On Wednesday, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas (CMS-A) announced its new elected board of directors.
Last month, the outgoing board announced it would resign en masse, following a string of high profile scandals, including accusations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment within the organization.
According to a press release, the CMS-A is looking to add four additional external (non-Master Sommelier) board members, and will also hire a full-time CEO to “contribute new leadership and perspectives to help guide the organization as it begins this next chapter.”
Seven of the 11 elected new board directors are white men, according to The New York Times. Three of the remaining four are women; two identify as gay; and two as Asian-American, The Times reports.
Out of the 159 Master Sommeliers eligible to vote for the new board of directors, 137 did so. Eleven suspended members of the CMS-A, who are currently subject to an internal investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct, remained eligible to vote, according to The Times. At the time of publishing, it is unclear whether they cast ballots.
All 11 new members will be eligible for the open chair and vice-chair of the board positions, which will be elected by the new board according to the press release. The group will meet several times over the next few days to begin discussions on the process.
While filling these positions remains the “first order of business,” per the CMS-A release, the new board faces the larger task of rebuilding the organization’s reputation, regaining the trust of the greater wine community, and enacting meaningful change.
“This new Board of Directors understands that this is a pivotal point in the organization’s history,” the board of directors wrote in the press release. “The beverage and hospitality community’s passionate engagement over the past few weeks has been necessary for confronting the truth of the CMS-A’s identity, and it also brings forth great optimism for what the organization can now become.”