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.
Mardi Gras World at the NCA 2018 Convention
The following Q&A is from the NCA Next Generation Group, a National Coffee Association initiative to engage and support young professionals and emerging leaders across the coffee industry.
Shelby Westfeldt Mills
President, Coffee/Tea Trader
Westfeldt Brothers, Inc.
NCA Next Gen Council
Interviewed by Janet Colley Morse
How and when did you get involved with the coffee industry?
It was right after Katrina in 2005 and I was living in New York City interviewing for jobs in advertising. My dad had to relocate Westfeldt Brothers to North Carolina, and asked if I would work on the New York Board of Trade (now the ICE) as a clerk and assist WBI.
I put everything on hold and started immediately. I fell in love with it!
If you ask how I ended up at Westfeldt Brothers, that was probably because my mom made my dad give me a job.
What interested you in joining the NCA Next Gen group and then becoming part of the council?
By William “Bill” Murray, President & CEO, NCA
This post was originally published on LinkedIn
For over twenty years, I worked for the motion picture industry. Networking has always been the lifeblood of Hollywood – even while it was maddeningly difficult.
Take film industry conventions.
Hollywood has a couple of typical industry conferences, but most gatherings revolve around film festivals – often in glamorous, expensive places. There’s seldom a big exhibit hall with vendors – instead, filmmakers show clips of their work in private rooms, writers “pitch” scripts in one-on-one meetings, and deals are made at unadvertised parties.
There’s a secretive, fluid mystery to everything that’s happening, and always the sense that you are missing something. That uncertainty is complemented by the chaos of autograph seekers, paparazzi, and publicists all jockeying for attention. Unless you know how to “work” a film festival, you might as well stay home.
While networking at film festivals and association conventions may seem to have little in common, there is one key aspect in which they are similar: if you plan to network at either, you’ll need to have a strategy and go prepared.
For association conventions, here’s what’s key:
The following post originally appeared in full on the Bond Street Small Business Blog
Starting a coffee business is not for the faint of heart. It will bring blood, sweat, and tears (plus a lot of caffeine).
Yet, there’s still something that makes the pursuit worthwhile.
And as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. So what better way to truly learn what it takes to successfully build a coffee business than to turn to those who know best?
The editors at Bond Street asked individuals behind some of America’s best cups to share what they wish they knew before opening their coffee shops, or other caffeine-infused operations. The result is 33 pieces of advice that all aspiring entrepreneurs would benefit from knowing.
From mistakes made to tricks of the trade, you’re bound to discover at least one nugget of wisdom that will save you time, money, energy, and quite possibly your sanity — or all of the above.