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Tag Archive for: Ted Lingle

by Rocky Rhodes

What’s Your Legacy in Coffee Going to Be?

Categories: 2013, FebruaryTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Rocky RhodesOné of the early adopters of the idea to view  “Specialty Coffee” as a sep­a­rate seg­ment of the cof­fee indus­try was Ted Lingle. It could be argued that he was one of the most influ­en­tial peo­ple in dri­ving the indus­try for­ward. He has cre­ated a legacy of chang­ing the cof­fee indus­try for the bet­ter. Ted is retir­ing and it seems appro­pri­ate to exam­ine his legacy and how he has influ­enced all of us that still have a few years before our own retirement.

Coffee is rich in his­tory. Since its dis­cov­ery in Africa, it has appealed to us on many lev­els. To some it is just a morn­ing fix, nec­es­sary to start the day. To oth­ers it is a mov­ing expe­ri­ence with roots in exotic lands that cre­ates a link to our own lives. Hundreds of years of cul­ti­va­tion, research and con­sump­tion vari­a­tions make it an impor­tant part of almost every culture.

Specialty cof­fee is new. It has been just a few decades since Erna Knutsen coined the term ‘Specialty Coffee’ and a small group of folks started to change our focus on the prod­uct. They told us that cof­fee does not have to be just a con­sump­tion prod­uct. It can also be a qual­ity prod­uct. In just a few short years, an indus­try was born and we oper­ate in that world now. It is an indus­try view that has a firm belief that if you improve the qual­ity of a prod­uct there will be a mar­ket pre­pared to pay more for it. If the mar­ket pays more, then the entire sup­ply chain will benefit.

Ted’s path to qual­ity cof­fee started in the fam­ily busi­ness. Lingle Brothers, started by his grand­fa­ther in 1920, saw Ted work­ing in it for 20 years. His promi­nence in the indus­try car­ried him to senior lev­els of indus­try orga­ni­za­tions. This made him a nat­ural choice to be the found­ing co-chair of the SCAA. In his role at SCAA, he drove tech­ni­cal research to help quan­tify and iden­tify qual­ity in cof­fee. He wrote ‘The Coffee Cuppers Handbook’ and fol­lowed it with ‘The Coffee Brewing Handbook’. He drove inno­va­tions in eval­u­a­tion sci­ence all in pur­suit of enhanc­ing the sup­ply chain from grower to roaster to retailer.

The body of research required addi­tion resources to move for­ward includ­ing staff, vol­un­teers and grant money. Coffee Quality Institute was formed under his watch as Executive Director at SCAA. Ted would later leave his post at SCAA to become the Executive Director of CQI. Many that know Ted thought this was a ter­rific move for him as he truly enjoys the nuts and bolts of cof­fee sci­ence and he saw a poten­tial to really start chang­ing the cof­fee world.

At CQI Ted cre­ated the Q cof­fee sys­tem whereby well trained and cal­i­brated cup­pers could accu­rately iden­tify, and quan­tify, the attrib­utes of cof­fee. By train­ing cup­pers from farms to retail stores a com­mon lan­guage of qual­ity arose. This less­ened the ambi­gu­ity and frus­tra­tion of dis­cus­sions in the sup­ply chain. A for­mal sys­tem of cal­i­brat­ing cup­pers was devel­oped. A per­son could be taught this sys­tem and if they passed a series of 22 tests became a cer­ti­fied Q-Grader.

The set of ser­vices offered by CQI were all designed to increase qual­ity in the sup­ply chain and be able to quan­tify that improve­ment objec­tively. Over and over it has been proven now that qual­ity improves sales prices for each mem­ber of the sup­ply chain. Much of the improve­ments were taught by CQI and ver­i­fied by Q-Graders in the cup. The num­ber of Q-Graders in the mar­ket now num­bers over 2000!

R-Grader
The Q-program was so suc­cess­ful that it is being given a makeover for Robusta cof­fee. Sales of Robusta tend to be a bulk blend of cof­fee where qual­ity is more of an acci­dent than on pur­pose. Some farm­ers how­ever choose to patio dry their cof­fee and hold them as small lots. Some of this cof­fee is quite won­der­ful and deserves more study. It has already been proven at spe­cialty cof­fee auc­tions that qual­ity in Robusta gar­ners a super-premium. Ted has been putting a ton of energy into this and it will keep him busy in his retire­ment con­tin­u­ing to improve this new offering.

