doug hewitt

Co-Founder and Director of Coffee and Programs, 1951 Coffee Company

Lecture: How the Coffee Industry Can Make Successful Refugee Resettlement Possible


About Doug

Doug Hewitt is the current Director of Coffee & Programs at 1951 Coffee Company. Doug worked as an ESL instructor in China from 2004-2006, after which he returned to the U.S. to complete his Masters of Arts in Intercultural Studies in 2009 from Union University. Post-graduation, Doug worked as a coffee roaster on the Aleta Wondo Coffee project for Boot Coffee Consulting while simultaneously serving as a volunteer ESL and employment instructor for the International Rescue Committee (IRC). In April 2011, Doug was hired as the Employment Specialist at the IRC in Oakland. Eventually he served at the Resettlement Team Coordinator overseeing the resettlement of 400 people a year. Doug left the IRC in 2015 to start 1951 Coffee Company along with former IRC colleague Rachel Taber.

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Head Barista, 1951 Coffee Company

Lecture: How the Coffee Industry Can Make Successful Refugee Resettlement Possible

About Meg

After arriving in the United States as a refugee from Bhutan in 2011, Meg Karki started working in the Specialty Coffee industry as a packager. In the years following, he worked a variety of jobs in the service industry while volunteering at the International Rescue Committee helping other new refugees find jobs. Meg joined 1951 Coffee Company as their lead barista in 2016. In August 2017, he took over as cafe manager leading a team of 9 baristas.


rachel taber – Moderator

Co-Founder & Operational Director1951 Coffee Company

Lecture: How the Coffee Industry Can Make Successful Refugee Resettlement Possible

About Rachel

Rachel Taber graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in International Affairs in 2004. Post-graduation, Rachel worked with the non-profit consulting firm in their Social Enterprise and Grantwriting departments until moving to the Bay Area in 2007. There she served as a Development Director for Junior Achievement, overseeing fundraising for 23 counties in Northern California. In 2011, Rachel accepted a job at the International Rescue Committee, serving as their volunteer coordinator (2011-2013) and then as a fundraiser and financial coach (2013-2015). Rachel left the IRC in April 2015, working for Allegro Coffee Roasters while building out 1951’s business plan. She currently serves as 1951’s Operational Director, overseeing the organization’s business management and fundraising.

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José Luis Zárate

International Development Consultant & Trainer, True Roots International

Lecture: Development from the Bottom-Up: Speaking the Language of Sustainability Across Cultures and Contexts to Improve Your Specialty Coffee Business

About José

International development specialist committed to constructing sustainable value chains with the collaboration of all those involved, from seed to cup to table. He holds a Bachelor degree in Agricultural Engineering, as well as diplomas in agroecology, photography, and documentary filmmaking. Over his career, he has developed expertise in a variety of participatory development methodologies, including needs assessment and problem solving, strategic planning, project management, risk management, and contingency planning. His ability to communicate in Spanish, English, and French has permitted him to serve as a workshop facilitator, panelist, and conference participant in coffee and development events around the world.

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kate fischer

Instructor in Anthropology and Women & Gender Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder

Lecture: Development from the Bottom-Up: Speaking the Language of Sustainability Across Cultures and Contexts to Improve Your Specialty Coffee Business

About Kate

Dr. Kate Fischer teaches about the political economy and social life of coffee in the departments of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has lived and worked with coffee producers in Latin America since 2008, primarily in Costa Rica and more recently in Honduras and Colombia.

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nora burkey

Programs and Research Advisor, The Partnership for Gender Equity

Lecture: Development from the Bottom-Up: Speaking the Language of Sustainability Across Cultures and Contexts to Improve Your Specialty Coffee Business

About Nora

Nora Burkey joined the Partnership for Gender Equity in May, 2016, helping to build strategy and develop proposals for their work in 2017. She is now leading PGE’s field level project in Nicaragua and supporting the organization’s growth and research initiatives. Nora holds a Master’s in Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute, where she focused on gender and food systems. For the past three years, she has lived in Nicaragua and is the founder of the non-profit The Chain Collaborative, which focuses on small community-led development projects with local leaders in coffee communities around the world.


