board

Our board is charged with overseeing the work of our staff and volunteer committees. We attempt to make most policy decisions based on written proposals and recommendations from the committees. The board meets five times per year via teleconference and once per year at our annual general assembly of all members.

 

TJ Semanchin bio photoTJ Semanchin, Kickapoo Coffee – Chair
T.J. is Co-owner of Kickapoo Coffee Roasters. He found his way to coffee after working and traveling in Latin America, focusing on sustainable development. Convinced that fair trade, organic coffee was the best bet for farmers in Latin America, T.J. returned to the States in 1999 and has been in the coffee industry ever since working for social change. He is married with two children.T.J. has been at the start up stages of two successful small roasting businesses, Peace Coffee in Minneapolis and now Kickapoo Coffee. He’s worn the many hats of a small business owner: production labor and deliveries, sales, creating production systems, quality control, new product launches, management and overseeing financing and strategic planning.

 

Dan Bailey bio resizedDan Bailey, Amavida Coffee – Vice-Chair
Dan, along with his wife Sally, founded Amavida Coffee and Trading Company in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. He is passionate about his community and improving things locally and around the world. Dan grew up in coffee growing regions and lived in many international settings throughout his life and enjoys traveling and lending a hand to improve the lives of coffee farming communities where possible. Dan serves on the Board of Directors for the Seaside Repertory Theatre and on the Board of On The Ground – a not for profit organization dedicated to bringing fresh water, education, and healthcare to those without. In his spare time he enjoys his time with his family relaxing on the beach.

 

Glenn BioGlenn Lathrop, Desert Sun Coffee Roasters – Treasurer
Glenn is the founder and sole owner of Desert Sun Coffee, in Durango Colorado, the Southwest’s premier 100% organic and fair trade coffee roaster. We love Durango and the life style that comes with it. It’s part of who we are just like the coffee we roast. Place matters, that’s why we are committed to organic and fair trade principles and understanding and involving ourselves in the full coffee chain from origin to cup.

 

Michael King bio photoMichael King, Bean North Coffee – Secretary
Michael started Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd. in 1997 along with his partner Helen and two friends. At that time Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd. was one of three 100% fair trade coffee roasting companies in Canada. And, it was the only one north of 60 dedicated to striving for the best in both the quality of its coffee and the quality of life of farmer friends, their families and their communities. After 15 years of traveling to the coffee lands to learn more about our coffee and to better understand the realities on the ground in the communities Bean North partners with, both Michael and his partner Helen are proud to have created a positive force for change that is connecting consumers and farmers in a new partnership that is socially, environmentally and economically viable.Michael’s passion for organic farming and for those who grow the beautiful food we enjoy extends beyond the coffee lands; he is passionate about building healthy organic soils and in the spring and summer months grows all the produce for the Bean North Café. In his spare time Michael can often be found tending the numerous flower gardens that surround the café.

 

Joes Photo 2Joe Lozano, Third Coast Coffee
Joe is one of the seven original founders of Cooperative Coffees. He first started roasting coffee because he thought it would be easy. Having come from the cooking/restaurant world, Joe knew the basic principles of cooking, timing and working in tortuous temperatures. In 1994, Joe started roasting coffee under the name of Los Armadillos and found that the “easy” world of roasting was actually quite challenging. When approached by Bill Harris to start up Cooperative Coffees, Joe figured that the proposed way of purchasing quality coffee not only benefited his business, but really liked the idea that he could help growers’ communities and make a contribution to their families lives. Joe’s membership in the Coop has provided him the opportunity to travel and meet our growing partners, hear their needs and help them grow as a community. This is a principle that continues to be the backbone of his business today. At the end of 2007, Joe purchased Third Coast Coffee and began a journey that has continued his goal of purchasing high quality beans, in order to create exceptional coffee. Third Coast Coffee is one of the premier quality roasting companies, located in the heart of Austin, Texas. Third Coast participates in various projects within the Coop; including water projects, ROYA funding and school building. It is Joe’s mission to continue to educate anyone who will listen about what it takes to create great coffee.

 

Guylaine-BoD photo F Guylaine Pelletier, Café Cambio                                                 Guylaine’s extensive travels in Latin America led her to meet coffee producer coops in Guatemala in 1998. This encounter actually changed the course of her life as she decided then to create a business allowing her to stay connected to these producers, while giving them access to the Québec market. Café Cambio worker cooperative was then started in 2005 to bring into a somewhat remote region of Northern Québec the values and principles of FairTrade and sustainable development. 12 years later this coop has evolved into a natural food restaurant, a fair-trade boutique, a roasting operation and a cultural tavern. It has created 30 jobs and another coop in 2008, noula, whose mission is to support Haitian coffee producers specifically.

 

Mark bod photo Mark Rieland, Peace Coffee                                                              Mark joined Peace Coffee, SBC in 2013 in the role of CFO/COO. Peace Coffee is a founding member of Coop Coffees, is a for-profit public benefit corporation located in Minneapolis, and is owned by the (non-profit) Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Most of Mark’s finance career has been in the food and agriculture industries with 20 years experience at General Mills and Syngenta Seeds. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago (MBA) and University of St. Thomas (BA). In his down time he operates a 75 acre organic farm, is a member of the National Ski Patrol and is involved with various philanthropic initiatives focused on helping small scale farmers and the local food movement. He is married with three children and two Bernese Mountain dogs.

 

Kevin Walters - bio2 F Kevin Walters,  Alternative Grounds
Between the idea and the reality
Falls the shadow
T.S.Eliot
There is a tension between the heart and mind, working within that tension is a priority of vision. Adhering to business practices that sustain that tension is what Fair Trade and Cooperative Coffees is all about. It is a business, that Kevin finds both exciting and challenging.  Working with his wife, Linda Burnside, founder of Alternative Grounds, one of the first certified Fairtrade licensees in Canada, they have built a sustainable business dedicated to building dialogue and fair relationships. At Alternative Grounds, our focus is not on creating a temple to coffee; rather using coffee as a means to respond and participate in broader dialogue and more equitable projects. ” We create a culture that our customers appreciate. ” Kevin will always remember being sent a blank cheque that his customer told him to fill in. The customer had forgotten how much was owing. For Kevin , the journey of coffee is full of surprises and ultimately humbling.