Q 4.0
The lat­est step to improve the Q pro­gram at CQI is by cre­at­ing ver­sion 4.0 of the course. This is another project that has Ted work­ing in his retire­ment to fin­ish the remain­ing details. It is a vastly improved rewrite of the Q-Grader cer­ti­fi­ca­tion class in that it focuses on teach­ing stu­dents crit­i­cal con­trol points of qual­ity and how to improve them. This ver­sion should be out in April before the SCAA Conference in Boston. It really pushes the train­ing to the next level by uti­liz­ing best prac­tices cre­ated by Q-Instructors in the field. The train­ing mod­ules are get­ting more sophis­ti­cated and the tests are being revamped to bet­ter reflect the skills needed in the marketplace.

His Legacy
Ted was asked, “When you look back at your career in cof­fee, is there one thing that stands out as being the thing you were most proud of?” His answer was, “I think it would have to be the cre­ation of the cof­fee fla­vor wheel.” He explained that the body of work that went into that poster that most of us have hang­ing in our busi­nesses some­where set the devel­op­ment stage for a great deal of the Q-Grader pro­gram. It ana­lyzes tastes, aro­mas, and defects and puts them into cat­e­gories that help dis­cover their ori­gins. It is even color coded to show how aro­mas, tastes, and defects inter­sect each other and gives names to them. Many peo­ple have seen it but few have any abil­ity to artic­u­late its sig­nif­i­cance. It is good to see that SCAA is cre­at­ing a class spe­cific to the wheel so us mere cof­fee mor­tals can under­stand its com­plex­ity. When you are done with this arti­cle, go look at that poster on the wall and see if you can find deeper mean­ing. (Then go take the class!)

Ted will be remem­bered for a vast num­ber of con­tri­bu­tions to the indus­try includ­ing some he is still work­ing on com­plet­ing. He has left a mark on the world and has indeed changed the lives of those in the cof­fee indus­try for the better.

Your Legacy
So, what are you going to do today, this year, and the rest of your career until you retire to improve the cof­fee world? Like Ted, you should not be doing it to become famous, but by fol­low­ing your pas­sion you may become infa­mous. Strive today to become a great cof­fee cit­i­zen and make your mark.

Ted, we raise our glass to you! We owe you a full con­tainer load of 90+ grat­i­tude. May you have great cof­fee wher­ever retire­ment leads you! Cheers!

Rocky can be reached at rocky@INTLcoffeeConsulting.com

Quality Equals Money in Indonesia

Categories: 2012, NovemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

It has been said by many in the cof­fee indus­try that if we can just improve the qual­ity of the cof­fee, the farmer can get more money and improve their lot in life. The frus­trat­ing part is that so few in the indus­try have the abil­ity to fol­low the money and really feel the impact. It leads one to won­der if it really works at all.

This ques­tion was answered defin­i­tively this week at the sec­ond spe­cialty cof­fee auc­tion of Indonesia. The results were dra­matic. But some back­ground will help put the suc­cess in perspective.

The Specialty Coffee Association of Indonesia (SCAI) has been in for­ma­tion since 2009. Many orga­ni­za­tions of this age are still floun­der­ing and try­ing to find their way. SCAI is a great excep­tion as they have grown their mem­ber­ship to a self-sustaining level and receive AID money to help with qual­ity pro­grams in Indonesia as well as mar­ket­ing Indonesian cof­fees. They are a small but ener­getic and effi­cient team ded­i­cated to the improve­ment of cof­fee qual­ity and pro­ducer livelihood.

Indonesia is a pro­ducer of both Arabica and Robusta cof­fees. In fact, they are the 3rd largest pro­duc­ing coun­try when count­ing both vari­eties. To look at the improve­ment of cof­fee in this coun­try you must exam­ine what is hap­pen­ing in both types of coffee.

