2012 Annual Convention Speakers


Full Steam Ahead:
Solutions for Tomorrow's Industry

March 22-24, 2012
Charleston Place Hotel, SC






Martín Arévalo de León
General Manager, ANACAFE

Session: Climate Friendly Practices on Coffee Farms

Originally trained as a biochemist, Martin developed a successful management career between 1992 and 2003, holding regional management posts for Latin America and the Caribbean for Agro-Chemical companies. In parallel, and due to his convictions on social and political issues, he was an actively engaged citizen, participating in civil society activities with a focus on public policy issues, which led him to serve in public office related posts from 2004 through 2008. For three years he was engaged in an effort to develop a broad based national dialogue in Haiti, aimed at involving local actors in the definition of their development agenda.

Martín’s experience in managing complex institutions coupled with his background of agro-chemical activities and knowledge of local dynamics led Guatemala’s National Coffee Association to appoint him as General Manager of the organization.


Allen Bach
Manager, Market Research, The J.M. Smucker Company

Session: Sneak Peak, National Coffee Drinking Trends 2012

Allen heads the Market Research team at The J.M. Smucker Company and serves as a member of the NCA Market Research Committee.  At Smucker, he and his team conduct extensive research that delivers insights across the Company for its growing portfolio of brands including Folgers, Millstone and Café Bustelo.

Allen has 20 years of research experience across the CPG and foodservice industries.  He holds an undergraduate degree in business finance from The Ohio State University and a MBA from Case Western Reserve University.  He and his family reside in Wadsworth, Ohio.



Jeffrey B. Blumberg, Ph.D. FACN, CNS
Senior Scientist and Director, Antioxidants Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University

Session: Coffee and Antioxidants:  The Promise and the Puzzle

In addition to his role as Director of the Antioxidants Laboratory, Dr. Blumberg is also a Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.  He participates in activities relevant to the incorporation of sound nutrition science into public health policy and has served on committees of the Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, U.S. Surgeon General’s Office, and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

From 1981 to 2004, he served as Assistant then Associate Director of the HNRCA. He was also an Associate Professor at the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions at Northeastern University and served as Head of the Section of Pharmacology and Director of the Program in Toxicology.

He has published more than 230 articles and currently serves on the editorial boards of several nutrition science journals. He is also a consultant to several food/pharmaceutical companies and trade-related associations. His research efforts are focused on the biochemical basis for the role of antioxidant nutrients and their dietary requirements in health promotion and disease prevention during the aging process via their modulation of oxidative stress status.

Dr. Blumberg received a BPharm in Pharmacy and BS in Psychology from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He received his postdoctoral training in cyclic nucleotide metabolism at the Tennessee Neuropsychiatric Institute and the University of Calgary.



Scott Clemons
Chief Investment Strategist, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

Session: Setting Course in an Uncertain Economy

Mr. Clemons joined BBH&Co. in 1990, and has held a variety of investment roles at the firm over the past 22 years.  His career began in international equities, where he was an analyst and portfolio manager of European and Asian equities, working out of the firm’s New York and London offices throughout the 1990s.  In 2001 he broadened his responsibilities into domestic equity management and research as well, and then from 2005 through 2010 managed the New York office of the firm’s Private Wealth Management business.  In 2010 he was appointed Chief Investment Strategist, and is today one of the firm’s primary writers and speakers on topics related to the economy, financial markets and investing.



Rodrigo Costa
Chief Financial Officer, Caturra Coffee Corp.

Sessions: Keeping an Eye on the “C” Market: Bulls, Bears and Beholders

                 Confessions of a Hedge Fund Trader: An Affair with Coffee

Rodrigo’s career as a commodity professional includes working as a trader for several trading companies in Brasil and more recently he served as Vice President at Newedge USA.

Rodrigo holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration, with MBA in Accounting and Finance from FAAP (Fundacao Armando Alvares Pentead) in São Paulo, Brasil and a specialization in Risk Management from Columbia University – PRMIA.