SARAH grant

Assistant Professor - Cultural Anthropology, California State University, Fullerton

Lecture: Development from the Bottom-Up: Speaking the Language of Sustainability Across Cultures and Contexts to Improve Your Specialty Coffee Business

About Sarah

Sarah Grant is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at California State University, Fullerton. She has been researching Vietnamese coffee for nearly a decade and loves to share her knowledge about Vietnam’s ongoing journey towards recognition in the specialty coffee community. She has conducted extensive ethnographic research across the full spectrum of coffee in Vietnam from the significance of commodity coffee to complex agricultural regulations and barista culture. She is in the process of completing a book manuscript about Vietnamese coffee culture and its intersection with local convictions about the future and contemporary experiences of anxiety and hope.

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erika koss – Moderator

PhD candidate; Writer, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lecture: Resilient Coffee?: What “Resilience” Means & Why This Matters for All Members of Coffee’s Supply Chain

About Erika

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Erika Koss now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she is a writer and PhD candidate in International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University, focusing on coffee’s geopolitics. She holds two Masters degrees (English literature; Political Science), and formerly worked in Washington, DC (National Endowment for the Arts), and as assistant dean at a Boston university, where she created the event series “The World in Your Cup: Conversations on the Politics and Culture of Coffee.” A former barista, Erika has spent time at origin in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and Hawai’i.


Phyllis J. Johnson

President, BD Imports

Lecture: Resilient Coffee?: What “Resilience” Means & Why This Matters for All Members of Coffee’s Supply Chain

About Phyllis

With almost two decades of experience in coffee, Phyllis owns and operates BD Imports, green coffee importer and wholesaler of roasted coffee. In addition, she has led initiatives to empower women in coffee and served on many industry boards including Specialty Coffee Association of America, Coffee Quality Institute, International Women's Coffee Alliance and currently serving on National Coffee Association. She a graduate of theUniversity of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the Harvard Kennedy School. She's married to Patrick, co-owner of BD Imports and has two children Matthew and Maya. She lives in Georgia.



Assistant Professor, University of New Hampshire

Lecture: Resilient Coffee?: What “Resilience” Means & Why This Matters for All Members of Coffee’s Supply Chain

About Shadi

Born and raised in Lebanon, Dr. Shadi Atallah is now Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of New Hampshire where he teaches forest economics and ecological-economic modeling. He examines the economics of shade-grown coffee farming in a changing climate characterized by more pronounced pest and disease outbreaks. This topic is part of his wider research program that analyzes the use of ecosystem-based management to improve farm and forest resilience in the face of pest and disease outbreaks and pollinator decline. Prior to UNH, he was an Assistant Professor at Purdue University. Shadi received his Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Cornell University, MS in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Davis, MS in Plant Science from the American University of Beirut, and BS in Agricultural Sciences from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon. Prior to his graduate studies, Shadi worked as an agricultural project officer for MercyCorps International in Lebanon and an agricultural trainer for UC Davis’s International Programs Office.


Vava Angwenyi

Founder & Chief Coffaholic, Vava Coffee Kenya & Gente Del Futuro - Tanzania

Lecture: Resilient Coffee?: What “Resilience” Means & Why This Matters for All Members of Coffee’s Supply Chain

About Vava

In 2009, Vava Angwenyi started VAVA COFFEE – a Social enterprise whose main aim is to contribute to better future prospects for local communities and the coffee industry as a whole. The company ensures sustainable livelihoods for the people and communities in which it works. Vava is also the co-founder and director at GENTE DEL FUTURO whose focus is to amplify the voices of youth by creating economic empowerment, choices and sustainability for them within the coffee sector. She holds an Msc in International Finance and Management from University of Groningen as well as Certificate in Global Asset Management from Warrington College of Business, University of Florida and a BSC in Statistics & Actuarial Science from University of Western Ontario- CANADA. Vava’s vision is to challenge the status quo and promote positive social disruption within the Coffee industry. Vava is a certified Q grader, IVLP alumni and has gained recognition from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Young Innovators in Agribusiness, and the UNDP's Business Call to Action.


