Coffee executive deepens commitment to Grounds for Health, an organization working to
prevent cervical cancer in coffee-growing regions.
Williston, VT, April 24, 2019 – The Grounds for Health Board of Directors has elected Linda Smithers, of Port Charlotte, Florida, as the new Board Chair. Smithers, past President of the Specialty Coffee Association and winner of the 2014 Rainforest Alliance Change Agent Award, recently retired as a Director and Head of North American Marketing for Daterra Coffee. She takes over from Dan Cox, interim Board Chair and co-founder of the non-profit organization that is headquartered in Williston, Vermont with staff in East Africa. The Board includes business executives, primarily in the coffee industry, and world leaders in public health.
“I am deeply honored to be elected as the new Board Chair and look forward to continuing to work with my board colleagues to move Grounds for Health’s mission forward,” said Linda Smithers, who previously served as Board Secretary and Treasurer. “I want to thank the Grounds for Health Board of Directors for its confidence in me to serve as Board Chair, and I especially thank my predecessor Dan Cox who has done so much for this organization. We have accomplished so much in the last 20 years, and I am eager to help steward the organization into forming deeper partnerships with the coffee industry and beyond. ”
Executive Director Ellen Starr lauded Ms. Smithers for her commitment to their mission to eliminate cervical cancer in the developing world, and her clear vision and articulation of their goals as they continue to innovate in the coming years. She added, “Linda will be a strong and effective advocate for our vision of a world in which all women, even those in the most remote regions, are protected from the threat of cervical cancer.”
ABOUT GROUNDS FOR HEALTH:
Grounds for Health trains local health professionals to screen and treat cervical pre-cancer and helps them develop a sustainable program in their communities to keep women healthy and stop cervical cancer deaths. Working primarily in low resource areas of the coffeelands, Grounds for Health has developed programs in Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Tanzania, and currently has programs in Kenya and Ethiopia.