business Association. She has been with the North Market for eight years and is the founder of the North Market’s Columbus Microbrew Festival.