Leadership & Ownership: Voices at Origin 2019

Joe Coffee Company will host a panel event the week after the SCA conference in Boston. For that event we've invited speakers from Guatemala and Nicaragua who represent areas of leadership in Biology, Agronomy, Variety Planning, Cultural Inheritance, Farm Management, Co-operative Organizations, Community Development, Logistics, and Supply Chain.

This event is free and open to the public.

We highly encourage you to RSVP!

Speakers include:

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Dulce Barrera

Dulce started working in Bella Vista (Antigua, Guatemala) as a secretary and attention to small producers in 2002. In 2007 her boss realized how important it was to have a small cupping lab so he invited everyone at the office to learn how to cup. At the end it was only her cupping and nosing the cuppings when clients visited. She competed in the National Tasting competition for the first time in 2016. She did not pass to the next round and that inspired her to get her Q Grader Certification. She competed again in the Nationals in 2017 and 2018, winning the first place in Guatemala on both years. In 2018 she made it to the 19th place of 40 competitors in the World Championship, and she looks forward to competing again this year!

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Melanie Herrera

Melanie discovered the agricultural world at ENCA (National Agricultural School), which guided her to Zamorano University, and then to the beautiful world of coffee. She started working at Bella Vista mill in Guatemala in 2012 (where she currently works). There she has learned from production to marketing coffee. In this path she has learned and continues to learn more each day. She currently wears many hats at Bella Vista: Sales of green coffee, Customer relationship management, small producers chain, and quality control assistant.


Eleane Mierisch

Although she grew up in one of the most famous coffee families in the world, Eleane did not start her career in coffee. In the 1980s, the Sandinista government confiscated the family coffee farms, forcing the entire family into exile in the US. Turning this negative into a positive, Eleane decided to study to become a nurse. The family farms were returned to them in 1991/1992 by the Nicaraguan government, and most of the family returned to oversee their recuperation from abandonment. But Eleane was settled in the US. She began her career and followed her father’s footsteps; he was a gynaecologist. She worked as a women's healthcare nurse practitioner in the USA for some sixteen years. Illness of her mother brought her to a crossroads in life. She returned to Nicaragua to help look after her mother and be closer to her family. Her brother, Erwin, propelled her to get involved in the family coffee business. From the moment she began tasting the flavors found in a cup of coffee, she was inspired. She wanted to know more about the farms’ agricultural management, so she learnt each step of the value/production chain. She applied the skills she had learnt as a nurse and the attention to small details she had used her whole life to working as a team, and to using a multidisciplinary approach to coffee processing at the family mill, Don Esteban. Mining Erwin’s growing knowledge, they became tutor and student. Eleane learnt everything from picking cherries to the exportation of raw green coffee. She gained valuable experience that she now shares with specialty coffee professionals around the world by consulting and being involved in the Cup of Excellence.


Haisell Beteta

Haisell Beteta has been working for Beneficio Don Esteban since 2014. She knew nothing about coffee beforehand, and everything she has learned has been through experience. She worked her way up in a variety of roles: working reception, where wet parchment is received and green quality is assessed before processing; drying the coffee on the patio or raised beds; managing the inflow, storage, and outgoing coffees in the warehouse; managing exportation of shipping containers; and now finally she is the General Manager of all personnel. Her unique perspective of teamwork and productive work flow comes from a strong sense of loyalty and compassion for her team. She works intimately with Eleane in the Cupping Lab, and she participated in the International Jury of Cup of Excellence Nicaragua 2018.

“All the experience acquired in the last years has committed me to work with a lot of passion in the coffee world. Encouraging the team to focus on small details is what makes us different. Focusing on working with quality and maximizing our resources is the way to success. It is incredible what we can contribute to improve our processes. 80% of our team are women who have shown that we are the more important intellectual work force and I feel proud to be part of it.”

Where & When:

Food & Finance High School Auditorium

525 W 50 Street New York, NY 10019

Wednesday, April 17 2019, 6-8pm