Behind the scenes with the President & CEO of the National Coffee Association USA
William (Bill) Murray has served as President and CEO of the National Coffee Association (NCA) since 2014, following leadership positions at the Public Relations Society of America and the Motion Picture Association.
And clearly he’s kept caffeinated. In a few short years, the NCA has evolved as an organization to provide enhanced member benefits and educational opportunities, while also serving as a critical advocate on key industry issues like the Prop. 65 labeling case in California.
Here, he talks to Zach Olsen, Regional Sales Manager at Bunn USA and incoming Chair of the NCA Next Generation Council, about his career, the coffee industry, and Caddyshack.
What’s your favorite coffee?
“I love all coffee equally” is my official answer.
Otherwise, I’ll have a Colombian pour over, from Nariño, or an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, black.
When filming Caddyshack, how far of a stretch was it to portray your hatred of gophers? Did you feel like the Academy snubbed you for Best Supporting Actor? I mean you weren’t even nominated.
Gophers! Don’t even get me started. And the Academy? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Be honest Bill, were any gophers harmed when you filmed Caddyshack?
Only the ones that couldn’t get with the program. And they aren’t bad, you know, they taste a bit like cuy, a specialty in Nariño.
…But no, I would not want any animal lovers to get the wrong idea. I’m joking. About eating them.
Do you ever get the feeling you are living one particular day on repeat? Like Over and over and over?
Didn’t you just ask me this question?
[Ed note: For the record. Bill Murray was not actually in any of the movies referenced above. Unfortunately.]
What was the most memorable gift you’ve received?
My son, Scott.
What is something you will never do again?
I will never again work for someone I don’t respect, something I don’t have to worry about here at the NCA. Our leadership team is incredible.
What job would you be terrible at?
Anything involving a lot of rote repetition. My career has been one of solving complex problems driven by emerging trends, regulation, and law. I can get bored easily.
What’s the best and worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice? Listen more than you talk.
The worst piece of advice? “Following fortune cookie advice will make you successful.”
What is your favorite thing about your career?
The projects we take on, our priorities, and the needs of our members are constantly changing – I love meeting that challenge on a daily basis.
I never know who might call me, or why – just that they will need NCA’s support.
What is your favorite hobby, and how did you get started?
Landscape photography. I’ve always loved to hike and be outdoors.
I got stuck in Seattle for four days on a weather-related travel delay, and after watching Jerry Springer for two days in a Days Inn on stand by realized I needed to do more things I truly enjoy.
What is the most annoying question that people ask you?
“Are you the ‘Real’ Bill Murray?”
The answer should be obvious. Of course I am.
What would you sing at Karaoke night?
I would do you the favor of not singing at Karaoke night, something for which you’d thank me.
What are your 3 favorite movies?
The Godfather. Poor Don Corleone. He was just trying to hold together a family business, respect tradition, and get along.
Unforgiven – the last statement on Westerns, by a master of the genre, Clint Eastwood.
Pulp Fiction – a masterpiece that paid respect to convention while breaking it.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My grandfather’s homemade pasta tomato sauce, and bread. I’m half Italian, and grew up on it – but the recipe, if there ever was one, is lost.
If you’re not drinking coffee, then what?
Single malt scotch.
Connect with Bill Murray on LinkedIn
For more professional guidance, check out the NCA Coffee Career Center and the NCA Next Generation group for future industry leaders.
Gifs via Giphy