Robusta cof­fee is being treated like a com­mod­ity where vol­ume is the goal and qual­ity of the cof­fee has a fairly low bar. This is how Robusta is treated pretty much any­where it is grown in the world. There are a few seg­mented lots and the result is out­stand­ing. As you will see in the auc­tion results below, if the qual­ity of Robusta rises, so will the prices that roast­ers are will­ing to pay for it. Specialty is spe­cialty regard­less of the varietal.

Arabica cof­fee is incred­i­bly diverse in Indonesia for a num­ber of rea­sons. To get a feel for the sit­u­a­tion let’s exam­ine the grow­ing and pro­cess­ing con­di­tions. Indonesia is a series of Islands that stretch as wide as the United States. Each Island has micro­cli­mates, vol­canic activ­ity, and soil con­di­tions that can be very dif­fer­ent from each other. The farm­ing tech­nol­ogy varies from extremely sophis­ti­cated at the state run mega plan­ta­tions to the koteka-wearing peo­ple of Papua try­ing to oper­ate their new pulp­ing machine. Often the time and dis­tance the cof­fee has to travel from the farm to the exporter is hun­dreds of Kilometers and sev­eral days. As a result, cof­fee is par­tially dried and wet hulled along the way so it will not be a lost cause when it gets to a major city. Also, it has to travel through as many as six dif­fer­ent trans­porters from the start of its jour­ney to the end.

The ques­tion for Indonesia becomes this, How in the heck can you improve qual­ity, edu­cate the sup­ply chain and make sure the farmer gets rewarded for their efforts? The answer has to be a com­pre­hen­sive strat­egy. This is what SCAI is pro­vid­ing for their coun­try. It comes down to Education, Marketing, and Reward.

SCAI knew that in order for the qual­ity to rise, qual­ity must be under­stood. It also needs to be com­mu­ni­cated to con­sum­ing coun­tries in a way that pro­vides both mar­ket­ing and feed­back for the asso­ci­a­tion and its mem­bers. So, step one was to engage Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) to pro­vide Q-Grader and R-Grader classes in coun­try. This has pro­duced a group of peo­ple that are able to com­mu­ni­cate flu­ently about the qual­ity of cof­fee both amongst them­selves and with the con­sum­ing world. In addi­tion an  ‘edu­ca­tion road­show’ was pro­vided to sev­eral very rural farm­ers to show how sim­ple improve­ments increases qual­ity and that they can be rewarded for it.

This effort has paid off for Indonesia. It paid off both in Arabica and Robusta. The auc­tion of spe­cialty lots brought record prices and val­i­dated the premise that Higher Quality = Higher Rewards. The fol­low­ing is an auc­tion recap.

Over 60 lots were sub­mit­ted to SCAI for con­sid­er­a­tion in the auc­tion. About half did not pass either the green grad­ing stan­dard and/or the cup­ping stan­dard of 82+ on the CQI grad­ing scale. A selec­tion of 24 sam­ples made it to the auc­tion in three cat­e­gories: Robusta, Arabica, and Luwak processed.

Before the auc­tion an inter­na­tional panel of judges from Indonesia, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, and The United States eval­u­ated the lots. Under the lead­er­ship of Ted Lingle as the head judge the cof­fees were scored, ranked and the top were selected to be in a final round of twelve cof­fees to be re-evaluated by the panel. The top-top cof­fees were picked and ranked. The cof­fee was now ready for auction.

SCAI did run into a prob­lem where the auc­tion­eer they were plan­ning on had to drop out at the last minute. Your hum­ble author was asked to step in. (Speaking only for myself, I thought I did a damn good job!)

On auc­tion day the C mar­ket for Arabica was $1.61/lb and the LIFFE price for Robusta was at $.94/lb.

The proof that qual­ity pays is this: The top Robusta got $3.18 per pound! The top Arabica got $20.45 per pound! The Luwak got $45.45 per pound! The over­all Arabica aver­age was $5.11 per pound for the entire auc­tion. If that is not proof that qual­ity pays, it would be hard to say what is!

Perhaps even more impres­sive and impor­tant is that of the top 5 cof­fees, all were sub­mit­ted by coop­er­a­tives. This means that the money is flow­ing back to the peo­ple that pro­duce it. It is often frus­trat­ing as a con­sumer because you do not really know if the pro­ducer is being com­pen­sated for improved qual­ity. In this auc­tion they did! Also sig­nif­i­cant is that the top Arabica and the top Robusta were pur­chased by an Indonesian roaster and the cof­fee will be con­sumed in coun­try! Indonesians have not had cof­fee this good to drink in, well, ever!