Alina Amador – Moderator

Senior Project Manager, Fairtrade International

Lecture: Laying the Groundwork for a Living Income: Strategies Across the Supply Chain

About Alina

Originally from Costa Rica, Alina is a coffee enthusiast, who has been working on coffee since 2008 after finishing her studies at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. She started working with the 4C Association as Regional Coordinator for Latin America. In this role, she had the opportunity to work closely with coffee farmers across Central America, Peru and Colombia, helping them to take their first steps into sustainability. In 2012, Alina joined the Pricing Team at Fairtrade International and has been focusing on projects around costs of sustainable production and profitability of coffee farming. She recognizes the critical relevance of researching these topics to shed more light on the challenges of sustainable livelihoods of coffee farmers. She also advocates for bringing these topics into the conversation with stakeholders and supply chain actors; raising awareness about their responsibilities and the opportunities to enable long term sustainability in coffee.

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Merling preza

General Manager, PRODECOOP

Lecture: Laying the Groundwork for a Living Income: Strategies Across the Supply Chain

About Merling

Merling Preza is a small-scale coffee producer and General Manager of PRODECOOP, a coffee cooperative made up of 2,300 coffee producers in northern Nicaragua. She also serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers, CLAC.

Merling has been in the coffee industry since 1989, working in areas such as coffee production and technical assistance, as well as international market strategies. Still today, she is committed to defending the interests of small producers and adding value to their organizations.


Peter W. Roberts

Academic Director, Transparent Trade Coffee & Grounds for Empowerment, Emory University

Lecture: Laying the Groundwork for a Living Income: Strategies Across the Supply Chain


About Peter

Peter is Professor of Organization & Management at Emory University and Academic Director of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta.

His research interests relate to how the behavior and performance of organizations evolve over time. Recently, he directs his interests in entrepreneurship and organizational performance toward topics in the field of social enterprise. His current projects focus on social entrepreneurs and accelerators, on microbusiness development, and on the global specialty coffee industry. For the past several years, he has also been spearheading Social Enterprise @ Goizueta, which focuses on making markets work for more people, in more places, in more ways. This led to the establishment of the global Entrepreneurship Database Program, the Start:ME accelerator program, and the Transparent Trade Coffee and Grounds for Empowerment programs.

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TJ Semanchin

Owner, Kickapoo Coffee

Lecture: Laying the Groundwork for a Living Income: Strategies Across the Supply Chain

About TJ

TJ Semanchin is a founder and co-owner of Kickapoo Coffee Roasters in Viroqua, Wisconsin. TJ found his way to coffee in 1999 after working and living in Latin America, focusing on sustainable development. Convinced that fair trade, organic coffee was the best bet for farming communities, TJ returned to the States and has been involved in the coffee industry and working for social change for the past 18 years. He recently served a 2 year term as board chair of the coffee importing cooperative, Cooperative Coffees.

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kate selengia

Program Manager, Climate Smart Coffee, Hanns R Neumann Stiftung

Lecture: Converting Climate Change Information into Action: Decision-Making Tools & Resources for Moving Forward With Successful Adaptation Projects

About Kate

Kate Selengia is the Climate Smart Coffee Program Manager for the Hanns R Neumann Foundation. Kate represents the initiative for coffee&climate (c&c) in the United States and manages the Feed the Future Alliance for Resilient Coffee. Her work focuses on facilitating collaborative knowledge sharing and tool development to equip the coffee value chain with the analytics and practical support needed to help smallholder coffee farmers become more climate resilient. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts in African Studies from New York University and a Master of Science in International Development from the London School of Economics.


Kathryn Gaasch

Industrial Engineer, RGC Coffee, Inc.

Lecture: Converting Climate Change Information into Action: Decision-Making Tools & Resources for Moving Forward With Successful Adaptation Projects


About Kathryn

Kathryn is a Masters of Environmental Management candidate at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She has worked in a variety of subject areas that synthesize her passions for the environment and community including: wildfire and controlled burning, migrant and seasonal farmworker youth, and coffee and climate change. Kathryn worked with Meredith Taylor, from Counter Culture Coffee, last summer to develop a participatory climate change adaptation workshop for coffee producers.

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Meredith Taylor

Sustainability Manager, Counter Culture Coffee

Lecture: Converting Climate Change Information into Action: Decision-Making Tools & Resources for Moving Forward With Successful Adaptation Projects


About Meredith

Meredith has worked in specialty coffee for 9 years, starting as a barista and moving into customer support before entering her current role as the Sustainability Manager at Counter Culture Coffee. She has an educational background in environmental policy and enjoys drawing on this experience for her work on with the SCA on sustainability issues and her role at Counter Culture. She has been working with Duke University to study the use of participatory methodologies to address climate change adaptation and has recently piloted a farmer-based workshop that reflects those learnings.