Renaud Cuchet
Managing Director, Efico Central America S.A. (Efico Group)

Session: Climate Friendly Practices on Coffee Farms

Renaud Cuchet was born and raised in France, he is an MBA graduate of the Normandy School of Business and Administration (Le Havre). He was trained in the world of commodities in a coffee and cocoa trading firm in France before moving to Central America in 1985. In 1987, he established himself in Guatemala where he now is Managing Director of Efico Central America S.A.

EFICO is a Belgian-Swiss green coffee and cocoa trading company founded in 1926. With offices in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Guatemala and Ethiopia, EFICO provides services to suppliers and its 450 customers in the coffee and cocoa industry, with the highest standards regarding quality and food safety, traceability, and sustainability.

Renaud has been involved in the implementation of several sustainable coffee projects in Latin America. He is also EFICO FOUNDATION's Latin America Project Coordinator, supporting communities in coffee and cocoa growing regions with sustainable development initiatives.



Michael Edwards
Managing Partner, DIG Insights

Session: Sneak Peak, National Coffee Drinking Trends 2012

Michael Edwards is managing partner of DIG Insights. He is proud to have been part of the National Coffee Drinking Trends study for the past eight years and has witnessed firsthand the evolving coffee marketplace. Prior to co-founding DIG, Michael spent 15 years using consumer research to help companies such as P&G, Nestle, Kraft and Mars make consumer-relevant decisions. Michael has enjoyed brief periods living in two coffee producing countries: Guatemala and Nicaragua.



Paul J. Fisher
Owner, Fisher Waterhouse LLC

Session: Keeping an Eye on the “C” Market: Bulls, Bears and Beholders

A forty two year veteran of the coffee business, Paul spent 28 years as a Coffee Importer/Trader, 16 of those years as President of Tristao Trading Inc., importing and trading coffee to the US market for one of the oldest and most traditional coffee exporters in Brazil. Paul has also worked as a coffee buyer for The Nestle Co. and Eight O’clock Coffee Co.

Paul is also a collaborating author of The Coffee Exporter’s Guide, Second Edition   published in 2002 and co-author of the just released 2012, Third Edition; ITC/UNCTAD/ WTO, Geneva.  He is also an Honorary Life Member of the Green Coffee Association, and served for 13 years as Treasurer and Director of the National Coffee Association.

Paul has a Bachelor Degree in Economics from the University of Dayton and a MBA from Pace University in New York.



Erika Frank
Vice President, Legal Affairs, California Chamber of Commerce

Session: Keeping California at Bay: The Threat of Proposition 65 to Coffee Commerce

Ms. Frank leads the CalChamber’s Legal Affairs Department, which participates in court cases having a broad impact on California’s economy and business climate – including workers’ compensation reform, labor and employment taxation, litigation reform and commercial free speech.

As CalChamber’s subject matter expert on California and federal employment law, she oversees and contributes to CalChamber’s labor law and human resources compliance publications, co-produces and presents webinars and seminars, and head the Labor Law Helpline.

Through their active involvement on the front lines of California’s legal and labor law compliance scene, Frank and her team are first to know when and how changes in law affect employers.  She uses her employment law expertise to develop and facilitate training courses for HR professionals, and she is a sought-after speaker at industry events.

Frank holds a B.A. in political science from University of California, Santa Barbara, and received her J.D. from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.



Fernando Gast
Director of Scientific and Technological Research, Cenicafé, Colombia

Session: Will Climate Change Affect Quality Coffee?

Dr. Fernando Gast is Biologist at the Universidad de los Andes (Bogota) with a Ph.D. in Biogeography from the University of Saarland (Germany).  He was Department biologist-ecologist Green in Environmental Management SA Electricity Interconnection He served as Project Scientist Biopacifico Coordinator.  He was coordinator of Biodiversity Inventory Program of the Research Institute of Biological Resources Alexander von Humboldt and Director of the National Coffee Research, National Federation of Coffee Growers.



