For twenty-nine years, I have had the best job on the planet (at least in my experience). From my naïve beginnings, jumping headfirst into the deep end of publishing and coffee, I was on a mission to make a difference. I devoured any information I could find on the coffee industry, from seedling to cherry to cup and everything in between.
Though the early focus was on helping small retailers survive in the competitive landscape of the early 1990s, the journey took me far beyond. Twenty-five countries and twenty-nine years later, my life was transformed. I do know the joy of making a difference. From raising funds to build schools in rural Guatemala and Costa Rica, bringing water into a remote village on Lake Atitlan, supporting the initial formation of CQI (through donations of $15k+ in the early years), thousands of volunteer hours on a variety of non-profit boards and committees, empowering women through conferences and training in Central America and Africa and contributing to health equity for women in coffee-growing regions (please ask me about Grounds for Health!), I am proud of CoffeeTalk’s history and heritage.
Change is the only Constant
When I began, I was the new kid on the block, eager to learn. So many helped me along the way, too numerous to mention all of you, but your generosity of time and knowledge allowed me to create this amazing tool for making a difference. It was quite intimidating going to my first SCAA in 1993, not knowing anyone. Even more intimidating was my first NCA back in the day of the Boca Raton conference style. But after a while, I was the one introducing new people to the industry and experiencing the joy of making meaningful connections and helping create community. Covid brought yet more change, created a distance amongst all of us, and made the need for community even greater.
Covid, for me, transformed my life again. I flew to New Zealand just 48 hours before the borders closed, thinking I would be there for three months while the world sorted itself out. Three years later I will be a permanent resident in September and am marrying my Kiwi love, Ray on New Year’s Eve in New Zealand. It is time to find a successor to carry on CoffeeTalk’s mission of caring, community and making a difference.
So if you find yourself looking for a change and wanting to explore the world of coffee publishing, please reach out and let’s talk. I am open to out-of-the-box thinking on transition.