Molly Laverty

Director of Sustainability, Farmer Bros. Co.

Lecture: Converting Climate Change Information into Action: Decision-Making Tools & Resources for Moving Forward With Successful Adaptation Projects

About Molly

Molly Laverty is the Director of Sustainability for Farmer Brothers Co. Molly started with Farmer Brothers in 2010 and has been critical in developing direct trade verified sustainable programs and growing their overall portfolio of responsibly sourced coffees. She is an active SCA volunteer. Molly graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in Anthropology, Spanish, and Latin American Studies. Her passions include hiking, gardening, and coffee!

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Daniele Giovannucci

President, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA)

Lecture: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sustainability But Were Afraid to Ask

About Daniele

President of the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) — a global consortium of more than 60 institutions measuring what matters and powering impact to make a difference in sustainability. I am a passionate advocate for pragmatism, the democratization of data, and eliminating ignorance in sustainability discussions.

Over 30 years, I have served as advisor to a number of governments, development agencies and major corporations, including as chair of the global teams formulating the strategic input on Food and Agriculture strategy for the United Nations.

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Kim Elena Ionescu

Chief Sustainability Officer, Specialty Coffee Association

Lecture: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sustainability But Were Afraid to Ask


About Kim Elena

In her role as Chief Sustainability Officer at the Specialty Coffee Association, Kim Elena raises awareness of the threats currently facing the sector and strives to lead and inspire action among coffee industry actors of all sizes and across the coffee value chain. Prior to joining the SCAA in 2015, Kim spent a decade buying coffee and creating and directing sustainability strategy for Counter Culture Coffee in North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and two daughters. And although these days she is more likely to be found behind desks and podiums than cupping tables and espresso machines, Kim believes that sustainability must be firmly embedded in the business of coffee even as she acknowledges the need for increased collaboration beyond our industry’s borders.

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Andrea olivar – Moderator 

Finance and International Relations, Solidaridad

Lecture: The Social Inclusion as a Value Generator for the Coffee Industry


About Andrea

Andrea is the Global Manager of Solidaridad’s coffee programme which operates in Latin America, East Africa, Asia and Europe. Previous to joining Solidaridad, Andrea was Head of Coffee the programme at Twin Trading. Andrea has researched and led the implementation of women in coffee for the last 5 years. Andrea has over 10 years experience in international trade and supporting producers and businesses to adopt sustainable practices.


Angela Pelaez 

Sustainability Manager, RGC Coffee

Lecture: The Social Inclusion as a Value Generator for the Coffee Industry


About Angela

Angela Pelaez is a third generation Colombia coffee producer. She began her coffee career in 1998 with the FNC. She currently works for RGC Americas in Colombia as Sustainability Manager and serves as volunteer of the Farmworkers committee of the SCA sustainability Center. Her work seeks to create value for coffee producing communities through the supply chain and also supporting the industry in implementation of sustainable initiatives.


colleen anunu 

Masters Degree in International Development, Fair Trade USA

Lecture: The Social Inclusion as a Value Generator for the Coffee Industry

About Colleen

Colleen Anunu specializes in value chain inclusive market access, risk management and quality upgrading program development for the specialty coffee sector. As the Sr. Manager of Coffee Supply for Fair Trade USA Colleen leads strategic initiatives related to Fair Trade social premium investments and cost of production research. Colleen has a masters degree in International Development from Cornell University, where she co-investigated the impacts of smallholder participation in high-quality coffee value chains, and served as the research lead for the Coffee Quality Institute's Partnership for Gender Equity. Colleen has a professional background in coffee procurement, roasting and quality control, and is an Assistant Q Grader Instructor. She is a Director of the Specialty Coffee Association and lives in Montréal, QC.

