Meet the NCA Next Generation: Amber Gray, Starbucks

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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. 

Join the NCA Next Generation Council for young professionals in the coffee industry at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta on Friday, March 8.


Amber Gray
Mgr Sr Coffee Operations, Starbucks
NCA Next Gen Council Member

How and when did you get involved with the coffee industry?

I got involved in coffee in 2013 when I joined Atlas Coffee Importers in north Seattle.

Having a culinary degree, I was trying to find an opportunity that would allow me to stay connected to the food and beverage industry, but still utilized my analytical background.

I worked in their Logistics department, managing and coordinating orders from green coffee warehouses to various customers across the US.

What interested you in joining the NCA Next Generation group, and then becoming part of the council?

I found out about the Next Gen council opportunity while on an origin trip in Costa Rica. Experiencing the first 10 feet of coffee inspired me to find a way to contribute more to the larger conversation.

I hope to help inspire the next generation, especially women, to get involved in coffee and supply chain.

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NCA Member Spotlight: AMI

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Read previous NCA member spotlights, or check out our complete list of members


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COMPANY: AMI
LOCATION: Bristol, UK
TWITTER: @contact_AMI
FACEBOOK: /AMI
NCA MEMBER SINCE: Nov. 2018


What does AMI do?

AMI is Europe’s largest consultancy dedicated to providing business information for the global plastics industry.

With more relevance to the coffee industry, AMI’s lead packaging consultant, Martyna Fong, has championed the development of the single serve capsules expertise. She has a thorough understanding of the supply chain, global trends, and technical innovation in the segment.

AMI is keen to assist the NCA community with its market intelligence as well as specialist single serve capsules conferences – in North America and in Europe.

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Building a Legacy of Leadership: NCA Chair on Family Values and Coffee’s Next Generation

Join the NCA Next Generation council for a professional development breakout session and networking event at the NCA Convention in Atlanta, GA

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Michael Gaviña delivering his General Session remarks at the 2018 NCA Convention

Exclusive Q&A: Michael Gaviña, F. Gaviña & Sons

“We really have something special, we have a very collegial industry that is passionate about a product that our customers hold dearly.”


Michael Gaviña is the current of the National Coffee Association. He is a fourth-generation executive at F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. (FGS), responsible for pricing raw materials and managing inventory. A Coffee Quality Institute Q grader, he joined FGS in 2002 as a buyer. He is has served as CFO of DF Roasters since 2015.

Here, talks to Next Generation Council Communications subcommittee member Kyle Bawot about what he’s learned over his career, the challenges ahead for coffee businesses, and his hope for next generation of industry leaders.

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TRUE Green & Roasted Coffee Taste Descriptions

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Exploring TRUE coffee descriptions: Trustworthy, Realistic, Understandable, Enticing

A Shared Industry Vocabulary to Keep Us On the Same Page

Learn more about coffee quality: Join Blue Donkey Coffee for a specialty coffee cupping at the 2019 NCA Convention in Atlanta, March 7-9


Part I: How To Communicate TRUE Coffee Quality

The following article was originally published as the first installment of a 2-part special series in Tea and Coffee Trade Journal in the July/August 2018 and September 2018 issues

By Spencer Turer, Coffee Enterprises – via LinkedIn


Aroma and taste descriptors are most easily understood when primary flavors are referenced for the perceived attribute.

When attributes are categorized into groups it becomes difficult to understand their meaning without additional training or explanations. Confusion is created when conclusions are used for flavor descriptions, or when adjectives or verbs are used in place of nouns when presenting descriptions.

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Helicopters, Piranhas, and … Coffee?

NCA Convention from National Coffee Association USA on Vimeo.

 

NCA Convention from National Coffee Association USA on Vimeo

Introducing the 2019 NCA Convention Keynote Speakers


At the National Coffee Association, we love to talk coffee. But sometimes it pays to get a fresh perspective.

The 2019 NCA Convention keynote speakers were selected for their empowering messages and captivating stories.

Join us – and decision makers from across the supply chain – for the premier coffee event of the year in Atlanta, GA, March 7-9, 2019.

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From Invisibility Towards Inclusivity: Building Diversity In the Coffee Industry

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Daiane Vital embracing her mother Vanilda de Souza Vital, south of Minal Geraris Brazil. Photo: Danielle Sereio

“The industry must do a better job at telling coffee’s history, beyond those who carried the bean throughout different parts of the world…”
– Phyllis Johnson, BD Imports, NCA Board Member


In the most recent issue, Roast Magazine published an insightful and important article by Phyllis Johnson, NCA board member and BD Imports president & co-founder.

Strong Black Coffee, Why Aren’t African Americans More Prominent in The Coffee Industry?” features perspectives from 14 black coffee professionals.

The following is a summary of the original piece, with new reflections and an update from Johnson’s recent trip to Brazil during International Coffee Week.

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Meet the NCA Next Generation: Shelby Westfeldt Mills

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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. 

 

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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?

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Video: Community Coffee’s Hurricane Florence Relief Efforts

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It’s been two weeks since Hurricane Florence slammed into the Carolina coast. In the storm’s devastating wake, communities across the southeastern United States are still struggling with flooding, wastewater, and access to basic supplies.

During difficult times, small things can mean the most. That’s why the Community Coffee team, in partnership with organizations like The Salvation Army USA, USO of North Carolina, American Red Cross, and Harris Teeter,  has served 16,000 cups of coffee to first responders and victims of Hurricane Florence to date.

“Good or bad, everyone loved sharing stories over a hot cup of Community coffee,” says Sean Kirby, Field Manager.

Watch the video below:

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ICO International Coffee Day Highlights Women in Coffee

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Demonstrate Your Commitment to Supporting #WomenInCoffee with the IWCA

By Melissa Pugash & Margaret Swallow, Co-Founders, International Women’s Coffee Alliance


Monday, October 1, 2018 is the International Coffee Organization’s 4th Annual International Coffee Day.

Hosted by the ICO,  “International Coffee Day is a global celebration of coffee’s long journey from the farm to your local shop — an opportunity to honor the women and men who grow and harvest the coffee we love.”

The seventy-seven member states of the ICO selected “Women in Coffee” as the theme for this year’s International Coffee Day.

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Join the American Red Cross Specialty Coffee Professionals Donation Team

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Help track our industry’s life-saving impact.

By Spencer Turer, Coffee Enterprises


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The coffee industry has recognized programs which support social responsibility, environmental stewardship, health issues, gender initiatives, women coffee producers, and sustainable communities at origin — often through the support of companies both large and small.

Here’s an opportunity to help the coffee industry make a big impact, as just one individual.

The American Red Cross is most familiar for their disaster relief services and regular blood drives.  Through a coordinated effort (and the wonders of technology), the coffee industry can support a national campaign which provides benefits in our local communities.

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