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NCA Virtual Convention Speakers and Sessions

NCA speakers and educational sessions are handpicked to inform and inspire. From artists to economists, our speakers are selected for their unique perspectives and compelling stories.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

10:00 am - 11:30 am

The Evolution of Trade & Logistics: From Challenge to Opportunity (NCA Next Generation Session)

Moderator: Nora Johnson, Commodities Manager, Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA


Thomas Hartley, President & Owner, Hartley Transportation

Janet Colley Morse, Vice President, The Dupuy Group

Tara Emam, Senior Manager, Strategic Accounts, The Port of VA

Luca Scamardella, Import Trade Manager WCSA & Coffee WW, Mediterranean Shipping Company (USA) Inc.

Presented By:  RGC Coffee, Inc.

Open to all registered delegates


1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Disrupting Workplace Bias

Chef Jeff Henderson, Celebrity Chef, Star of Flip my Food with Chef Jeff & Author of If You Can See It, You Can Be It.

Jeff Henderson was once the poster child for explicit and unconscious bias. Following his release from federal prison over two decades ago, few people would give him a chance at redemption. Having honed a talent for the culinary arts behind prison walls, Henderson was eager to show his transformation to the world; however, the doors of rejection slammed hard. Luckily, a few bold and visionary corporate leaders stepped up to give him a shot at his dream. He became the first African American chef at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, followed by stints at Hard Rock Hotel and the world-renowned Bellagio Resort and Casino. Jeff Henderson has been moving forward ever since.

Celebrity “Chef Jeff,” as he is known today, is using his experiences to demonstrate how unchecked bias can impact a company’s bottom line. He also shares that, with conscious effort, checked bias can change the trajectory of a human life. He is a living witness to this fact. Today Chef Jeff is the best-selling author of “Cooked,” and he is the former star of the Food Network’s “The Chef Jeff Project.” 

Chef Jeff inspires attendees by sharing his inspirational journey of personal and professional transformation, while also offering unique insights about the importance of eradicating bias in workplaces. 


2:45 pm – 3:30 pm

Digital Body Language: Collaborate Faster and Further, Together

Erica Dhawan, Best Selling Author, Named “Oprah of Management Thinkers”

Presented By:  Be Green Trading SA

Erica Dhawan is an internationally recognized leading authority, speaker, and advisor on 21st century teamwork, collaboration, and innovation. Named by Thinkers50 as the Oprah of Management Thinkers, she is the author of two books, Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence and Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance.

Humans rely on body language to connect and build trust, but with most of our communication happening from behind a screen, traditional body language signals are no longer visible - or are they? In her keynote, Erica combines cutting edge research with engaging storytelling to decode the new signals and cues that have replaced traditional body language across genders, generations, and culture. 

In her captivating presentation, Erica  will supercharge attendees with collectively understood rules that foster connection, build trust, and drive innovation. 


 3:45 pm – 4:30 pm

Can Brazil Freeze Again This Winter?  What are the Potentials for El Niño?

Drew Lerner, World Weather, Inc.

Presented by Sucafina NA, Inc.

Drew Lerner of World Weather, Inc. will discuss the potential for another frost and freeze event in Brazil’s coffee region this winter. He will also examine the prospects of whether an El Niño event can evolve later this year.  In the meantime, an assessment on world coffee conditions will be made along with a seasonal outlook for each of the major production areas in the world. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

10:10 am – 11:00 am

2022 Vision:  The New Normal

G. Scott Clemons, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.    

Presented by Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

As the economy emerges from the disruption and emergency support measures of the last two years, we are getting more insight into what the new normal looks like, and what it implies for businesses and investors.  From supply chains, to inflation, interest rates and employment, the return to normal looks a little different from what came before.  Join us for a conversation about the threats and opportunities confronting the post-pandemic economy and financial markets.


11:05 am – 11:50 am

Fueling Your Brand

Dia Simms, CEO, Lobos 1707 Tequila

Presented By:  Baronet Coffee, Inc.

Content. Entertainment. Fashion. Fragrance. Retail. Now, tequila. Dia Simms has distinguished herself as the visionary creative and marketing force behind multiple global brands in multiple industries. A pioneer in utilizing social media and digital innovation, she has been named both an Ad Age Woman to Watch and a winner of the Diageo Global Marketing Brilliance Award. Now at the forefront of branding for the tequila industry, she shares her insights on what it takes to build, lead and manage successful brands — and how to fuel yours for success.


