S&D Coffee & Tea reaffirmed its commitment to the specialty coffee industry by sponsoring Fellows to attend the 2016 Re:co Symposium, held April 13-14 in Atlanta, as well as the SCAA Expo that followed.
This is S&D’s second year underwriting the program, which grants access to individuals who might not otherwise be able to attend this event. Symposium Fellows are future and current leaders in specialty coffee, shaping the conversation and designing a brighter tomorrow for the industry, and this year the number of Fellows supported by S&D increased to 39 from 25 in 2015.
“This year’s group of Fellows represents the diverse disciplines of the coffee industry, and we are impressed with the notable work each has accomplished in his or her career thus far,” says John Buckner, VP of marketing for S&D. “We view our involvement in the Re:co Symposium and SCAA Expo as a prime opportunity to engage with these dynamic individuals and demonstrate the value we place in their role in the future of the coffee industry.”
In addition to the fellowship program, S&D sponsored the Fellows Lounge at the Symposium, which offered participants a place to connect and continue conversations spurred by the event’s sessions. New this year, Fellows also shared their work at presentations held in the Lounge—speaking to a variety of topics ranging from gender equity and anthropology to sensory science and chemistry.
Another addition this year is a mentoring program that matched Fellows with leaders in the global coffee industry for a series of conversations and in-person dialogue. Four individuals from S&D served as mentors: Bonnie Hall, sourcing and quality manager; Helen Griffith, director of marketing; David Piza, director of corporate social responsibility and sustainability; and Maya Zuniga, director of product innovation.
Below are comments from the 2016 Re:co Fellows:
“The S&D sponsored Re:co Symposium experience was game-changing because it helped to open my mind even more regarding the future of coffee. All the speakers were extremely engaging and the big ideas they shared really resonated with me. I'll definitely be thinking differently about how I approach coffee going forward,” says Dylan Olinoski, chief imagination officer with Coffee Table Times.
“Learning as a Fellow is a unique experience, especially with an accompanying mentor, where the academic and business sides of coffee blend together and framed in Re:co became a useful source of tools. To learn science and business in such a professional environment is a motivation to keep working for the development of the coffee industry in my country starting at the farm level all the way to the end consumer in a coffee shop. The people at Re:co are as special as the coffees and I will be ever grateful to SCAA and S&D Coffee & Tea for this opportunity,” says Iliana Delgado, Agropecuaria Berlin S.A.S.
“I was fortunate to be mentored by David Piza of S&D. Our conversations leading up to Symposium provided me with insight to make the most of the fellowship opportunity. Through my mentor, I made connections with sustainability leaders in specialty coffee. Above all, David extended a warm welcome to the SCAA family, and I'm confident that our relationship will continue to develop beyond the Re:co event.” says Kate Polakiewicz, international agricultural development M.Sc. candidate at the University of California, Davis.