The other beau­ti­ful thing that hap­pened at the auc­tion is that the buyer and seller got to meet, shake hands, and even hug at the con­clu­sion of bid­ding for each lot.

ONGOING QUALITY IMPROVEMENT:  It is now a week after the auc­tion and there is a Q-Grader train­ing in Jakarta. One of the stu­dents is a mem­ber of the coöper­a­tive that sub­mit­ted the Arabica that gar­nered the sec­ond high­est price at the auc­tion. Another is the roaster  – retailer ‘my Kopi O!’ owned by Darma Santoso that pur­chased both the high­est priced Arabica and the high­est priced Robusta. Both are com­mit­ted to under­stand­ing how to com­mu­ni­cate about qual­ity in the sup­ply chain. With their efforts and all of the work being done by SCAI, qual­ity in Indonesia will con­tinue to improve, and the pro­duc­ers are cer­tainly get­ting the benefit!

The View

Categories: 2012, OctoberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

CoffeeTalk has been accused of advo­cat­ing “class war­fare” over the past few weeks. Our belief that Robusta does not belong in Specialty Coffee seems to have brought out the dark side of some folks. This notion is of course patently absurd. However, if you mean by “class war­fare” my con­tention that we should stick to our guns and sup­port the grow­ers who have ded­i­cated them­selves to a path of con­tin­u­ous improve­ment in order to sup­port the 17% of cof­fees sold in con­sum­ing coun­tries that can be classed as Specialty, then yes, I am advo­cat­ing class war­fare, just as we as an indus­try have done for the last 40 years to dif­fer­en­ti­ate our indus­try from “com­mer­cial” coffee.

Diligent removal of defects in order to approach a ‘Zero Defect’ score does not change the sig­nif­i­cantly higher CGA (chloro­genic acid) per­cent­age and the resul­tant impact on fla­vor, there is no pixie dust here. Botany and genet­ics are sci­ences, not whimsy. It is disin­gen­u­ous to imply that the fla­vor pro­file of the species has been altered or that some Robusta grows in such pris­tine and wild con­di­tions that its fun­da­men­tal genetic chem­istry has been altered for the bet­ter. No, it con­tin­ues to demon­strate the same pro­files as Ted Lingle, Dr. Illy, Ken Davids, Dan Cox, and so many oth­ers have writ­ten – rub­bery, woody, harsh, unbal­anced bit­ter, and astrin­gent (The Coffee Cupper’s Handbook; Fourth Edition and others).

Robusta cof­fee is typ­i­cally har­vested as nat­u­rals. The only way that defects can be detected is through visual exam­i­na­tion after the pulp has been dried and removed — in other words, at the dry mills. The impov­er­ished farm­ers are long out of the pic­ture before the mill begins to sort the cof­fees for defects. Removal of defects beyond cur­rent mar­ket stan­dards costs the proces­sor a great deal for which they will have to charge a sub­stan­tial pre­mium to the roasters.

This now advances two issues. Dry mills are not going to pay farm­ers more for their cof­fee. Any belief to the con­trary is naïve. All the value-added in pre­mium Robustas is incurred at the proces­sor level, not the farms, and there­fore nat­u­rally any increased price should be ele­men­tal to the mill’s com­pen­sa­tion. The farm­ers are deliv­er­ing the same cof­fee they always have. Nothing has changed except the increased labor costs of the mill owner. Second, who will be the buy­ers for this enhanced Robusta? Specialty roast­ers will cer­tainly not embrace the taste of pre­mium Robusta, espe­cially because it will have to be mit­i­gated with pre­mium Arabica in order to present an improved prod­uct that will still be per­ceived as infe­rior to a 100% Arabica prod­uct. Commercial roast­ers have no moti­va­tion to alter their cur­rent blends toward a more expen­sive Robusta bean. Commercial roast­ers have a trained con­sumer base that is unlikely to respond pos­i­tively to a higher price point. So, faced with rejec­tion by spe­cialty roast­ers and dis­missal by com­mer­cial roast­ers, why would coun­tries of ori­gin pur­sue devel­op­ment of pre­mium Robusta for sale in the United States? One thought? Countries are jump­ing on this band­wagon because gov­ern­ment agen­cies and inter­na­tional devel­op­ment agen­cies such as USAID, UN-ITC, UNESCO, and oth­ers are push­ing mil­lions in grants to pri­vate con­trac­tors and coun­tries to attempt to recre­ate the suc­cess of the “Q” pro­gram in Robusta pro­duc­ing countries.

