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Speakers

 

William A. Bowron, Jr.
Chairman of the Board, President & Chief Executive Officer – Red Diamond, Inc.
William A. Bowron, Jr., the fourth generation of the family to lead Red Diamond, Inc., has been with the company since 1991 and moved into his current position this year.   He is also the Past Chairman of U.S. Tea & Past President of Southern Coffee Association.  Mr. Bowron holds a Graduate Banking Degree from Rutgers University’s Stonier School of Graduate Banking and a BA from the University of Virginia.
 
   

David Browning
VP, Coffee Initiative - TechnoServe

David has been with TechnoServe, a non-profit organization focused on solving poverty in developing countries, since 2003. David has also served as TechnoServe’s Regional Director for Latin America and Vice President for Business Development. Prior to joining TechnoServe, David worked for McKinsey and Company, a management consulting firm. Before McKinsey, David held a range of managerial positions in the manufacturing, petroleum, and retail industries. David holds an MBA from Yale University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and a Master’s degree in Advanced Finance from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

 
   
Roger Cook
Pan-European Coffee Science Information Centre

Roger Cook has been immersed in coffee and health science and their communication for some 15 years. Roger is responsible for the day-to-day management of CoSIC, The Pan European Coffee Science Information Centre, a central resource for information on coffee and health based in the UK, and is also responsible the dissemination of information via a network of 22 offices across Europe and beyond. He is acknowledged as an expert in this area and speaks with authority on this complex and often contentious subject. He is able to translate science into layman’s terms in order to get the message across to varied audiences and has a deep understanding of media perception and reporting of the subject matter.
 
   
Colman E. Cuff
VP Coffee & Tea, Managing Director - Starbucks Coffee Trading Company (SCTC)
In his role as Vice President, Coffee & Tea and Managing Director for Starbucks Coffee Trading Company, Colman manages and oversees the global green coffee and tea purchasing for Starbucks worldwide. He and his team are responsible for establishing the procurement strategies in accordance with Starbucks quality standards and purchasing guidelines, including C.A.F.E. Practices. In addition, Colman leads the SCTC team in Switzerland, the Tazo tea department in Portland and the Farmer Support Centers in Costa Rica and East Africa.   Before joining Starbucks as a partner in July 2003, Colman worked as a coffee importer in New York for nearly 10 years where he gained incredible coffee industry experience and knowledge.  He is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law, New York, where he received a JD, with a concentration in International Trade Law. He was accepted to the New York Bar Association in 2000.
 
   
Mark DiDomenico
Director, Customer & Consumer Insights - Sara Lee Foodservice
Mark has been conducting market research in the foodservice channel for nearly 18 years.  His experience includes work for The NPD Group, one of the nation’s leading market research firms, Kellogg Foodservice, and, for the last 7 years, Sara Lee.  He began working in Sara Lee’s Coffee & Tea division in 2000 and took over additional responsibilities for the meat and bakery categories in 2005.  Mark is also the Chairman of the NCA’s Market Research Committee and a member of the Market Research committee for IFMA (the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association).
 
   
Candace L. Doepker, Ph.D.
Manager, Product Safety & Scientific Affairs, J.M. Smucker
Prior to joining J.M. Smucker, Candace spent 13 years as a Senior Toxicologist in the area of consumer product safety for Procter & Gamble where she developed hazard evaluation and risk assessment skills.   For the past 3 years Candace has been working in the area of food toxicology and has developed expertise in caffeine safety and diacetyl safety, as well as safety related issues management for coffee.  She has also been an active member of the Scientific Advisory Group at the NCA and the International Life Science Institute’s Caffeine Working Group for the past 2 years.  Additionally, she has served as the Co-Chair of the Caffeine Committee with the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of IFIC.  In all of these affiliations she is recognized for her science-based understanding of health and wellness in regards to coffee and a strong working knowledge of the safety, regulatory and worker related issues facing the industry.
 
   
Jonathan T. Feuer
Board Chairman – National Coffee Association
President – L.M. Zuckerman & Company
Jonathan T. Feuer has served as NCA’s board chairman for the past year.  Mr. Feuer has more than 30 years of coffee industry experience, including the last 18 years as president of L.M. Zuckerman, a supplier of soluble coffee products to world markets with a primary focus on North America.
 
