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National Coffee Association honors Charlie Cortellini with 2023 Distinguished Leadership Award

NEW YORK | FEB 27, 2023 – The National Coffee Association (NCA) is honored to award Charles “Charlie” Cortellini with the 2023 NCA Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of his many contributions and distinguished career spanning more than four decades in the coffee industry.

After completing his college education, Charlie entered the coffee industry and quickly climbed the ranks of leadership at prominent coffee companies including Hills Bros Coffee, Nestle’s, Chock Full O'Nuts, First Colony Coffee & Tea, and Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA (MZB-USA), where he currently serves as Vice President of R&D, Quality, Food Safety, and Purchasing for the North America region.

Charlie has also made significant contributions to the industry at large, serving on the NCA's Science Leadership Council where he helped develop numerous ground-breaking resources in areas such as cold brew safety.

Throughout his remarkable career, Charlie has left a lasting impact on the lives of countless coffee professionals. His wisdom, professionalism, honesty, and integrity have earned him the respect and admiration of colleagues and peers alike.

NCA President and CEO William “Bill” Murray commented:

“When you think of ‘coffee,’ you think of Charlie Cortellini,” said Murray. “His over 46 years of service have left a lasting legacy in the coffee industry and influenced an entire generation of coffee professionals -- to me, there is no one more deserving of this award.”

Charlie Cortellini commented:  

“Receiving this award is a tremendous honor that has left me truly humbled. I must admit, it is rare for me to be at a loss for words, but this recognition has taken me by surprise. This achievement would not have been possible without the support, contributions, and dedication of the talented individuals I have had the pleasure of working with throughout my career – you have my gratitude.”

He continued, “I also want to express my heartfelt appreciation to my beloved wife, Toni, whose unwavering love and support have been instrumental to my success. Once again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

NCA will present the 2023 Distinguished Leadership Award on March 10th, 2023 during coffee’s premier event, the 2023 NCA Convention in Tampa, FL. Register for the convention here.

About the National Coffee Association Distinguished Leadership Award

The National Coffee Association Distinguished Leadership Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, service, advocacy, and engagement to advance both the National Coffee Association and the coffee industry. The recipient of this special honor has demonstrated exemplary leadership, service, and commitment to the NCA and the coffee industry by promoting and advancing NCA’s mission; contributing to the advancement of the coffee industry; and going above and beyond what one may usually undertake. The award is for continuous and sustained leadership, service, and contribution, rather than for a single act, no matter how monumental.


For further information, contact media@ncausa.org

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