2019 marked the 10th year of the annual SCTA Conference and Dinner located in Basel, Switzerland. For the second year in a row, the NCA Next Gen Council was invited to participate in the event, a proposal which was once again graciously accepted. In addition to the elegance of the dinner itself, our Council members were able to attend an information session and networking hour dedicated exclusively to Next Gen members.
The initiative was led by Guillaume Zbinden, who has been at the forefront of the effort of the SCTA to emulate the NCA’s Next Gen platform. Guillaume’s keynote speech was followed by a thorough review by Michael von Luehrte of the activities of both the SCTA Next Gen Council, but also those of the contingent of Next Gen Members throughout countries of origin.
And to round out the conference section of the Next Gen session, attendees were able to see ‘into the future’ with remarks by Dean Sanders and a panel led by Susana Robledo.
The event was a great success and the growth of the Next Gen “movement” was apparent!
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.
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.
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?
Switzerland is an important country for the coffee trade and roasting industry, and serves as the headquarters for several major coffee trading houses and roasters. (The country is even one of the world’s top five coffee exporters.)