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Elizabeth Newman 

Private Sector Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Lecture: Turning Research into “Reach”search! How to Ensure Coffee Genetics Reach Producers


About Elizabeth

Elizabeth discovered her passion while working with small-holder farmers in a small food insecure village in Niger, as an Agroforestry Extension Agent for Peace Corps. After completing Peace Corps, Elizabeth continued her passion by joining the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) where she worked on sanitary and phytosanitary standards, scientific capacity building and trade policy. Elizabeth currently works for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where she focuses on building alliances between the private sector and US government. Elizabeth has a Master of Arts in Psychology, (Organizational Leadership), and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

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Dapeng Zhang  

Research Geneticist (Dr.), USDA ARS

Lecture: Turning Research into “Reach”search! How to Ensure Coffee Genetics Reach Producers

About Dapeng

Dr. Dapeng Zhang is a crop geneticist at the USDA-ARS Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory, with numerous publications on coffee and cacao genetic resources, genomics and genetic improvement. The mission of the ARS Laboratory is to carry out research on coffee and other tropical perennial crops significance to national and global economies with the goals of : improving crop yields with reduced inputs, reducing the impact of crop disease, preserving and optimizing the use of crop genetic diversity and mitigating environmental impacts resulting from crop production, thus providing U.S. consumers and industries with safe and stable supplies of these commodities.

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Jocelyn G. Brown  

Deputy Administrator - Office of Capacity Building and Development, Foreign Agricultural Service/USDA

Lecture: Turning Research into “Reach”search! How to Ensure Coffee Genetics Reach Producers


About Jocelyn

Jocelyn G. Brown is the Deputy Administrator for the Office of Capacity Building and Development of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). In this position, she oversees USDA’s international food and technical assistance programs, including the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, the Food for Progress Program, the Cochran and Borlaug Fellowship Programs, and numerous technical assistance projects that promote U.S. government food security and trade capacity building goals. Ms. Brown holds an MBA with a concentration in international development from George Washington University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in American Literature.


stanley keuhn  

Chief Project Director, NCBA CLUSA International

Lecture: Turning Research into “Reach”search! How to Ensure Coffee Genetics Reach Producers


About Stanley

Stanley Kuehn is a Chief Project Director with 30 years of senior leadership experience in USAID and USDA funded projects in agribusiness, agriculture and food security, producer organization development and capacity building. Through his work across North American, Latin American and Africa, Kuehn has supported thousands of producers on their path to profitability. With in-depth expertise in the coffee sector and multiple traditional and non-traditional crop supply chains, Kuehn has successfully implemented numerous projects focused on engagement, training, commercial value chain integration and organizational management for small-scale farmers, marginalized citizens and communities, representing a project management portfolio of $215 million.

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Technical Managing Director, ACDI/VOCA

Lecture: Turning Research into “Reach”search! How to Ensure Coffee Genetics Reach Producers

About T.J.

T.J. Ryan has over 30 years of professional experience in international development, combining project and program management with a focus on agriculture and agribusiness development. He has lived in west, southern, and east Africa as well as Latin America, and has worked in Southeast Asia. Over the past 16 years, Mr. Ryan has focused on cocoa and coffee sector programs around the world, providing technical oversight and managing partnerships throughout these value chains from producers to public and private sectors and service providers. Mr. Ryan earned his M.B.A. in international business at Johns Hopkins University and speaks French and Spanish.


aida batlle 

CEO, Everest S.A.

Lecture: The Potential of Controlled Fermentation Through Yeast Inoculation

About Aida

Aida Batlle is a fifth generation coffee producer operating her family’s three farms—Finca Los Alpes, Finca Kilimanjaro and Finca Mauritania—in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador. In 2003, Aida entered her first Cup of Excellence competition and won with Kilamanjaro; Los Alpes placed 16th. Coffees from the Batlle family farms, as well as Finca Tanzania, which Aida personally owns, and the farms under the Aida Batlle Selection (ABS) certification, have been showcased by national barista champions from Greece, South Korea, and the United States, among others, at WBC events over the years.


Benoit Bertrand 

Geneticist, Coordinador for Coffee Research, CIRAD

Lecture: The Potential of Controlled Fermentation Through Yeast Inoculation

About Benoît

Dr Benoît Bertrand is working in coffee research since 1985. He is currently coordinador of the coffee research in CIRAD (France) , coordinator of the European project BREEDCAFs (Create new coffee varieties for Agroforestry system), chief breeder of World Coffee Research. He has written more than 100 papers on coffee science on International peer review journal. He is also vice-president of the ASIC (Association for Science and Information on Coffee).


Laurent Berthiot 

Coffee Technical Support, Lallemand | Zachary Scott, CEO, Scott Labs, Inc.