Steven Gojak
Research Associate, Cleveland Research Company

Session: Coffee To Go: Supermarkets, Office Coffee Systems and C-Stores

Mr. Gojak is a Research Associate at Cleveland Research Company (a sell-side equity research firm), joining the company during its formation five years ago.  Mr. Gojak is part of the team that has been voted to the Independent/Regional All American Research Analyst list by Institutional Investor Magazine for three years in a row.

During his time at Cleveland Research, Mr. Gojak specialized in generating proprietary channel research with a goal to identify trends and inflections that impact the financial performance and outlook across the food retail and foodservice industries by connecting with key decisions makers through the supply chain.

Based on the firm’s unique research reports and insights, Mr. Gojak has been invited to speak at numerous industry events and leadership conferences over the last five years.



Vincent Iatesta
President, Ceremony Coffee Roasters

Session: Riding Coffee's Fourth Wave

In 2001, Vincent left his corporate job in business development with Johns Hopkins Health System to start a coffee roastery with a commitment to quality in every aspect of business. Quality meant cutting no corners, sourcing the absolute finest beans available, forging meaningful relationships with farmers, investing in likeminded coffee centric staff, being committed to excellence in coffee preparation and customer service. In the process, Vincent has traveled extensively in producing countries and served as an international jury member in six Cup of Excellence competitions.

His staff and coffee have consistently placed at the top in competitions such as SCAA’s Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters and Roasters Choice. Ceremony is located in Annapolis, MD with two cafés and wholesale accounts throughout the Mid-Atlantic.



Andrea Illy
Chairman and CEO, illycaffè S.p.A.

Session: Quality: At The Intersection Of Sustainability And Certification

In June 2005, Andrea Illy was appointed Chairman and CEO, illycaffè S.p.A., heralding the third generation of Illy family members to lead the company.  Founded nearly 80 years ago upon the invention of the modern espresso method by Andrea’s grandfather, Francesco Illy, the company’s uncompromising passion and vision is to create the highest quality coffee: an authentic Italian experience in every cup, whether at a favorite restaurant or café, or right at home.

Andrea is a hands-on Chairman and CEO: a chemist, philanthropist, philosopher, avid athlete, wine and spirits expert and forward-thinking businessman.  He spearheaded illy’s global expansion, bringing the illy experience to cafés, restaurants, hotels and retailers in more than 140 countries around the world, where six million cups of illy coffee are now served every day.
His leadership in sustainable coffee production was recognized by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the world’s leading industrial certification authority.  In 2009, DNV announced a new certification for sustainable supply chain practices, based on illy’s longtime protocols, from farm, to factory, to retail shelf.

Today, Andrea continues to grow the illy brand through unique and uncompromising approaches from bean to cup, with a focus on quality, technology, sustainability, education, culture and art. He is currently president of the Association for Science and Information on Coffee (ASIC), the only independent scientific coffee organization.

Andrea is married and has three daughters.  He lives in Trieste, Italy, where illy is based.



James B. Kaloyanides
Vice President, Sales, New England Coffee Company

Session: Gourmet Coffee – On the Tip of your Tongue?

Jim is a 4th generation family member of New England Coffee. He currently serves as Vice President of Sales, and was formerly Director of Sales & Customer Service and Director of Strategy for the company. Prior to joining New England Coffee, Jim served in roles across several functions at Staples, Inc., including Finance, Operations, and Human Resources. Jim is on the Board of Advisors for Mirak Automotive Group and is a member of the Northeastern University Family Business Center and the Northeastern Leadership Development Forum.

A graduate of Northeastern University and Boston College, Jim resides in Winchester, Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.



Autumn McDonald
Director, Consumer Insight & Strategy, Kraft Foods

Session: Hispanic American Market Report:  New Market Research from NCA

In her current role, Autumn is responsible for leading Kraft Foods’ In Market Testing for Growth organization, and providing competitive advantage by testing products, strategies, and programs in market prior to full scale expansion.

