NCA Next Gen in Tampa

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. 

NCA Next Gen Council and NCA Leadership following the conclusion of the 2023 strategic planning session.
Members of the Next Gen Council meet at their first annual NCA Convention dinner.
They don’t call us “Next Gen” for nothing! This photo marked the start of the annual Next Gen Council selfie.

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.

Next Gen members network ahead of Ryan Delany’s session on risk in the coffee market. 

“I was impressed and happy to see that so many young coffee people gathered at the NCA and especially at the Next Gen [session]…The presentation from Ryan was well-put together — and as part of the SCTA Next Gen Council, we try to achieve something similar. Overall, it was a great success!”

Max Schneider, Trader at Hamburg Coffee Company

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. 

Coffee Gives Back Day of Service participants line up preparing to serve the community.
Day of Service participant paints the common area.

“I was teamed up with several great people as we painted one of the bedroom areas. While painting, we got to know each other, talked about our respective roles in coffee, shared our tastes in music as we agreed on the music station, and chatted about our other hobbies. The work and contributions that we made were meaningful to start, but having spent time with this group at Day of Service also carried great value as I now have more friends and connections in the industry and look forward to again connecting with them at future events.” 

Nora Johnson, Sr. Manager, Commodities, Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA

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! 

“I have been in the coffee industry 2 years, but because I joined amid the global shutdown, NCA 2023 was my first in-person show; and what a great experience it was! From Bill Murray kicking things off to Scott Clemons simplifying complex economic issues, all presenters did a fantastic job educating and conveying their message in a purposeful manner. A special shout-out goes to the Next Gen team for organizing several events. I was fortunate to have met some of the Next Gen members through the communications committee. The events offered myself and others the opportunity to meet future leaders in the coffee industry and develop long-lasting relationships. Cheers to Nashville 2024!”

Mike Vilarino, Business Integrations Manager at Baronet 
Next Gen-ers networking at the Next Gen Networking and Social Event in Tampa, FL.
Next Gen raffle winners show off their prices! 

#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!

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