Kris Wieser

Coffee Quality Manager and Assistant Green Buyer, Philz Coffee

Lecture: Roasting For Brew Methods: Does One Style Fit All?


About Kris

Kris is an award-winning coffee roaster who is now the Coffee Quality Manager and Assistant Green Buyer at Philz Coffee. He was previously the Head Roaster at Equator Coffees and Teas. He is a licensed Q grader.

Jodi Wieser

Coffee Trainer, Gather Coffee Company

Lecture: Roasting For Brew Methods: Does One Style Fit All?

About Jodi

Jodi Wieser is a specialty coffee trainer for Gather Coffee Company. She is a Licensed Q Grader and a Q Grader Instructor, as well as a Certified Instructional Trainer for the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Jodi started her career in coffee as a barista more than twenty years ago. She has advised clients all over the world to improve the quality of coffee along the supply chain; including producers, exporters, importers, roasters and café owners.


Ben Weiner

President/CEO/Chief Farmer, Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, LLC

Lecture: How To Establish Effective Direct-Trade Relationships Based On Quality


About Ben

Benjamin Weiner is the founder of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers (@goldmtncoffee), a direct trade social enterprise that connects farmers of exquisite specialty coffees in Nicaragua with roasters throughout the world. Gold Mountain Coffee Growers has its own coffee farm in Nicaragua called “Finca Idealista.”

Ben created Gold Mountain Coffee Growers in 2007, when small local farmers asked him for help connecting with international markets. They were upset that the coffee economy did not allow them to support their families effectively. He implemented high cupping requirements before farmers could work directly with roasters, basing the entire social enterprise on quality. Gold Mountain has "ripeness teams" on farms during picking, using refractometers and other tools to ensure perfectly-ripe picking so that coffees reach their full potential.

Jorge Oliveros

Agricultural Engineer, USAID/ANACAFE/PCVR

Lecture: Youth Empowerment for Coffee Sustainability

About Jorge

Jorge Oliveros is an Agricultural Engineer graduated from Louisiana State University with a technical degree from the University of El Zamorano. He has a Master’s Degree in Economics and Agribusiness Administration from Universidad Del Valle in Guatemala. Jorge has played major roles in the implementation of rural development projects for over 10 years for the Department of Agriculture in Guatemala. Currently, he is the General Coordinator of the Rural Value Chains Project in the regions of San Marcos and Huehuetenango financed by the Unites States, through the Agency for International Development, USAID.


Margarita Cano

Bachelor in International Affairs, Funcafé

Lecture: Youth Empowerment for Coffee Sustainability


About Margarita

Guatemalan Bachelor in International Affairs, avid reader and passionate about human rights, sustainable development and gender equality. Has a Masters in International Cooperation and Public Policy for Development from the Ortega y Gasset Institute in Madrid, Spain. Has worked in several sectors, including previous work in the public sector and as a college professor. Her specialty has been aid for development in Guatemala and she strongly believes in the potential of her country to harness progress from within.

Santiago Girón

Agricultural Engineer, Funcafé

Lecture: Youth Empowerment for Coffee Sustainability


About Santiago

Santiago Girón is an Agricultural Engineer graduated from EARTH University, Costa Rica. He has a Master's degree in Quality Management with a specialty in Food Safety at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala.

He holds postgraduate courses in Social Project Management at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain and holds degrees in subjects related to Food and Nutrition Security and Public Policy Management at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Guatemala.

He has 10 years of experience in projects and programs of rural and agricultural development. He is currently the Coordinator of the Food and Nutrition Security Area of the Fundacion de la Caficultura para el Desarrollo Rural - FUNCAFÉ.

Heloisa Melo

Market Analyst, Agroconsult

Lecture: Challenges To Coffee World Supply: A Case Study On Production Costs And Funding Availability For Coffee Producers In Brazil


About Heloisa

Heloisa has graduated in Agronomic Engineering, and she has been working with Coffee market since then - for more than 10 years. In 2012 she has concluded her Master Degree in Coffee Economics and Science at Ernesto Illy Foundation. She has been traveling around the main coffee areas in Brazil doing a surveys on quality and crop conditions.

Cesar Escheverry

Director Ejecutivo, TECNiCAFÉ

Lecture: Coffee Quality Institute | El procesamiento como una herramienta innovadora para obtener perfiles de taza


About Cesar

Cesar Augusto Echeverry Castaño
Third-generation coffee entrepreneur, as manager of Supracafé Colombia, he carries out R&D and innovation in high-quality coffees in Cauca region (Colombia), while as Executive Director of the Coffee Innovation Techno-Park (TECNiCAFÉ), he manages social innovation and prodctive cluster in the Popayán plateau. He is an agronomist, with studies in innovation management, agro-ecology and rural development. He completed a Farming Management specialist and a Master in Organization Administration at the business administration school - University of Quebec.

Hernando Tabasco

Agronomist, SOCODEVI - Soeciety for International Development

Lecture: Coffee Quality Institute | El procesamiento como una herramienta innovadora para obtener perfiles de taza

About Hernando

From a family of coffee growers, Agronomist, Hernando has worked with coffee cooperatives and private companies in specialty coffee on issues related to fermentation, drying and quality control. He has participated as an assistant instructor in Q-Grader courses. He is currently working as a trade expert for SOCODEVI Cooperative Society for International Development - PROCOMPITE project, supporting associations of coffee growers in the production of washed and natural coffees, seeking marketing and commercial alternatives.