1:00 pm – 1:45 pm - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Best Practices to Manage and Grow Your eCommerce Profitably

Fred Killingsworth, CEO, Hinge Global and Kathy Cummins, Head of Research, Hinge Global

Presented By:  Olam Foods International

eCommerce continues to grow in importance for the coffee industry, but it has also become more complicated to manage profitably.  The high cost of warehousing and shipping, increasingly steep competition, and the shortage of experienced talent  mean that smart business owners need to think differently about their online business. 

Join HINGE GLOBAL, one of the leading eCommerce firms, as they share the key pillars to managing and growing eCommerce profitably.  This presentation will share best practices for key aspects of your online business, including how to:

  • Strategically manage your product catalog across multiple channels,
  • Efficiently warehouse and manage multiple fulfillment methods,
  • Use the right data to make informed decisions, and
  • Leverage technology to streamline the day-to-day operations.

The Year of Coffee's Roller Coaster. When Can We Expect to Get Off the Ride?

Albert Scalla, StoneX Financial, Inc.

2020-2021 was the perfect storm for chaos in the coffee industry, leading to some of the most volatile periods in the last 50 years for coffee prices. Amid a pandemic, coffee grappled with frost in Brazil, soaring freight and fertilizer prices, drought, and the emergence of a commodity “super-cycle.”

In this session, we will dive into the factors that will be impacting the market and provide our exclusive analysis on the supply and demand picture. Attendees will also get a first-hand look at the findings from our most recent crop survey in Brazil and our 2022 Brazil crop estimate, following one of the most complex years for the country’s climate in recent memory. 

Mobilizing Shared Investment for On-Farm Innovations:  Securing the Future of Coffee

Vern Long, World Coffee Research

Presented By: Farmer Brothers

Climate change, a global pandemic, evolving consumer preferences and purchasing patterns, supply chain uncertainties: all these shape our industry – what’s possible and what we need to simply make it to tomorrow. Farmers face these same constraints and innovations on-farm shape not only how farmers can respond, but fundamentally affect what coffees our industry can provide consumers. Farmer decisions on which varieties to plant have consequences for global supply as well as the diversity of offerings in the market. Farmer decisions have farreaching consequences – and the innovation toolbox available to farmers to reduce their risk and catalyze their success are critical ingredients to the whole industry’s success - ensuring continued supply of quality coffee.

Trying to address supply challenges given the complexity of our supply chains across a diversity of origins could be paralyzing - but no need! New technologies and scientific approaches make it possible for stakeholders at all points along the supply chain to have greater agency over our shared fate and presents concrete ways that working together we generate success. Through collaborative design and shared investment, we can innovate a toolbox that makes coffee production successful around the world – and shores up opportunity across our industry. Though the uncertainties of the 21st century are great, this presentation will focus on what we can do together to achieve results.

Insights into Increased Pest Pressures in Green Coffee Logistics

Shannon Sked, Western Pest Services

Pest pressures in the supply chain of green coffee have been on the rise over the past several years. This includes pests in shipping supply chains such as psocids and foreign grain beetle, but also direct warehouse and transportation pests including the Indian Meal Moth and others. This session will explore what may be causing the recent increase in pests, the risks that pest pose to food safety in the green coffee supply chain, and what can be done to help eliminate those risks.




2:15 pm - 3:00 pm - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

The Future of Ready-To-Drink Coffee in the U.S.

Matthew Barry, Euromonitor

Presented By:  BKON

In the US, ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee still posted positive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two forces powered this upward trajectory—a growing preference for cold coffee among younger consumers and a demand for caffeinated energy across all demographics. Euromonitor International will examine the future of RTD coffee in the US, focusing on the category’s role in functional energy occasions but also in non-traditional uses, such as the emergent “hard coffee” segment.

Session Preview


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Supply Chain Shifts Can Outlast the Pandemic

Judy Ganes, J. Ganes Consulting

Presented By:  ICE Futures U.S. Inc.

30 years ago, decisions were made in corporate boardrooms across many industries to operate with Just-In-Time inventory practices.  That served companies well as logistics improved, transport became extremely efficient, documentation streamlined, and storage costs were pushed downstream.  This worked -- until it didn't.   The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities that have come at an enormous price.   What will become the new norm when the dust settles?



Bringing Coffee to the Table: Research and Policy Priorities for Enhanced Resilience and Equity in Smallholder Coffee Production

Dr. Jonathan G. Malacarne, University of Maine

The distribution of its actors and interests across the Americas make the coffee sector particularly well suited to be a key organizer of efforts to improve livelihoods and create communities that are resilient to economic and environmental shocks. That the sector is intimately tied to issues of labor, agriculture, the environment, and international trade only strengthens this potential. To fulfill it, however, the diverse stakeholders in the coffee sector must be brought to the same table and achieve a unified voice in the broader discussion of agricultural and economic development in the Americas.