Where are the benefits?

• The farm­ers will not be paid more for their Robusta cof­fees because all the improve­ments to the qual­ity take place at the mill level after the grow­ers have delivered.

• There is unlikely to be will­ing and eager mar­ket mak­ers in the US com­mer­cial cof­fee uni­verse, if pre­mium Robusta sells at a sub­stan­tially higher dif­fer­en­tial to the LIFFE Robusta market.

• Specialty roast­ers are unlikely to embrace Robusta for fear of los­ing their whole­sale cus­tomers to local competition.

• Specialty cof­fee and espe­cially the Specialty Coffee Association of America will likely lose one more level of cred­i­bil­ity and gen­er­ate more con­fu­sion as to its purpose.

So, who wins then?

• Commercial cof­fee roast­ers who can now declare “Super Premium Robusta” in their blends with no method of verification.

• A hoard of new inter­na­tional “R Graders” will find employ­ment at ben­efi­cios and coop­er­a­tives in Robusta pro­duc­ing countries.

• Private “schools” cer­ti­fied and paid by CQI, and in a year or so, the SCAA, will spring up to train and cer­tify inter­na­tional “R Graders.”

• Consultants and con­trac­tors who have seized on the poten­tial oppor­tu­nity to train a new class of cof­fee graders and set up “cer­ti­fied” labs in a new group of coun­tries through the sup­port of UN-ITC, USAID, and other devel­op­ment fund­ing agen­cies grant dollars.

There are sim­ply not enough words to con­vey my admi­ra­tion for many of the most vocal advo­cates for Robusta cof­fees and for what they have done for mil­lions of peo­ple world­wide. Their con­tri­bu­tions to cof­fee busi­nesses and cof­fee sci­ence are extra­or­di­nary. However, on this issue, I think they are reach­ing for a gov­ern­men­tal gold ring with­out regard for the con­se­quences. I real­ize that con­tracts are the lifeblood of many a con­sul­tant in our busi­ness and essen­tially are the only means of sup­port, but pur­su­ing the “R Grader” pro­gram is, in my opin­ion, purely oppor­tunis­tic. It appalls me to be part of a club that would admit a new mem­ber not because of their qual­i­ties, or because of their poten­tial con­tri­bu­tion to the greater well being, but sim­ply because the club can make a whole lot of money.

Bye-Bye Ashley

As many of you know already, this issue will be Ashley Prentice’s last for CoffeeTalk as a mem­ber of the staff, at least for a while. Ashley has been with us for a lit­tle over a year and dur­ing that time she has made a deep impres­sion on peo­ple from all seg­ments of cof­fee. She is off to Italy now to attend the University in Trieste. She received the first schol­ar­ship given to an American to pur­sue a Masters Degree in Coffee through the University of Udine (UNIUD) and illy Caffe. This is an extra­or­di­nary oppor­tu­nity and we are so proud of Ashley and her accom­plish­ments but we will miss her deeply.

While away, Ashley intends to con­tinue writ­ing for CoffeeTalk and jour­nal her expe­ri­ences in Trieste.

 Kerri & Miles

What about the other 50 million? Achieving sustainability through Robusta

Categories: 2011, DecemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

The mis­sion of the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is to improve the qual­ity of cof­fee and the lives of peo­ple who pro­duce it. You may notice that no lim­its are spec­i­fied in our mis­sion. While we often think of spe­cialty cof­fees, and almost always think of Arabica cof­fees in this con­text, here at CQI we are inter­ested in help­ing all cof­fee farm­ers suc­ceed. We have been able to build a suc­cess­ful pro­gram around Arabica cof­fee that has trans­formed the way actors in the sup­ply chain talk about qual­ity. To date, we have cer­ti­fied over 1,300 “Q” Graders who are dis­cussing qual­ity cof­fee in a more sys­tem­atic and sci­en­tific man­ner. The pro­gram has been used for var­i­ous pur­poses, but most impor­tantly, it has allowed more peo­ple at ori­gin to dis­cover, sep­a­rate and sell higher qual­ity cof­fee, and pro­vide insight into those lots that have the poten­tial for higher pre­mi­ums. With 50 mil­lion bags of Robusta pro­duced in 2010, and with mil­lions of farm­ers depen­dant on its suc­cess, we think it’s well worth a try.