Joel Shuler

Owner, Casa Brasil Coffees and Little City Coffee Roasters

Lecture: Coffee Quality Institute | El procesamiento como una herramienta innovadora para obtener perfiles de taza


About Joel

Joel Shuler is the owner of Casa Brasil Coffees and Little City Coffee Roasters, two Texas-based roasting companies. His areas of specialization are sensory analysis and post-harvest processing. Joel is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering under Dr. Flávio Borém at the Universidade Federal de Lavras. His translation of Dr. Borém's Handbook of Post-Harvest Coffee Technology brought a much-needed coffee processing resource to the English-speaking world, and has sold in more than 25 countries. Joel has authored and co-authored numerous articles and chapters on coffee, from publications such as Roast Magazine to the Royal Society of Chemistry. A Q Arabica Instructor, Joel works as a consultant for the Coffee Quality Institute in the areas of Sensory Analysis and Post-Harvest Processing.

Raquel Mayer

Creative Director, QuelDesign

Lecture: Roast Small, Package Big: "Small Batch" Digital Printing and Other Options for your Packaging


About Raquel

Raquel is the owner and creative director at her studio QuelDesign where she and her team of designers and coders work on an eclectic mix of digital, print, brand, and info graphics. We help bring ideas to life, whether you need to reimagine your brand, craft a killer presentation, or even spice up ho-hum data. Since we first put out our shingle in 2009, we’ve worked with a growing spectrum of clients across the country—from Seattle to Austin to New York to Cupertino. We even win industry awards. Better yet, our clients keep coming back for more.

William Walters

Executive Vice President, Pacific Bag, Inc.

Lecture: Roast Small, Package Big: "Small Batch" Digital Printing and Other Options for your Packaging

About William

William J. Walters is Executive Vice President at Pacific Bag, Inc. in Woodinville, WA/North Wales, PA. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and has worked for 30 years in packaging product development and quality assurance. Through his work at Honeywell International, Avery Dennison, Fres-co System USA, and Pacific Bag as well as studies at Michigan State University and Clemson University, he has gained a wide range of knowledge in flexible packaging with a focus on Specialty Coffee.


Juan Hurtado

Coffee Farmers/BlueHarvest Nicaragua, Catholic Relief Services

Lecture: Healthy Soils: The Key to Vibrant and Resilient Coffee Farms


About Juan

Juan Hurtado is a coffee farmer and cattle rancher from Matagalpa, Nicaragua. His 21-hectare coffee farm is projected to produce 23 quintals green coffee per hectares this season, and is certified Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance. He started to work on cattle ranches in Matagalpa as a young man. After attending the army, where he learned to read and write, he joined the Union of Cooperatives San Ramon, and was able acquire his own land. In 2015, he became a farmer promoter through a farmer field school funded by Keurig Green Mountain/CRS Blue Harvest supported by UCA San Ramon. The focus is improving soil and water conservation practices; making organic fertilizers with coffee by-products; and improving coffee milling water use efficiencies.

Wendy Larson

Vice President, LimnoTech

Lecture: Healthy Soils: The Key to Vibrant and Resilient Coffee Farms


About Wendy

Wendy Larson is a Vice President at LimnoTech, a water science and environmental engineering firm headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She leads LimnoTech’s water sustainability consulting services, focusing on corporate water stewardship, water risk assessment and sustainable agriculture. In this capacity, she works with clients to help them better understand and quantify their direct and indirect water uses and risks, and develop strategies to minimize risks and protect economic, social, and environmental needs. She supports corporations who are developing and implementing water stewardship strategies, global NGOs active in water stewardship, and research institutions and government agencies.

Julius Ng'ang'a

Regional Representative - East Africa, UTZ

Lecture: Living Wage: An Opportunity For The Coffee Industry To Close The Farmworkers' Sustainability Gap

About Julius

Julius Ng’ang’a is UTZ’s East Africa Regional Representative. Born and brought up on a Kenyan coffee farm, Julius describes himself as a man with ‘coffee running through his veins’. As, UTZ representative, Julius supports Farmers in the implementation of UTZ Standard and in delivery of rural innovations that support productivity and quality at farm level and downstream supply chain. Julius has over 13 years of experience as top Manager in Coffee Management and Marketing for a global Company and Apex Coop in East Africa, Consultancy and Sustainable Projects Management.


Koen Voorend


Lecture: Living Wage: An Opportunity For The Coffee Industry To Close The Farmworkers' Sustainability Gap


About Koen

Koen Voorend received an MA and a Ph.D. in development studies from the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Furthermore, he holds another M.Sc. in international economics
studies from Maastricht University, The Netherlands. He currently lectures at the School of Communication of the Faculty of Social Sciences and researches at the Institute of Social Research (Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales) of the University of Costa Rica. He has been part of the GLWC since 2015, and dis the Living Wage benchmark studies for rural Guatemala, and will do more benchmark studies for Costa Rica, Belize and possibly Honduras.

Noura Hanna

Worker's Rights and Livelihood Expert, UTZ

Lecture: Living Wage: An Opportunity For The Coffee Industry To Close The Farmworkers' Sustainability Gap


About Noura

Noura has joined UTZ Certified in December 2012. As Workers' Rights and Livelihood expert at UTZ, she is investigating the root causes of key sustainability challenges affecting workers and farmers livelihood in anumber of supply chains. She is advising on approaches to tackles those through UTZ standards requirements, by setting up trial pilot projects and by connecting with community of practices on these issues and decision makers nationally and globally. On living wage specifically, UTZ is a founding member of the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC). Noura is currently the co-chair of this global initiative. Before joining UTZ, Noura was working at Oxfam managing development programs in multiple countries in Asia and Africa covering a wide range of developmental and human rights issues.