COE Board of Directors

The COE Board of Directors casts vision for the shape and direction of the organization and provides support and guidance for COE staff and members

  • Noelia Villalobos
    Noelia Villalobos ASOCIACIÓN DE CAFÉS FINOS DE COSTA RICA, Costa Rica - BOARD CHAIR

    Noelia Villalobos is the Executive Director of the Specialty Coffee Association of Costa Rica and of Sintercafé (International Coffee Week, initials in Spanish) since 2009. Both associations work hard to promote production and consumption of specialty Costa Rican coffee, in and out of Costa Rica. Sintercafé is an annual event recognized worldwide which incorporates both sides of the coffee value chain. SCACR has coordinated COE since its beginnings in Costa Rica, being also the in-country partner for CQI and the WCE counterparty. Noelia holds a Master’s degree in Promotional Marketing from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

  • Cory Bush
    Cory Bush Antwerp, Belgium - VICE CHAIR

    Cory Bush is the Managing Director of 32cup Specialty Coffee Merchants in Antwerp, Belgium.  His coffee career began in East Africa, where he was a regional manager for the TechnoServe coffee initiative, a program which sought to increase smallholder coffee incomes. He then worked as a Senior Trader with Falcon Coffees in the United Kingdom, where he built collaborative, quality-focused supply chains across Africa and Central America.  His latest position takes him to Europe where is the Managing Director of the specialty green coffee division of the Swiss trade house Sucafina, with clients across nearly every country in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa.  He was one of the inaugural Q-grader classes that graduated in Rwanda back in 2010.  Cory previously served on the SCA Sustainability Council, and has been a speaker at the ICO, AFCA, and various other coffee-focused events.

  • Tim Taylor Pedestrian Coffee, USA - Treasurer

    In 2009 Tim Taylor founded Chicago’s Ipsento Coffee — a farm to table coffee roasting and retail operation. He has since sold the company and now remains in the coffee sector as an independent contractor. Tim has been working in specialty coffee since 2007 when he began importing coffee directly from producers. Tim’s vision has always involved sourcing exceptional coffees from quality-minded producers who receive sustainable pay premiums for their efforts. In 2011, Tim served on his first Cup of Excellence jury and has been committed to serving on juries and bidding on auction lots ever since.

  • Paul Stewart
    Paul Stewart TechnoServe, USA - Secretary

    Paul Stewart is Global Coffee Director at TechnoServe, a nonprofit organization that harnesses the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. Paul joined TechnoServe in 2002 where he led a team in Tanzania that developed a coffee wet-processing business model that has been rolled out to over 200 farmer cooperatives across East Africa and created new fully-washed coffees in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania.  Paul resides in Ethiopia, where he oversees programs spanning 13 countries that provide training to 50,000 smallholder coffee farmers on climate-smart farming techniques each month and coach hundreds of coffee enterprises on sustainable business practices.

  • Susie Spindler
    Susie Spindler Founder, USA - Advisory to the Board - EMERITUS

    Susie Spindler was instrumental in creating the Cup of Excellence (COE) competition and auction in 1999 and was the Founder and Executive Director of The Alliance for Coffee Excellence-the non-profit organization that owns Cup of Excellence. From its beginning Spindler managed, molded and expanded this renowned global program and directed ACE with a small staff until 2015. She was asked to return to its helm in 2016 and has once again stepped back as advisor and board treasurer. Spindler began her career in coffee more years ago than she will admit but at a time when soft drinks were more popular and coffee was barely identified by country and almost never by farm or variety. At that time she created several successful coffee programs for the International Coffee Organization that helped jump start specialty coffee in the USA. She has also been a founder and marketing director of an endangered wildlife facility, president of a small advertising agency and heavily involved in consumer product marketing research. She holds a graduate degree in international marketing and management.

  • Thomas Pulpan
    Thomas Pulpan Kaffebrenneriet, Norway - Board Member

    Thomas established Kaffebrenneriet in 1994 and it became Norway’s first coffee bar. His focus has always been to bring the highest quality specialty coffee to the end consumer. Kaffebrenneriet has developed into Norway’s market leader in specialty coffee, taking specialty coffee from a country and regional specific product and building it into a product line of direct relationship coffees, allowing farmers and their unique coffees to shine. Kaffebrenneriet has been a dedicated supporter of CoE for nearly 20 years and Thomas has participated as a judge in over 20 competitions.

    Since founding Kaffebrenneriet his aim has continued to expand the business. Today the company comprises of a roasting plant, a bakery production facility, and an import product representation. His mission continues to be bringing the highest quality coffee to market through building lasting sustainable relationships with suppliers, enabling them to share their coffees and cup experience with the end consumer.

  • Carl Cervone
    Carl Cervone Enveritas, USA - Board Member
    Carl Cervone began working in coffee in 2006. He led field operations for TechnoServe’s Ethiopia Coffee Initiative and helped improve quality and market recognition for coffees from Western Ethiopia. Carl then joined TechnoServe’s strategic initiatives team, advising coffee companies and civil society groups on sustainability and impact measurement. In 2016, Carl co-founded Enveritas, where he currently serves as COO. Enveritas operates in over 20 origins and helps coffee buyers to verify sustainability conditions in their supply chains. Carl lives in New York and has degrees in business and environmental science.
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