2023 NCA Convention: Serving Resilience & Reinvention in Tampa

After two years of convening virtually, the National Coffee Association celebrated a successful return to in-person Conventions! Two weeks ago, we welcomed nearly 800 attendees from the coffee world and beyond to our 2023 Annual Convention, held this year at the Tampa Marriott Water Street in sunny Tampa, Florida. Our exhibitor hall tabletops we bustling, the energy in the hotel was electric, and as we comb through surveys and social media, the feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive. We want to thank our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, attendees, and staff for helping to make this year’s Convention such a success.

This year’s Convention theme, Resilience & Reinvention, spoke to the industry’s ability to evolve to meet the challenges of the day and thrive despite ongoing economic and public health challenges.

Keynote speakers included Cheryl Hung of Dig Insights, who previewed the latest data in the upcoming National Coffee Data Trends report; G. Scott Clemons of Brown Brothers Harriman, whose session “This Time Isn’t So Different” offered a potential path forward for economic growth; Amanda Lindhout who explored the critical components of resilience with her inspiring story of survival; Sarita Maybin, who spoke about turning uncomfortable conversations into constructive communication; and Tim Powell of Foodservice IP, who looked at what’s next for C-store coffee.

NCA also presented two awards. The first went to Charles “Charlie” Cortellini, presented with the NCA Distinguished Leadership Award in honor of his over four decades of service and dedication to the NCA and coffee industry. The second award was presented to Days for Girls International, NCA’s 2023 Origin Charity of the Year, in recognition of their work improving the health, education, and livelihood outcomes of women and girls in coffee-growing regions around the world.

Days for Girls will receive a portion of the proceeds from the Step n’ Serve Challenge, where Convention attendees got moving for a good cause, racking up over 2.5 million steps in support of DfG’s mission. In fact, the NCA community gave back to multiple great causes this year. The Coffee Gives Back Day of Service benefitted Starting Right, Now – a program dedicated to ending youth homelessness in Tampa. Volunteers helped give one of Starting Right, Now’s facilities a makeover, planting flowers, herbs, and vegetables; washing windows; deep-cleaning the kitchen; and painting residents’ bedrooms and common areas.

Attendee volunteers also helped to provide local Floridians who suffered loss from the recent hurricanes with much-needed eco-friendly household goods and supplies by assembling donation kits at the United Way Suncoast Sustainability Project station.

Finally, we can’t forget the fun. Each night of the Convention was capped with an evening reception, where attendees were able to unwind, reconnect with old friends, and create lasting connections with colleagues from across the industry. Social events at NCA Conventions are not only great celebrations but also serve as low-pressure opportunities to network with the people that make this industry work. The smiling faces say it all — we were all thrilled to be back together in person for the first time in three years!

The next NCA Annual Convention will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, March 7-9, 2024. Now that we’re back in the groove of in-person Conventions, we’re already looking forward to doing it all over again. We can’t wait to see you all in Nashville — sign up here to receive details!

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