|Michael King, Bean North Coffee, Chair
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.
|Joe Lozano, Third Coast Coffee, Vice-Chair
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.
| Craig Hall, Equator Coffee Roasters, Treasurer
Craig Hall is the owner operator of Equator Coffee Roasters located in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. Recently Equator celebrated a 20 year anniversary. Craig, and his wife and business partner, Amber, have always had a passion for high quality coffee and their commitment to partnering with coffee farmers. Equator operates three cafes in the Ottawa area and delivers fresh coffee every week to its loyal wholesale customers. Craig and Amber have four children Micah (11), Ella (13), Sam (16) and Joel (18) -(2018). Equator is proud of its work with School Box, a charity that builds classrooms and sends children to school in Nicaragua.
|Tripp Pomeroy, Café Campesino, Secretary
Tripp Pomeroy is a co-owner and the CEO of Cafe Campesino – a founding member of Cooperative Coffees – with a roastery and coffee house in Americus, GA, and Sweetwater Organic Coffee, located in sunny Gainesville, FL. As 100% fair trade organic coffee roasters, Cafe Campesino and Sweetwater purchase all of their coffee through Cooperative Coffees and are deeply committed to the cooperative business model and positively impacting the lives of small scale coffee farmers. Tripp has more than 25 years of experience in business management, sales and marketing, and international trade and development. He started his career as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity International, serving as the organization’s PR coordinator for the 1990 Jimmy Carter Work Project, after which he worked on a variety of business ventures in Latin America and Asia. In 2018 Tripp founded the Trading Partner Resource Network, a non-profit organization that connects coffee consumers with some of the world’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives – trading partners of Cooperative Coffees – and the dynamic grassroots development work they are doing in their communities. Tripp received a BA from Tufts University and an MA in International Development from the American University’s School of International Service in Washington DC. From time to time, he can be seen cruising the backroads of Southwest Georgia and North Florida on his 2013 Suzuki V-Strom 650.
|Ann Costello, Peace Coffee
Anne is the Director of Coffee at Peace Coffee, a 100% fair trade, organic, and certified B Corporation coffee roaster in Minneapolis. Anne became immersed in coffee over ten years ago at a green coffee importer, where she worked in sourcing, hedging, and logistics. At Peace Coffee, she oversees the company’s value chain, from sourcing coffee to tracking impact on producers. She remains continually inspired by the complexity of coffee and how it connects people and places thousands of miles away.
|Larry Larson, Larry’s Coffee
Larry is the founder and President of Larry’s Coffee in Raleigh, NC, which began in 1993 when he dropped out of grad school. He has 20+ years of executive experience in brand creation, strategy, and business management. He has 14 years of experience in sustainable entrepreneurship. Larry has served on the Board of Directors to Cooperative Coffees from 1999-2007 and as Chairman from 2006-2007; he re-joined this Board in 2011 and again in 2018. Additionally he has served as Board member to both the Fair Trade Resource Network and CoopSol. He has served on the City of Raleigh Environmental Council from 2011-2017. Larry has a B.S. in Economics from the University of Puget Sound and has attended graduate programs in Economics at Univ. of Tennessee-Knoxville and NC State Univ. When Larry’s not running the company or developing his next ideas, he’s likely dancing the 2-step at a music festival or taking a road trip with Butter-Cream (his 1991 biodiesel Mercedes).
|Glenn Lathrop, Desert Sun Coffee Roasters
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.
|Martin Trejo, Amavida Coffee
Martín graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biological Science. He first began working with Amavida Coffee during school break in 2010 where he was drawn to the cafe environment and how it became a centerpiece for the local community. As he learned more about the industry, the multi-faceted connection between coffee roasters and coffee producers became his focus. After completing his degree, Martín considered working with the GIS department in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, but forwent the opportunity to continue in a full-time role with Amavida. He developed the first employee training program between 2012-2014, and began roasting in 2014. After working on many projects for the company, he found that quality control, green buying, and roasting were his passion. Martín officially became Director of Coffee for Amavida in 2015 and has worked tirelessly to improve the company’s coffee quality, roast profiles, and buying strategy. Amavida was named Roast Magazine’s Micro Roaster of the Year in 2018, a title that Martin reveres. When he is not working, you’ll most likely find him at the beach with his wife and two daughters, playing guitar or shooting hoops in the roaster parking lot.
|Jennifer Yeatts, Higher Grounds Trading Co.
Jennifer is director of coffee for Higher Grounds Trading Co., where she handles quality control; green coffee sourcing and inventory management; barista education; communications; and marketing support. While her formal education focused on secondary education and creative writing, opportunities at Higher Grounds led her to a career in specialty coffee. She cares deeply about creating an engaging and meaningful experience for coffee drinkers, connecting them to the deeper stories of coffee farmers and production. She is co-editor of Dunes Review, a regional literary journal.