Drupal Association members fund grants that make connections all over the world.
I believe there will be no harm if Drupal community learns about an interesting discussion on Acquia's business practices going on currently in Wordpress community, namely on the personal blog of their project lead. Matt for Wordpress community is like Dries for us:
Personally I think it's just ok for Acquia staff-member to approach anyone with that kind of advertisement. It is just little awkward when another world-wide popular CMS' lead is targeted and invited to switch to Drupal :)
What worse is not Acquia's methods of expanding, but Acquia's blocking its competitors from getting listed on http://drupal.org/hosting. We (http://drupion.com) have applied numerous times and we meet all their requirements, however they keep asking for evidences of our contributions to the community and declining our requests. The Association never could present the evidences of what kind of great contributions to the community have been made by some of the following companies, which somehow got listed in "Other great hosts" section: 2020Media, CiviHosting, Cruiskeen, EchoDitto, Egressive Limited, Holistic Solutions' HotDrupal.com, Koumbit.org, Promet Solutions.
I am not talking about companies like GreenGeeks, BlueHost, A2hosting, Arvixe, Inmotion - capitalism works there perfectly - they pay money and the Association doesn't even care if those companies are specialized and knowledgable enough in Drupal, whether they comply with their own security requirements or not (as noted on http://groups.drupal.org/node/206978 number of companies listed on http://drupal.org/hosting fail to comply with the security team requirements). These companies just pay big money and get through. To me even the fact the Association needs funds to support its activities doesn't justify this kind of purely mercantile practice. It is simply not fair to the end-users, who have no idea they have better options than being sold to ordinary hosting company which doesn't care about Drupal, but has money to bribe the Association.
And what is saddening is that the Drupal Association is headed by Dries Buytaert, who, at the same time, is the head of hosting company called Acquia. Isn't it little controversial? And we at Drupion start to believe that it is simply not in the best interests of Acquia to let other Drupal-specialized hosting companies to get into that list. We have respected and loved this guy for years, but unfortunately commercial interests of Dries Buytaert have corrupted the whole idea of Drupal being an open-source project and providing equal opportunities for everybody in the community.
And I really regret that impervious stance of Dries Buytaert and his association is getting more and more ridiculous and causing more and more controversies within and outside of Drupal community.