Gratitude and recognition; They go hand-in-hand. Science has shown that gratitude can have a physical impact on our health and well-being, and I am a true believer!
With this in mind, we created our “Making a Difference” issue more than a decade ago. Almost 30 years ago I entered this industry as a newcomer and was so very grateful to be on the receiving end of generous industry luminaries who took time out of their enormously busy schedules to provide mentorship andd help me discover and support this amazing industry. As we all know, coffee is more like a family than an industry and I know I am desperately missing our face-to-face industry gatherings. It is my hope that sharing appreciation for yesterday’s, todays and tomorrow’s leaders will help provide some continued connection.
It is with enormous gratitude we present this year’s Leaders & Luminaries issue with a special focus on mentorship. Each of these seven industry professionals has been recognized by their industry peers for their mentorship and contribution to the industry.
Any societal success is ultimately reflected in its culture. The culture reflects the values of that society in customs, activities, and what it chooses to celebrate.
We could choose to celebrate the most monetarily successful companies or those regarded as the highest quality or most well-known; however, we have chosen to celebrate something we feel is more valuable. We are celebrating the individuals that share. The mentors, guides, elders, and newcomers that not only have something to offer but go ahead and offer it up.
Coffee had a long history of monopoly and secrecy with many heavy barriers to entry. Those barriers have slowly lowered over time, and the culture of secrecy and exclusivity has changed. It is important to celebrate those among us that show leadership and, more importantly, share leadership and cultivate the next generation to grow in a way that maintains the values we are establishing. We went looking for lifters; Individuals that give to their network and communities and raise them up a little higher.
As I have often found the case with people of this caliber, they would never elect to tell you about their great deeds, so we had to rely on our community to nominate people who had made a difference in their lives. We received many entries and a lot of impassioned proponents of their nominees. It is my hope that others find inspiration in the example these individuals have set and pay that forward to their communities. Thank you.