Lecture: The Potential of Controlled Fermentation Through Yeast Inoculation

About Laurent

He was born in the south west of France. He has worked for 12 years for the CIRAD, where he was in charge of the sensory lab mainly focused on coffee and cocoa projects. He is also a roaster and a coffee cup taster. He joined Lallemand in March 2016 in Toulouse. His job consists in developing a new activity around coffee and cocoa fermentation. My main missions are lab and field trials, dealing with coffee and cocoa fermentation process in the producing countries. He is passionate by coffee and cocoa. Really fall in love of coffee 15 years ago during his first field trip in la Reunion Island. He loves riding his bike, taking time with his family and friends and music.

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sarah allen–Moderator 

Editor in Chief, Barista Magazine

Lecture: The Potential of Controlled Fermentation Through Yeast Inoculation

About Sarah

Sarah Allen is the editor-in-chief and co-owner of Barista Magazine, an internationally distributed cultural, business, and educational journal for the specialty-coffee industry founded in 2005. Sarah earned a bachelors degree with honors in English from the University of California at Davis, in 1995, and went on to earn a masters in journalism with honors and distinctions from the University of Oregon in 2000. She lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband, Ken, with whom she founded and operates Barista Magazine, and their two dogs, two cats, and two fish.

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Coffee Buyer, Counter Culture Coffee

Lecture: The Potential of Controlled Fermentation Through Yeast Inoculation

About Timothy

Starting as a barista in 2002, Timothy Hill has worked his way backward through the stateside supply chain; from avid coffee drinker, to barista, delivering coffee, bagging coffee on a production line, and then a roaster. Today he is the head of quality and sourcing for Counter Culture Coffee based in Durham North Carolina. Much of his focus at Counter Culture is on building supply chains, particularly in Central and East Africa.

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CEO, Scott Labs, Inc.

Lecture: The Potential of Controlled Fermentation Through Yeast Inoculation


About Zachary

Zachary grew up in the California wine industry and today leads Scott Labs, the largest provider of biologicals and processing aids to the North American wine, alcoholic beverage Industry. Scott Labs was introduced to the mill-side of the coffee industry by Rogers Family Coffee in 2013 and in conjunction with Lallemand, the global premier supplier of natural microbes, began work in the industry. This team quickly applied a knowledge of microbes to the know-how, vision and dedication of growers, mills, institutes, and roasters. This work resulted in a selected line of yeast for the coffee industry. LalCafe: Express The Varietal.


Chahan Yeretzian  

Prof. Dr. - Head of Coffee Excellence Center, Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Lecture: A Scientific Approach to Coffee Freshness

About Chahan

Chahan Yeretzian is Professor for Analytical Chemistry, Bioanalytical Chemistry and Diagnostics at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Switzerland, and has earned an MBA from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. His lifelong passion for coffee began in 1996, when he joined Nestlé R&D in Lausanne, Switzerland. Here, his research covered everything from liquid coffee and coffee concentrate to soluble coffee and single-serve systems. In 2008, he founded the Coffee Excellence Center at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences – the first ever public research institute dedicated to coffee. He initiated in 2010 the first post-graduate degree on the “Science and Art of Coffee”. Professor Yeretzian is a driving force behind the shift towards an innovation-driven coffee industry and is a board member of several coffee organizations. • Director on the Board of the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) & Chair of Research Advisory Council of SCA • Board Member of Swiss SCA Chapter • Board member and Secretary of ASIC (Association for the Science and Information on Coffee) • Advisory Board of the German Museum in Munich for the special and traveling exhibition "„Kosmos Kaffee“ • CEO Swiss Coffee Alliance GmbH

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christopher H. Hendon  

Professor, University of Oregon

Lecture: Quantum Espresso: The Pursuit of Reproducibility


About Christopher

Christopher H. Hendon is a computational and experimental chemist with special interests in energy materials, applied physics and coffee extraction. He obtained his BSc. Adv. HONS from Monash University (2011) and PhD from the University of Bath (2015). After a two year postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he joined the University of Oregon as an tenure-track Assistant Professor of chemistry where he heads a research group with interests in materials chemistry for energy conversion. Prof. Hendon’s interest in coffee began during his PhD, and since then has published several peer-reviewed articles and a book, Water For Coffee. Dr. Hendon enjoys flat whites, washed African coffees, dry rieslings, east coast oysters and stimulating scientific problems.