Born in Corpus Christi Texas, Autumn joined Kraft 2 years ago. During that time she has overseen in market testing that has touched each of Kraft’s Business Units and more than 15 retailers. Autumn also spent a period of time leading research for the company’s Immediate Consumption team as well. Prior to joining Kraft, Autumn spent 2 years at Colgate Palmolive, leading Oral Care Shopper Marketing. Her time at Colgate Palmolive was preceded by nearly a decade with Procter & Gamble, where she led research teams in P&G’s Snacks and Beverages Division, Multi-Cultural Business Development Organization, Shopper Understanding Organization, and the National Customers Organization. Autumn has extensive multi-cultural research expertise, having overseen 300+ studies targeting the Hispanic and African American markets.

Autumn earned her Degrees in Mathematics and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to her work in consumer packaged goods, Autumn was the owner of AD Dance LLC, a performing member multiple dance companies, and has sat on the Boards of various non-profit organizations.



Alex Morgan
Senior Manager, North America Sustainable Value Chains, Rainforest Alliance Agriculture Program

Session: Climate Friendly Practices on Coffee Farms

Alex is responsible for scaling-up demand for Rainforest Alliance Certified™ products – including coffee, chocolate/cocoa, tea, bananas, and cut flowers - business-to-business and consumer markets. He works with companies to develop and execute sustainable sourcing programs, including supply chain management, marketing initiatives and internal education.   He also manages the cultivation of new business relationships and works with companies already participating in Rainforest Alliance Certification to increase and deepen their engagement in the program and to assist them in effectively communicating the Rainforest Alliance mission to their customers. He has worked for the Rainforest Alliance for nearly five years.



Norm Ouellette
Chair, NCA Scientific Advisory Group / VP, Global Quality Assurance, Starbucks Coffee Company

Session: Coffee and Antioxidants:  The Promise and the Puzzle

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.



Ric Rhinehart
Executive Director, Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)

Session: Gourmet Coffee – On the Tip of your Tongue?

Mr. Rhinehart has twenty years of experience in the coffee industry, and has designed, developed, and produced a wide range of tea and coffee products.  He has considerable experience in developing manufacturing and packaging capabilities, and is a recognized expert in both coffee and tea evaluation.  He is co-author of Tea Basics a primer on premium tea, published by John Wiley & Sons in the fall of 1998.  Mr. Rhinehart is a frequent presenter and panelist on industry issues and trends at trade shows and symposiums.  He has served as a Director and as 2nd Vice President for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and has chaired the Training Committee and the Technical Standards Committee.  He was a founding member of the American Premium Tea Institute, where he served on the Board of Directors and as President.

Prior to joining SCAA he was the president of a Los Angeles, California based roaster and retailer.  Previously he held executive positions in several coffee & tea firms.

Mr. Rhinehart attended California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, majoring in metallurgical engineering.  He and his wife, Wendy Rasmussen, live in Garden Grove, California with their four children.



Oscar Schaps
Managing Director, Global Soft Commodities, INTL FCStone, LLC

Session: Keeping an Eye on the “C” Market: Bulls, Bears and Beholders

Mr. Schaps holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Economics from University of Florida ('86) and has more than 20 years of professional experience in risk management. Mr. Schaps started his career as a Risk manager when joined Hencorp in 1989, as a coffee specialist and joined INTL FCStone in 2010 when it acquired Hencorp Futures, LLC. Mr. Schaps is past President of Coffee Network, LLC and held a board seat on the National Coffee Association of America. He has also served as a Director or Committee Member for various international coffee organizations such as, Pacific Coast Coffee Association, the Association for Coffee Excellence, and the Brazilian futures exchange, the Bolsa de Mercadorias y Futuros.



Robério Oliveira Silva
Executive Director, International Coffee Organization (ICO)

Session: Welcome Remarks from ICO Executive Director Roberío Silva

After graduating with a degree in economics from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, Mr. Silva immersed himself in the field of commodities, particularly coffee. He has 25 years of experience in both the public and the private sectors, including his tenure as Director of the Coffee Department in the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply; Commodities Secretary in the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade; Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade (CAMEX); Secretary General of the Association of Coffee Producing Countries; and Secretary General of the Brazilian Federation of Coffee Exporters.

Mr. Silva became Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization on 1 November 2011.



Warren Solochek
Vice President Client Development, Foodservice, The NPD Group Inc.

