Grace M. Mena Grace M. Mena founded and continues to serve, as president of Deli-Café, S. A. Established in 1993, Deli-Café, green coffee exporter, is a Costa Rican company highly regarded for its continuing meticulous search for the best coffees in Central America. Grace also owns a processing plant, Cafetalera Lomas al Río, notable in its accumulation of prestigious international awards in recognition for exceptional quality.
In 2006, Grace founded Nature’s Best Coffee, S. A. a green coffee exporter of only the finest quality beans to better service prestigious customers and is also now managing “La Florencia” a coffee mill in Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua.
With more than twenty years in the coffee business, Grace has served as founding member of the Specialty Coffee Association of Costa Rica and is the former president of SINTERCAFE.
Presently, Grace is a Director of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and President of Women in Coffee Alliance, Costa Rica. Born and reared in Costa Rica, she is respected for being an activist in promoting the welfare of coffee farmers and the general well being of the coffee industry. Grace holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
Johanna Bot loves the coffee world, having visited coffee processors in Latin America for over 15 years. Johanna has been Director of Sales for Latin America with Satake USA Inc. for 9 years. Satake manufactures vision sorting equipment to upgrade the quality, uniformity, security and value of various types of seeds, nuts, grains and beans, including, of course, arabica and robusta coffee beans – either green or roasted. Johanna has been very involved in pushing Satake technology resources towards finding the very best solution for the optimum sorting coffee beans.
Before entering the vision system industry, Johanna was a retail stockbroker, helping individuals with their personal investment choices. Johanna was born in England to Dutch parents, and has been living in Houston, Texas, for over 20 years. She has been married for 15 years, enjoying with her husband, travels around the world and their 2 Australian shepherds. They also enjoy their trips to Boquete, Panama, (where Johanna’s father chose to retire) and visiting with their coffee friends there.
Johanna ama el mundo cafetalero – visitando procesadores de café en América Latina por más de 15 años. Los últimos 9 años Johanna ha sido Directora de Ventas para América Latina con Satake USA Inc. Satake fabrica seleccionadores por visión para aumentar la calidad, uniformidad, seguridad y el valor de varios tipos de semillas, nueces, frijoles y granos, incluyendo, por supuesto, café arábica y robusta – de tipo verde o tostado. Johanna ha estado muy envuelta en impulsar a Satake a usar esta tecnología para buscar la mejor solución para la selección óptima de café.
Antes de entrar en este rubro de sistemas de visión, Johanna trabajaba en el mundo financiero ayudando a clientes a escoger sus planes de inversión. Johanna nació en Inglaterra de padres holandeses y ha estado viviendo en Houston, Texas, por más de 20 años. Ha estado casada por 15 años y disfruta en la compañía de su marido, sus viajes internacionales y de sus 2 perros de raza “Pastor Australiano”. También disfrutan de sus viajes a Boquete, Panamá, (donde se jubiló el padre de Johanna) y las visitas a los amigos cafeteros de allá.
Mery Santos has over 20 years of international marketing and sales experience, with an emphasis in food, beverages and agriculture. Mery has been involved in many important aspects of managing successful businesses. Her first trip to a coffee-producing country was in 2000, while working for the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation as part of the International Sales team.
At that time, she found one of her many passions in life: the World of Coffee. Since then, she has participated in many international events such as the 2010 International Coffee Conference in Guatemala, the 2010 National Coffee Association Conference and the 2010 Specialty Coffee Association of America Conference. In addition, she volunteered for a coffee consulting project with the USAID, “Farmer to Farmer” program in Guatemala (2007) and was keynote speaker at the “Agritrade- Guatemala ” conference in 2008.
She is an active member of the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America), volunteering for the Professional Development Committee. Her background includes merchandising, brand identification, customization of beverage programs, forecasting-inventory management, as well as international banking and logistics. She has visited and worked with many coffee-producing countries in Central and South America.
Mery speaks fluent Spanish and is working to become fluent in Portuguese. She was educated at the University of Missouri – Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in Production Management.
Director of Governance, Risk & Compliance for Bunn-O-Matic Corporation in Springfield
Responsible for internal financial, IT, and operational audits and special projects, business recovery planning, IT security
Certified Public Accountant
Certified Global Management Accountant
Certified Information Systems Auditor
Bachelor's Degree from Missouri State University with double major in Accounting and Operations Management
Master's of Business Administration from the University of Illinois
Began career in public accounting with KPMG Peat Marwick; worked as an auditor there for seven years before moving into the private sector; been with BUNN for 19 years
Professional memberships: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Illinois Society of Certified Pubic Accountants, Information Systems Audit & Control Society, American Production and Inventory Control Society, Illinois Women in Leadership, International Women's Coffee Alliance
Shannon Craige has over 10 years of experience in the office coffee service, vending and food service industry. It was not until a few years ago that Shannon realized that her true passion was coffee and everything about it. Shannon has been involved with every aspect of the office coffee service industry from customer service to management. It is Shannon’s passion to not only find the perfect coffee match for her clients but also to educate them on where their coffee comes from and understand the work behind the roasted bean. Shannon has helped Carolina Vending’s Office Coffee Service division grow larger than the companies vending division over the last three years.
Shannon’s passion for coffee has allowed her many travel opportunities to the coffee growing regions of Central and South America. Along with a passion for coffee she also has a passion for travel and experiencing different cultures. Shannon is also chair of the IWCA Events Committee.