Andreas idl  

CEO, Cropster GmbH

Lecture: Using Your Coffee Data as Business Intelligence to Deliver Quality, Consistency and Control


About Andreas

Andreas Idl, a socially minded entrepreneur, is the founder and CEO of Cropster GmbH. As a software developer with a degree in Information Systems he has focussed on using his technological experience in socially positive ways. This focus led him to Cali, Colombia and the Research Center CIAT. His work there focussed on helping small farmers in developing countries through research and development projects, specifically in coffee. As the project came to an end Cropster was created to continue the work in 2007. It is now the specialty coffee industries #1 software platform.


Marvin Antonio Molina Zamora

Ingeniero Agrónomo, Lutheran World Relief

Lecture: Coffee Producer Branding: Promote Your Coffee Online


About Marvin

Marvin Molina Zamora, Ing. is an agronomist who was born in Matagalpa, Nicaragua in 1982. He is Coordinator of Lutheran World Relief’s sustainable coffee program and works with young promoters who provide extension services on coffee production, good sustainability practices, and technical assistance to farmers with respect to production, quality and the environment.

Marvin has worked for more than 8 years in implementing development programs with organizations of small-scale coffee producers where agriculture is practiced as a family business, which includes the integration of women and young people in the coffee value chain, and promoting the sustainable development of small-scale producers.


Maryeli Janeth López Chavarria

Promotora Rural en Café, Aldea Global

Lecture: An Innovative and Impactful Model for Youth Engagement in the Coffeelands

About Maryeli

Maryeli Janeth López, was born in the department of Jinotega - Nicaragua and is now 22 years old. As a child she has had love for agriculture, nature and, above all, coffee. Her parents own a small farm of 4 hectares where she has grown and where they taught her about coffee through their family's work in the field.

Currently Maryeli is attending the first year of Agricultural Engineering school, She belongs to the voluntary group of promoters of young technical promoters working with coffee farmers to build their capacity and to provide technical advice in compliance with on-farm sustainability practices. Maryeli is committed to promoting coffee management in harmony with nature, environmental protection and the empowerment of women in agriculture.

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Christian Rotsko

Roastmaster/Buyer, Farmer Bros. Co.

Lecture: An Innovative and Impactful Model for Youth Engagement in the Coffeelands

About Christian

Christian Rotsko has been in the coffee industry for over 10 years professionally as a roaster and buyer. Cutting his teeth in the Bay Area coffee scene in the mid 2000’s, he has had the honor of being involved in some of the early stages of the new wave of coffee. Currently Christian manages the roast profiles at Farmer Brothers spanning their 3 roasting facilities in Texas and in Portland Oregon. He spends much of his time traveling to origin at strengthening relationships and sourcing coffee for Farmer Brother’s Project Direct Program. When he’s not traveling or Roasting Coffee he spends his time cupping and buying the ethically sourced portfolio for Farmer Brothers.

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Rick Peyser

Senior Relationship Manager, Coffee & Cocoa, Lutheran World Relief

Lecture: An Innovative and Impactful Model for Youth Engagement in the Coffeelands

About Rick

Rick Peyser is Sr. Relationship Manager, Coffee & Cocoa for Lutheran World Relief. Previously he led Keurig Green Mountain’s Supply Chain Community Outreach efforts, where he worked for 27 years. He served as President of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), as a member of the Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) Board of Directors, and now serves on the Boards of Directors of Root Capital, The Coffee Trust, Project Alianza, and Food4Farmers (co-founder). Rick co-authored “Brewing Change: Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters,” and was instrumental in producing the video “After the Harvest,” and in convening The Coalition for Coffee Communities.

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Warren E. Armstrong

General Manager, Association Aldea Global Jintega

Lecture: An Innovative and Impactful Model for Youth Engagement in the Coffeelands

About Warren

Warren E. Armstrong has worked in coffee for 37 years. In 1981, as a Peace Corps volunteer he started with two coffee Cooperatives: Cerroazul and Pilangosta in Costa Rica. Since 2000, Warren is the general manager for Asociación “Aldea Global” Jinotega, a small farmer association in Northern Nicaragua with over 9,500 members including over 3,300 rural women. Today, this Association exports Fair Trade, Organic, Rainforest Alliance, Direct Trade, and Manos de Mujer certified women’s only coffee. In addition Aldea Global loans over USD9,000,000 in micro-credits and processes locally fresh produce—while promoting gender equality via economic alternatives with financial literacy.