 
   
Ron Fierman
Partner, President – Digital Pulp

Ron oversees Digital Pulp's day-to-day operations as well as new business, finances and strategic partnerships. Ron spent the majority of his 20-year career as Executive Vice President, General Manager at Warwick Baker O'Neill, a New York-based integrated communications agency. While there, Fierman played a key role in managing the business activities of the agency. Fierman was most recently at Paradysz Matera, New York, where he functioned as general manager for the direct marketing firm.  Fierman's advertising career began in Chicago where the Leo Burnett Company was his client. Determined from that experience to join the ad industry, he soon shifted to Don Tennant Advertising, Chicago. Ron's advertising background also includes stints as chairman of the 4As NY Regional Council and president of the Ad Club of NY. Ron graduated from Miami University in Ohio and later received an MBA from Loyola University in Chicago.
 
   

Skip Finley
Technical Services Director - Cirqua® Customized Water ™

Skip brings over a decade of experience and support to the specialty coffee & tea beverage retailer. His knowledge of the brewing and extraction process, and technical expertise in water "formulation" systems, has contributed to the success of many hundreds of establishments in our industry.

 
   
Molly Fogarty
Manager of Government Relations - Nestlé USA
Molly Fogarty, came to Nestlé USA’s Washington office in 2004 following a position with the Senate Agricultural Committee.  Nestlé USA, with 2007 sales of $8.25 billion is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A.—the world’s largest food company—with 2007 sales of $90 billion.  In addition to her service with Nestlé and on Capitol Hill, Molly has worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus® and on a congressional campaign.  A Nebraska native, Molly received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas. She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and two year old twin boys.
 
   
Richard Guzauskas
Tea Industry Consultant
Richard currently works as a consultant within the specialty and iced tea segments of the tea industry where his 20 years of experience and expertise in working with emerging tea and tea related businesses as well as bringing tea into existing business venues makes him a sought after consultant and speaker.  Living in the Los Angeles area, Richard has worked with many prestigious specialty tea companies and has an impressive client list including such prestigious companies as David’s Tea (Canada), Shangri La Tea Co., Tea Forte, QTrade Teas & Herbs, The China Mist Co., Encore (HK), Te Amo (Israel), and many more.  Richard launched the Leaves Pure Teas brand in 1991, presently chairs the Advisory Board of the Specialty Tea Institute and sits on the Board of Directors of the Tea Association of the USA. He spends considerable time in Asia where he is principal of a Hong Kong based tea trading company.
 
   
Margaret Heery 
Vice President of Strategic Marketing - Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
As the Vice President of Strategic Marketing for the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation, Margaret Heery is responsible for providing to Bunn the marketing trends and insight information concerning foodservice beverages, segments, and channels.  She is also a VP of National Accounts.  Before joining Bunn, Heery held various sales and marketing positions at General Mills, Pearlco of Boston, and Kraft Foods.  At Brooklyn Union Gas Company she created recipes and then demonstrated the preparation of them to groups as large as a 1,000.  Heery has participated in previous panel discussions at the 2005 SCAA Conference and Exhibition, the Fall 2005 and 2006 NCA Education Conferences and the 2007 NACS Show.  She also serves on the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Industry Advisory Council and is the project team leader on the Sustainability Committee.  Heery earned her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York and holds an Executive MBA. 
 
   
Eliot Jordan
Director of Tea – Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Inc.
Eliot Jordan has been selecting and blending the finest premium teas for Peet’s Coffee & Tea for two decades.  Since his start at the original Peet’s store in Berkeley, California, Jordan has introduced new tea offerings like Peet's Rare Teas and created new blends such as Peet's annual Anniversary and Holiday Breakfast.  He has traveled to Asia several times to learn about the major tea-growing regions – India, Sri Lanka, China and Japan – consequently developing strong relationships with the premier producers.  Jordan is also a member of the Specialty Tea Institute and speaks frequently at tea industry events.
 