Shannon’s other interests include volunteering with the Wake County SPCA, InterAct of Wake County and singing with a professional choir in the Raleigh-Durham area. Shannon is also a classically trained vocalist and studied at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Shannon loves to spend time with her family and two dogs, Tyson and Sasha.
Jennifer R. Gallegos
Jennifer R. Gallegos has 20 years sales and marketing experience ranging from Fortune 50 brands, start-ups and non-profits. Currently, she is the Director of Business Development for Coffee at Fair Trade USA. Fair Trade USA is the leading independent, third party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. She leads the coffee team in expanding their partner network, while working with current partners to develop new programs, promotions, and products. She also works on improving processes, enhancing education and consumer outreach efforts, and communications. Her ultimate goal is to make Fair Trade Certified™ products an integral part of every successful retail and foodservice coffee program and deliver the greatest impact back to coffee farmers around the world.
Most recently, Jennifer served as Vice President of Sales with Coffee Bean International, which is headquartered in Portland. Her responsibilities included strategic sales planning and developing private brand business partnerships with national chains. She was heavily involved in product and program development, marketing, process improvement, outbound communication, category management, and financial assessments. Under Jennifer’s eight years of sales leadership, Coffee Bean became one of the country’s leading specialty coffee roasters.
She started her career with PepsiCo and held successive lead positions in channel management, account management and brand management on the prestigious joint venture teams forged by Lipton® and Starbucks®. It was while working on the latter, where her love for coffee started.
Jennifer has a BSc. in Communications from Colorado State University. She is the chair for the IWCA (International Women’s Coffee Alliance) Membership committee, sits on the IWCA Events Committee and the Events Committee for her local Boys & Girls Clubs. She also volunteers extensively with her local Latino Chamber of Commerce and University. She is an avid supporter of ASPCA, WSPA, and Best Friends Animal Society. She lives in Southern Colorado with her husband Brett and dogs Doka and Dehlila.
Olga Hazard serves on the Board of Directors of Los Andes Nature Reserve, a tea and coffee family estate located in the south slopes of Atitlán Volcano in Guatemala´s volcanic ring of fire overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
She spent much of her childhood in her grandfather’s and father´s coffee farm and has been involved for the past 15 years with overseeing the family business. Together with her family, the farm offers equal opportunities for women in the coffee estate, including previously unconventional jobs for women such as field managers, coffee mill director, development programs director (conservation, tourism, school and health programs), school director, and office administrator. On a management team with her husband and family, Olga’s business has consistently created women’s job offerings that allow them to come out of the field and into a job that is close to their homes and families. These jobs are particularly important when the women have small children.
Founding member of IWCA Guatemala Chapter - Mujeres en Café Guatemala, and first Vice President of the association, together with Lorena Calvo, she was very active in her first years with the board, designing the main focus and goals for the association, as well as logo and all marketing pieces.
Olga is Director of Tipos Diseño, a communications company she founded together with her husband Jaime Freire. In conjunction with a team of designers and Anacafé´s marketing group, they have designed the branding communication pieces for Guatemalan Coffees for more than 15 years. In the course of this work, Olga has acquired knowledge on all the coffee-growing regions in Guatemala, interviewing producers from all over the country and understanding their needs and differences.
Los Andes is a founding member of Guatemala´s Private Nature Reserves Association, and Olga has been a member of the Board of Directors for the past five years. She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of AgroSalud for the past six years, a private non-profit association that provides health systems for families in coffee-growing regions.
Phyllis Johnson serves as President and Co-Founder of BD Imports, a socially responsible company focused on importing specialty grade coffees for some of the most discerning coffee roasters in America. Her company is the exclusive owner of the Evolution™ brand of specialty coffees and CANO™ brand, the first Fair Trade™ certified Ready-to-Drink coffee beverage. Since1999 her company has been involved in projects to help promote sustainability and bring about awareness to farmers in various countries. BD Imports is known to give a start to African women and small businesses engaged in the production and trade of coffee.
Phyllis often speaks on the topic of gender and sustainability as it relates to coffee. She served as a board member for the Specialty Coffee Association of America 2006-2008, and was Sustainability Committee chairperson. The initiatives of the committee were framed around the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
She served as a board member for Ecafe Foundation, an organization that established an on-line coffee auction for Ethiopian farmers and is involved in various trade organizations and serves her local community well. She has served as a Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) Coffee Corps® volunteer in Kenya.
Phyllis was selected to participate in the Women Leadership Development Program in Costa Rica from 2005-2006. She is a member of the International Women in Coffee Alliance (IWCA) where she is co-chair of the Chapter Formation Committee / Africa Chapter Development. Phyllis led the committee and organization to host its first African women in coffee workshop in Kampala Uganda, November 2009. She routinely speaks at coffee conferences for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, Specialty Coffee Association of Japan, Coffee Congress in Guatemala, National Coffee Association and conferences in African countries. In December 2009, Phyllis was invited to offer her perspective on women in trade at the Joint Advisory Committee Meetings at the United Nations of Geneva Switzerland.
With over 30 years in the foodservice industry, Desiree Logsdon is skilled at translating her considerable expertise into tangible benefits for the beverage equipment customers of the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation. As Vice President of Marketing, Desiree is responsible for association relations and corporate responsibility, and is charged with developing and executing the company’s marketing strategies. She also supports trade show participation, customer relations, and community outreach.
Desiree is an active member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, the National Association of Convenience Store Manpower Committee and the Specialty Coffee Association Conference Committee