Supply Chain Scenarios:  How Did We Get Here, How are Things Shaping Out and What Should We Be Looking For?

Dr. Walter Kemmsies, The Kemmsies Group

Presented By:  Louis Dreyfus Company







Thursday, March 10, 2022

10:10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

National Coffee Data Trends:  How Coffee Rebounds and Stays Resilient in 2022

Cheryl Hung, DIG Insights Inc.

Presented by White Coffee Corp.

In this much-anticipated session, Cheryl Hung of DIG Insights will offer a preview of the new Spring 2022 National Coffee Data Trends report, the longest running statistical survey of coffee consumer attitudes, behaviors, and trends. Cheryl will share key takeaways and offer insight into the trends shaping coffee's future.


11:20 am – 12:00 pm

The Current State of the Food Service Industry and What the Future Holds

Mark DiDomenico, Datassential

Presented by Volcafé USA

In this session, Mark will discuss the current state of the Foodservice Industry, the challenges that have permanently changed the business, and what the future holds.  The session should provide strategic guidance for anyone currently in, or looking to enter the Foodservice Industry.



1:30 pm - 2:15 pm - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

How the Rise of Remote Work Will Change the At Home and Away From Home Coffee Markets

Caleb Bryant, Mintel

Presented By:  Rothfos Corporation

The COVID-19 pandemic completely changed work paradigms and the coffee market will never be the same. A new class of remote workers will propel retail coffee sales and brands face a key opportunity to deliver consumers coffee shop experiences within the home. The decline of morning commutes poses issues for foodservice coffee chains yet also unlocks unexpected growth opportunities. Learn how changes in where and how consumers work will benefit and challenge both the foodservice and retail coffee markets, the post-pandemic future of “third spaces”, and coffee product and menu item development strategies that appeal to remote workers. 


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and How it Benefits your Organization

Adrienne Trimble, Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Sysco Foods

Presented By:  Louis Dreyfus Company

What do great Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs look like? In this session, Adrienne will discuss how these programs benefit an organization when done correctly and address how members of the National Coffee Association can bring more diversity into their organizations.


What we can Learn from Sustainable Initiatives in Hawaiian Coffee 

Frederick Cowell, Kauai Coffee

Bob Schaffer, Soil Culture Consulting Services

Fred Cowell and Bob Shaffer will be addressing the current and potential impact of sustainability initiatives on Kauai coffee and the broader Hawaiian coffee industry. They’ll review some of the current challenges and solutions from economic, social/community, and environmental perspectives.



Dispensed Cold Brew in Retail Settings: Food Safety and Compliance Challenges

Dr. Mark Corey, National Coffee Association 

Presented By:  Toddy

Dispensed cold brew has become an incredibly popular and valuable product served in retail evironments that consumers are drinking up!  In this session, we will cover some of the current food safety challenges encountered in retail settings when serving cold brew, and how to prepare for potential food safety inspections.   



2:45 - 3:30 pm - Concurrent Breakout Sessions

IWCA - Advancing Women's Role in Coffee and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Sarada Krishnan, Ph.D.; Executive Director, IWCA

Presented By:  InterAmerican Coffee

The International Women's Coffee Alliance’s (IWCA) mission is to empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry. Through strategic programs and partnerships, IWCA aims to achieve empowerment through our three main focus areas: leadership development, strategic partnerships, and amplified market visibility. The way IWCA achieves this is through chapters in individual countries to drive change locally.

In this session, Dr. Krishnan will provide an overview of IWCA, its work and future vision to achieve gender equality. 


Overview of Glasgow Climate Talks:  Opportunities for the Coffee Sector in Global Climate Action

Speaker: Shyla Raghav, VP, Climate Change; Conservation International

Presented By:  Louis Dreyfus Company


Coffee Packaging Innovation:  What’s New in Consumer Coffee Packaging

Jim Watson, Rabobank

Presented By:  Fres-co System USA, Inc.

How does coffee packaging compare with trends in other beverage categories? And most importantly, what is coming next? In this session, we'll look at current packaging through the lens of:

  • Story-telling,
  • Sustainability,
  • Convenience, and
  • Supply chain constraints.


Cold Brew Heats Up

David Henkes, Senior Principal and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Technomic

Presented By:  BUNN

In this session, David Henkes, senior principal and head of strategic partnerships at Technomic, will dive into cold brew coffee. He will explore the current size and outlook of the cold brew market, who is buying cold brew, where it is appearing on menus, innovation on cold brew as an ingredient and what to expect next in this strong and growing coffee category. 


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