When we started announc­ing the devel­op­ment of a new pro­gram for Robusta cof­fee, “R” Coffee, there was a lot of dis­be­lief, and even some anger. How could the Coffee Quality Institute be focused on a species of cof­fee that is asso­ci­ated with lower qual­ity and higher envi­ron­men­tal impact? How could we pos­si­bly turn to Robusta know­ing very well that there is not a space for it in the spe­cialty world? The answer is sim­ple – with the cur­rent shape of the mar­ket, and with numer­ous fac­tors affect­ing sup­ply, it is very likely that higher qual­ity Robusta could relieve some sup­ply short­ages for the spe­cialty mar­ket. Even though there are some notable fla­vor char­ac­ter­is­tics that dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from Arabica (some might say very notable), Fine Robusta cof­fee may even find a cozy home with con­sumers who appre­ci­ate lower acid­ity, or with roast­ers look­ing for a dif­fer­ent qual­ity cof­fee to com­ple­ment a blend.

In order to make Robusta palat­able for the spe­cialty drinker, a whole lot needs to be improved first. CQI has started to develop Fine Robusta stan­dards, much like those of Arabica, which will help build qual­ity aware­ness among Robusta pro­duc­ers and lead to a more sus­tain­able sup­ply of high qual­ity Robustas. The Robusta Program, now inte­grated with our Q Coffee System, has made some sig­nif­i­cant process in just over a year and a half. We have over 15 cer­ti­fied “R” Graders and will con­tinue to host Fine Robusta work­shops in Uganda, Brazil and Indonesia, with the hopes of expand­ing to Vietnam and India in the near future. Ted Lingle, exec­u­tive direc­tor of CQI, expands, “The suc­cess of the Fine Robusta Coffee Workshops can­not be over­stated. It clearly iden­ti­fied the poten­tial for huge growth in the mar­ket place for this cat­e­gory of cof­fee; growth based on qual­ity not price. The suc­cess also clearly iden­ti­fied the road­block to improved Robusta prices: DEFECTS. All of the cof­fees cupped dur­ing the Workshops had been cleaned and graded so that the defect counts were com­pa­ra­ble to those for spe­cialty Arabica grades, and con­se­quently the fla­vor improve­ments in the Robusta cof­fees were strik­ing. As a by-product of these work­shops, the cof­fee indus­try now has a set of train­ing mate­ri­als to use in a sys­tem­atic approach for qual­ity improve­ment in the Robusta cof­fee sup­ply chain.”

Tackling the qual­ity issues inher­ent in the har­vest­ing and pro­cess­ing of Robusta cof­fees is the very first step and then it is nec­es­sary for Fine Robusta stan­dards to become inte­grated into the sup­ply chain, just like SCAA’s Arabica stan­dards. Investments, part­ner­ships, and long-term strate­gies will be vital to cul­ti­vat­ing a steady sup­ply of Fine Robustas, and sev­eral orga­ni­za­tions have also started to focus on Robusta, includ­ing Catholic Relief Services, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). While the Fine Robusta stan­dards con­tinue to be adjusted and refined, and as we move for­ward with the intro­duc­tion of this pro­gram into Robusta-growing regions, we under­stand the chal­lenge and effort needed to make this suc­cess­ful for every­one. Once the indus­try is ready to embrace this lesser loved bean, Robusta will be there wait­ing with open arms.

Alexandra Katona-Carroll is the pro­grams man­ager for the Coffee Quality Institute. She is respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of CQI’s new data­base, along with mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. She’s cur­rently a mem­ber of SCAA’s Sustainability Council and is flu­ent in Spanish.