Andi Trindle Mersch

Director of Coffee, Philz Coffee

Lecture: Does Decaf Matter?

About Andi

Andi Trindle Mersch has a varied background within specialty coffee, which began behind the espresso bar in 1989 and, since then, includes cupping, training, consulting, green coffee trading and buying, quality control, operations, and writing. Mersch currently serves as Director of Coffee with Philz Coffee, SF. She has volunteered extensively throughout her career with the Specialty Coffee Association, serving on the former SCAA board, the Roasters Guild (RG) Executive Council and as a past president of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. She is currently serving on the RG Unification Committee and is newly appointed to the Food 4 Farmers board.

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Jen Apodaca

Director of Roasting, Royal Coffee, Inc.

Lecture: Does Decaf Matter?

About Jen

Jen Apodaca is the second Vice Chair of the recently unified Coffee Roasters Guild. She previously served on the SCAA Roasters Guild executive council. She started roasting coffee in 2005 for McMenamins Inc. in Portland, Oregon. She has roasted coffee for Ecco Caffe, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, and Blue Bottle Coffee. She is now the Director of Roasting for The Crown; Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room. She has experience on several styles of roasting machines and is dedicated to the craft of making coffee more delicious. She is an International Juror for the Cup of Excellence and the served as Chair of the Coffee Committee of the Good Food Awards.


Matt higgins

President & CEO, Coava Coffee Roasters

Lecture: Does Decaf Matter?

About Matt

Matt Higgins is the owner and CEO of Coava Coffee Roasters. His passion with coffee began in 1999 and throughout the last 19 years has played many roles in coffee such as: barista, consultant, lead trainer, lead tech, senior roaster, senior coffee buyer, as well as USBC judges certification.

Coava started grassroots style in August 2008 in Matt's North Portland garage. Present day Coava operates 3 cafes in Portland Oregon, a fourth in San Diego California, a comprehensive wholesale program as well as a robust roasting facility that includes a tasting room open to the public.

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ted phillips –Moderator

Business Development - Specialty Coffee North America, Swiss Water Coffee Decaffeinated Coffee Company

Lecture: Does Decaf Matter?

About Ted

Ted is a business development leader in the specialty coffee industry with Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company. He loves to support the entrepreneurial spirit of the industry and to help create value throughout the supply chain. Having spent time behind an espresso machine and in front of a trading screen, Ted knows the challenges facing small business owners in this industry. He wants to help you sell one more cup of coffee and to see that value transmitted back to the producers, farmers, and pickers.

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Charles Jack

Co-Owner, Cat & Cloud Coffee

Lecture: Creating Sustainable Careers in Specialty Coffee

About Charles

Charles Jack is currently Co-owner of Cat & Cloud Coffee in Santa Cruz, CA. Prior to starting Cat & Cloud Coffee, Charles spent 3 years in a Deputy-CFO role, running business operations for Verve Coffee Roasters. Charles holds a degree in Finance from Tulane University, and spent 6 years as a Wall Street investment analyst for multiple private financial companies. After leaving Wall Street, Charles discovered coffee while spending a year working in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan as part of TechnoServe's East Africa Coffee Program, a program that champions smallholder coffee quality and access to markets for more than 100,000 farmers in East Africa.

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scott stouffer

Vice President, Probat, Inc

Lecture: Permits, Emissions & Compliance: The Roastery Project

About Scott

Scott is a chemical engineer with 20+ years in the coffee industry. Scott worked in coffee R&D, roasting operations prior to joining Probat. Scott's preferred cup of coffee is black, from a French Press.


andrew gough

Founder & President, Reverie Roasters

Lecture: Coffee is a Business (Whether You Like it or Not): A Journey into The Black

About Andrew

Andrew Gough founded Reverie Roasters, a leading Midwestern coffee roastery and café, in 2013 after spending 9 years educating employees in the retirement planning industry. His love of coffee, learning and sharing inspired him to create the unique experience that defines his coffee roastery and two retail cafes in Wichita, KS.

Andrew & Reverie share a vision for being respected in the coffee industry as a leader in social collaboration, one who inspired others to take risk to improve the overall health of the community. Reverie takes coffee serious, but their mission extends much more than just making great coffee.