   
Ellen Jordan Reidy
President and Founder – America’s Food Technologies, Inc. (AMFOTEK®)

Ms. Reidy began her career with Wechsler Coffee Corporation holding numerous positions including President of the firm's specialty coffee division, and later as Vice President of Operations overseeing the firm’s three roasting plants/quality assurance initiatives.  During her 28 year coffee career, Ms. Reidy has served on numerous coffee industry boards and committees. She is Chairperson of the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to improving the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it.  Ms. Reidy is also a past-director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and past-chair the association’s Training Committee. Ms. Reidy received the SCAA’s Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award (2000) for her work on the critical role of sensory evaluation in coffee’s quality assessment. She further serves the industry on the National Coffee Association’s Scientific Advisory Group.  Ms. Reidy holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
 
   
Gene Lewis
Partner, Creative Director – Digital Pulp
Gene joined Digital Pulp at its inception in the fall of 1996.  As a partner he has been deeply involved with technology strategy and implementation, internal systems infrastructure analysis and building and launching sites for some of the world’s most successful companies and organizations, including Atkins Nutritionals, The Open Society Institute, DoubleClick, Scholastic, John Wiley & Sons, 1800FLOWERS.COM, Adidas and many more.  Before joining Digital Pulp, Gene's expertise in, and passion for technology led him to consult for several years working with individuals, educational institutions, and government labs as a Network Architect and Systems Analyst. During his tenure as an independent consultant, Gene founded a regional user group, which grew quickly and became a powerful resource for more than 1,000 members. While Gene helps to marry technical and creative forces in the online world he also finds time to contribute to such publications as Madison, Esquire and Interview magazine.
 
   
Mark Linscott
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources
Mark Linscott was named to his current position in October 2003, after previously serving as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative in the same office since July 2002. Mr. Linscott oversees all trade and environment issues for USTR, including related free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, work in the World Trade Organization and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, environmental reviews of all trade negotiations, and USTR representation in meetings and activities under multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).  Previously, as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Linscott was the U.S. negotiator in the WTO for trade and environment issues, as set forth in the Doha Ministerial Declaration, having taken up such responsibilities from the very start of these first-ever negotiations in the WTO. He also coordinated negotiating positions on the environment chapters for FTAs with Australia (on which he was the environment negotiator), Central America, Morocco, and the South African Customs Union.  Mr. Linscott has worked in the federal government since 1985 and holds a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
 
   
Desiree Logsdon
Vice President, Marketing - Bunn-O-Matic Corporation

With over 29 years in the foodservice industry, Desiree Logsdon is skilled at translating her considerable expertise into tangible benefits for the beverage equipment customers of the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation.  As Vice President of Marketing, Logsdon is responsible for association relations, corporate responsibility, and developing and executing the company’s marketing strategies.  She also supports trade show participation, customer relations, and community outreach.  Logsdon is an active member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, the National Association of Convenience Store Manpower Committee and the Specialty Coffee Association Conference Committee.
 
   
Richard Magid
President, SoundBoard Consulting Group, LLC
Over the past eight years with SoundBoard, Richard Magid has combined his extensive coaching and facilitation skills with a lifetime of business experience to support fellow business owners in their quest to build more profitable companies.  SoundBoard works with the leaders and managers of small to mid-size companies to support them in their desire to achieve superior financial results, more effective leadership, greater team and staff productivity, healthier work environments, continued professional growth, and a culture that supports, motivates and retains key individuals.  Over the last 29 years, Richard's ventures have spanned a wide range of industries. From building a wholesale/retail chocolate business in the mid 1980s to managing a commodities trading firm in the 1990s, Richard always held the leadership position.  His early international banking career and advanced business degrees bring a strong financial perspective to his clients, while his varied experience and years of building his own businesses give him the ability to empathize with the challenging journey they face.
 
   
David Neumann
Speaker of the Board - Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG)
Before becoming Speaker of the Board of Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) – the world’s largest green coffee service group of companies, David attended university and trained in and managed NKG companies in Germany, the United States and Colombia.  David is the 3rd generation of this family-owned enterprise passionately dedicated to all things coffee whose holding company in Hamburg, Germany oversees 48 operative companies in 29 countries throughout the coffee world.  NKG activities encompass all activities on the green coffee value chain including farming and farm management, export and import, futures trading and added value treatment, logistics and specialty coffees of all kinds. David is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the “Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung,” an independent non-profit foundation with substantial and varied activities and projects in coffee producing countries.
 
