By: NCA Next Gen
Tampa, Florida is home to many things: a robust cigar industry, the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, and piping hot restaurant scene. The broader coffee industry found a temporary home in Tampa from March 9th through March 11th, 2023, as the city served as host for the 2023 National Coffee Association Annual Convention. Sunshine and warm temperatures made our time in Tampa a breeze, but it was the NCA community, reunited for the first time in 3 years, that made Tampa feel like “home.”
Despite the beautiful “beach-ready” weather, there was no time to waste! Next Gen Council leadership got to work bright and early on day one with a strategic planning meeting with NCA President & CEO Bill Murray, NCA Vice President of Operations Kellem Emanuele, NCA Sr. Manager of Education, Research, and Digital Media Matthew Cariani, and Rob Menos, Chair of the NCA Board of Directors. If this strategic planning session was any indication, there is no doubt that you should expect big things from the NCA and NCA Next Gen over the coming year. Be sure to follow the NCA Next Gen LinkedIn page to stay on top of important updates.
For the full Next Gen membership, the convention kicked off with a wonderfully informative session featuring Ryan Delany of Coffee Trading Academy. With a talk that featured statistics, a lesson on expected value, and a healthy dose of dad jokes, Ryan laid the groundwork for all participants to develop a better understanding of risk in the coffee market.
The day of Next Gen activities didn’t stop there; the afternoon continued with many Next Gen-ers taking part in the NCA Coffee Gives Back Day of Service. We spent that afternoon working at “Starting Right, Now” a home for students who are supported by the organization Starting Right, Now, a program that is dedicated to ending youth homelessness in Tampa. Throughout the day, we painted the students’ bedrooms and central living area, deep cleaned the kitchen, washed the windows, and refreshed the garden area while getting to know our colleagues from areas across the coffee industry.
Thursday night was rounded out with the Next Gen Networking and Social Event at Armature Works. The event had a great turnout and allowed for many Next Gen-ers to build relationships that would further develop over the next few days of the convention – and hopefully for the many years to come!
#NCATampa23 marked the triumphant return of the in-person NCA Annual Convention, and nothing was left on the table! NCA Next Gen is already back to the grind and hard at work to bring the membership more opportunities over the next year. Get ready now – NCA Nashville 2024 is going to be another convention that you won’t want to miss!