Coffee Gives Back: Showcase Spotlight

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Applications for the NCA 2019 Origin Charity of the Year Award are due December 10. Learn more


By William, (Bill) Murray, NCA CEO & President
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Now more than ever, our communities and neighbors could use a helping hand. In the coffee industry, our community crosses borders with our supply chain, and giving back is no longer optional.

Here at the National Coffee Association (NCA), we decided about a year ago that – rather than starting yet one more program to help others – we were uniquely positioned to help in a different way.

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Convention Networking: A Practical Guide

NCA Networking

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:

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Looking Ahead: Your Business is Our Business

By William “Bill” Murray, CAE, President & CEO, NCA

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What’s ahead for your business?

As you look to the months and years to come, what are the greatest challenges you are facing, the biggest opportunities you see?

And how are you going to build the future you envision for your organization?

We’re in the midst of this very exercise here at the National Coffee Association, USA. Our current Strategic Plan was written three years ago. At that time our priority was to evolve NCA, rapidly and efficiently, and catch up with a changing world.

Our 2015-2017 plan called for us to update our infrastructure and communications (websites, newsletters, social media) and add member benefits (discount programs, Coffee Career Center, Business Directory, webinars).

Even as we were making these changes over the past three years, our day-to-day agenda grew exponentially. We took on new projects ranging from science and health issues (like last year’s review of coffee and cancer by the World Health Organization), to Federal regulatory developments (like the proposed Border Adjustment Tax).

All of which raises the question:

What’s next for the NCA?

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Leading To The Future: Innovation and Your Coffee Business

By William (Bill) M. Murray, CAE, CEO, National Coffee Association

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Despite the fact that coffee has been part of the human experience for centuries, innovation is now a necessity for companies across all sectors of the coffee industry – more than ever before.  In fact, if you search online for “innovate or die” you’ll easily return more than a half a million results.

What are the factors driving this change? How do we approach and address the challenges? How do we focus strategies and resources to adjust for success? And how can individual executives and business owners come up with new ideas?

First, here’s a snapshot of the issues:

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