   
Norm Ouellette
Vice President of Global Quality and Scientific Affairs - Starbucks Coffee Company
Chair, Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) of the NCA

Norm is a veteran of the Coffee Industry having spent over 25 years with Kraft Foods (Maxwell House).  During this period, he led Coffee Product & Process Development activities in the US as well as in Canada, the UK and Europe.  Norm served as Director of Quality Assurance for Oscar Mayer and Vice President Worldwide QA for the Campbell Soup Company.  Through his extensive experience in packaged foods, consumer focused product development, QA and Regulatory Affairs, Norm has formulated a broad perspective on coffee, product safety, consumers and regulations worldwide.  Norm holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and Masters of Business Administration from Iona College (NY). 
 
   
Marvin G. Perez
Editor-in-Chief - CoffeeNetwork.com

Marvin Perez has been writing on world financial markets for the last twelve years, most recently for CoffeeNetwork.com, a commodity analyst, Internet-based service since 2001.  As Editor-in-Chief, and correspondent for CoffeeNetwork, Mr. Perez has travelled around the coffee world covering major events on the market and other commodity-related events in the Americas and Europe.  He has interviewed numerous top executives in the world coffee industry as well as top government officials from leading coffee producing and importing countries.  Before joining CoffeeNetwork, Mr. Perez worked for six years as a financial reporter for Dow Jones Newswires in New York, writing on a wide range of subjects from Emerging Market equities and debt markets to all major commodities.  His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, weekly financial newspaper Barron's as well as numerous publications across the Americas, and parts of Europe and Asia.  He has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University, in New York, where he studied Industrial Relations. He currently lives in New York City.
 
   
Rick Peyser
Director of Social Advocacy and Coffee Community Outreach - Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Rick Peyser has been with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters for over 21 years.  He is a past President of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and currently serves on the Coffee Kids™ Board of Directors, the Coffeelands Landmine Victims’ Trust Advisory Board, and the Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) Board of Directors, which sets the international standards for Fair Trade that benefit over 1,000,000 small-scale farmers around the world.
 
   
Juan Lucas Restrepo
Commercial Manager - National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia

Mr. Restrepo is a Colombian Civil Engineer with a M.Sc. degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. He has managing experience in both the public and private sectors where he has dealt with diverse issues covering policy design, business development, strategy, planning and project design and implementation. On the public side he has served in various roles including Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Advisor to the Colombian Government on Coffee Matters and as one of the lead negotiators of the Colombia-¬US Trade Promotion Agreement.  On the private side, he has worked for TetraTech Inc. as Deputy Chief of Party for a large development program in Colombia, with Syngenta as their Business Development Manager for the Andean Countries and the Caribbean, and has done consulting in food marketing.
 
 
   
Ellen Rogers
Research & Development Innovation Manager, Coffee Excellence - Dunkin' Brands
Ellen Rogers has over 20 years of experience in product development and strategic planning and recently celebrated her 22nd anniversary with Dunkin’ Brands, parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.  At Dunkin’, Ellen leads the Tree to Cup team, which executes plans related to coffee quality, supply and costs, managing the implementation of the development of coffee products and related equipment, and the development of comprehensive coffee specifications, requiring Ellen to cup coffee on a regular basis.  Ellen travels annually to Origin and is involved in every aspect of Dunkin' Donuts' coffee production – from tree to the more than 2.8 billion cups of coffee served at Dunkin' Donuts shops each year.  In addition to Ellen’s responsibilities at Dunkin’ Donuts, she serves as a board trustee for the Coffee Quality Institute and on the International Women’s Coffee Alliance fund-raising committee.  Since 1994, she has been a member of the SCAA and has served on the Roaster Retailer committee from its inception to 2005.
 