Session: Coffee To Go: Supermarkets, Office Coffee Systems and C-Stores

Mr. Solochek has worked in the food industry for over 30 years.  Warren joined NPD’s Foodservice team in 2003. His responsibilities include overseeing relationships with all CREST® clients, both operators and manufacturers. His role at NPD gives him a great deal of insight into today’s Foodservice industry issues and trends, and helps him anticipate the issues the industry will face in the future. He is a frequent speaker at key industry events, including COEX, MUFSO, NACS, NACUFS, SFM, and the CHEERS and VIBE Beverage conferences. Prior to joining NPD, Warren spent 17 years at IRI working with some of the company’s largest CPG clients.

Warren earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his master’s degree from the American Graduate School of International Management in Phoenix, Arizona.



Susie Spindler
Executive Director, Alliance for Coffee Excellence, Inc.

Session: Cup of Excellence Goes Natural - A New Competition for Brazilian Coffees

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) is a global organization with membership and support from companies in over 50 countries. ACE is dedicated to projects that enhance the appreciation of top coffee and the farmers that produce them.  Susie was the co-creator of the Cup of Excellence® (COE) competition and auction program which is now managed by ACE.

Susie has years of coffee producer and consumer marketing related experience having worked for the ICO and on several consulting projects at origin. She has managed marketing research programs, been president of a small advertising agency and was an executive of a grizzly bear facility. She holds a graduate degree from The Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management.



David Sprinkle
Publisher, Packaged Facts, MarketResearch.com

Session: Coffee To Go: Supermarkets, Office Coffee Systems and C-Stores

As the publisher and research director at market research firm Packaged Facts (Rockville, MD), David Sprinkle specialized in consumer markets and trends in the food and beverage industry.  He has presented at industry conferences including Fancy Food Show, Focus on the Future, GOED Exchange, Innovations in Food & Beverage Packaging, National Confectioners Association, Nutracon, SupplySide West, and World Tea Expo, as well as contributing to trade publications such as Candy & Snack Today, Gourmet Retailer, Natural Products INSIDER, and Progressive Grocer.  His report on Premium Consumers and the New Economy: Food and Foodservice was published by Packaged Facts in 2009, and he is currently compiling a consumer trend study entitled Americans in 2020.  He has an MBA from Tulane University in New Orleans, where he also taught business communications.



Robin Stafford
Of Counsel, Morrison & Foerster LLP

Session: Keeping California at Bay: The Threat of Proposition 65 to Coffee Commerce

Robin Stafford is Of Counsel in the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, where she specializes in environmental law. Her practice has focused on litigation of claims under federal and state environmental law, including CERCLA, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and California's Proposition 65 ("Prop 65"). Ms. Stafford has also assisted clients with compliance issues arising from Prop 65 and storm water regulations under the federal Clean Water Act, and has helped manage risks associated with real estate transactions by offering advice on environmental and contractual indemnity issues.

Ms. Stafford received her J.D., cum laude, and a master's of studies in environmental law, magna cum laude, from Vermont Law School in 1998, where she was articles editor of the Vermont Law Review. Prior to law school, Ms. Stafford marketed investor-owned properties for a national mortgage company and worked as an administrative manager for one of the largest single-specialty medical practices in Texas.



Spencer Turer
Director of Coffee Operations, Coffee Analysts

Sessions: Business Luncheon (ticketed event): The Wine Quotient - Making Coffee Varietals Sell

                 Single-Cup Systems Come of Age

Spencer began his coffee career in 1994 as a Barista/Café Manager and began roasting coffee in 1995. His management experience includes coffee quality testing, product development, green coffee sourcing and supply relationships, coffee trading and market analysis, retail marketing, menu development and barista training. He has traveled to coffee producing countries throughout Central and South America, touring farms and mills, sourcing the world’s finest coffees.

As Director of Coffee Operations at Coffee Analysts in Burlington, Vermont, Spencer leads a team of coffee technologists conducting physical testing and sensory evaluations of coffee products.
Spencer is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Johnson & Wales University, earning degrees in Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management.