Lifetime Achievement Award

Howard Schultz

The National Coffee Association awarded its highest honor – the NCA Lifetime Achievement Award – to Howard Schultz at its Centennial Convention in New Orleans, LA on March 18, 2011.  Reserved for extraordinary service to the U.S. coffee industry, the award singled out Schultz for his transformative contributions to the business and culture of coffee across the globe.

Howard Schultz
Chairman, President and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company.

Lifetime Achievement Award Process


  • Nominees must have at least 20 years of service in the coffee industry.
  • Geographic location and NCA membership status are irrelevant.
  • Nominees may be living or deceased.
  • The award is for lifetime achievement rather than for a single contribution, no matter how monumental.
  • Nominees must be widely regarded as possessing integrity, honesty and the respect of their peers.
  • Nominees must have made extraordinary contributions to the betterment of the coffee industry.

Nomination Process

  • Letters of nomination, addressed to the President of the Association, must be submitted from three individuals who are employed by a NCA member company.
  • Letters of nomination must include a description of the nominee’s significant accomplishments that benefitted the coffee industry and any other contributions made to the industry which the nominator wishes to be considered as part of the selection process; and
  • Information on the current employment status of the nominee.
  • For nominees to be considered as recipients at the next annual convention, all letters of nomination and any supporting material a nominator wishes to include with the letter of nomination must be submitted (postmarked) to the NCA headquarters office by June 30th of the year prior to the convention.
  • NCA may request additional information to support any nomination.

Selection Process

  • A Selection Committee consisting of five members shall be appointed by the then current Chairman of the Board. The Committee shall consist of at least two past NCA Chairmen, however no one who has nominated someone as an Award candidate my sit on the Committee when any person they have nominated is being considered.
  • The Selection Committee is responsible for reviewing all submissions with due diligence for the purpose of determining which nominees will be submitted to the Board of Directors for consideration as Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
  • The actual awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award is dependent upon three-quarters of the full Board of Directors voting in favor of bestowing the Award.
  • No more than one Lifetime Achievement Award may be bestowed in any given year.