   
Leslie Sbrocco
Award-winning author, writer, speaker, wine consultant, and television host
Leslie Sbrocco’s entertaining approach makes learning about wine and food fun.  She is the author of two books, Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine and The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide, and is currently working on her third.  Leslie is also a contributor to Epicurious.com, WineReview Online, The San Francisco Chronicle and her work has been published in O, the Oprah magazine, Coastal Living, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Glamour, and Santé.  Prior to writing her first book, she was a columnist for The New York Times Online, Cooking with the Times and General Manager/Co-Founder of WineToday.com, the wine site of the New York Times Company.  Leslie is wine consultant for Harry & David, the Kimpton Hotel Group, and Virgin America Airlines. She is also a wine educator for Crystal Cruises and Holland America Cruise Lines and a respected judge at a number of the country's largest wine competitions and international wine competitions.  (Read Leslie’s full bio here!)
 
   
Michele C. Schmal
Vice President - CREST Product Management, NPD Foodworld
Over the past 3 1/2 years, Michele has worked to help evolve CREST, the premiere consumer information tracking service for Foodservice, from a paper diary to an online service.  At the same time, NPD launched its information portal, NPDfoodworld.com to provide quick and easy access to both public information and subscriber data thru this secure web site.  Michele has a strong background in analysis of consumer trends for the foodservice industry with over 25 years of experience.  Michele frequently presents market data information as part of her job at CREST.
 
   
Karl Schmidt:
President - Probat-Burns

As President of the Probat Group of companies in the US since 1989, Karl Schmidt is responsible for all activities within the Group, primarily focusing on the North American Market with special emphases in engineering concepts for coffee processing facilities, process integration & innovation, and roaster & grinder manufacturing among other specialties within the Coffee and Cocoa Segment.  During the last few years his emphasis has been addressing the thermal dynamic processes within coffee roasters, the transfer of energy through the beans during the roasting process and the degassing of coffee.  Environmentally friendly and energy saving application of new technologies to control pollutants throughout the coffee / cocoa processing stages is also a major area of that focus.  He holds a Business and a Master’s Degree in engineering from Universities in Germany.
 
   
Joe Simrany
President - Tea Association of the USA, Inc., Tea Council of the USA, Inc., Specialty Tea Institute (STI)

As a leader in the tea industry, Mr. Simrany tracks trends, disseminates information, and represents the interests of the wholesale and retail tea industry on a broad spectrum of issues.  As president of the Tea Council, he leads the industry's educational and public relations’ efforts relative to communicating the many attributes of tea to consumers.  Joe Simrany first came to the tea industry in February of 1991 after 25 years in the biscuit industry, most recently as Vice President of Marketing for Sunshine Biscuits, Inc.  At Sunshine, he was instrumental in evolving the company from a manufacturing driven company to a consumer driven company.  In addition to significantly strengthening the companies’ share and profit positions, he spearheaded the effort to expand and update the companies’ product lines.  Prior to his time at Sunshine, Mr. Simrany was a product group director at Nabisco Brands, Inc. where he was employed for nearly 20 years in a marketing and sales capacity.
 
   
Sabrina Vigilante
Director, Markets (Americas & Asia Pacific) and Sustainable Value Chains – Rainforest Alliance

Sabrina Vigilante has more than 12 years of experience in international marketing and sustainable enterprise development. At Rainforest Alliance, Sabrina oversees the marketing of Rainforest Alliance Certified agricultural products -- including coffee, cocoa, bananas, other tropical fruits, and cut flowers; working with coffee companies and retailers to incorporate sustainable procurement practices and consumer education into business models. Sabrina has served as the Rainforest Alliance spokesperson at international conferences for specialty coffee, tea, and beverages in Japan, Costa Rica, Australia, Dubai, Europe, Central America and the USA.  She earned an MBA in International business from Bryant College and a BA in English with a concentration in Anthropology from Tulane University.
 
   
George Vukasin Jr.
Executive Vice President - Peerless Coffee and Tea
George Vukasin Jr. joined Peerless Coffee and Tea, an 84-year-old family owned and operated company based in Oakland, California, in the 1990’s. He oversees operations and procures raw coffee beans and tea from around the world, taking him to coffee producing countries several times a year.  George has served as a Board member of the Pacific Coast Coffee Association and currently sits on several committees for the National Coffee Association including the Producers Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Roasters Guild of America, Slow Food, and has participated in several international cupping competitions as a Judge. George also completed the SCAA Sensory Skills test with an exceptional score.  George holds a degree in Economics and a BA in Art History from The University of California at Berkeley and a Grande Diplome de Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.