The ACE Board of Directors casts vision for the shape and direction of the organization and provides support and guidance for ACE staff and members
Will YoungCampos Coffee, Australia - Board Chair - Executive Committee
Will Young is the founder and President of Campos Coffee, located in New South Wales, Australia. Will joined the specialty coffee industry in 1997 and founded the brand Campos Coffee in 2002. He is an avid proponent of Alliance for Coffee Excellence as a means to promote ethics and philanthropy in coffee. Will continues to direct the growing Campos brand in the competitive specialty coffee market of Australia while advancing coffee quality and compassion around the world. Will is the Chair of the ACE Board and a member of the ACE Executive Committee.
Geoff WattsIntelligentsia, USA - Board Member - Executive Committee
Geoff Watts has spent nearly two decades as the chief coffee buyer for Intelligentsia Coffee, now located in Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and New York City, New York. He has served as an official judge in over 30 international coffee competitions and was a pioneer of the Direct Trade approach to coffee sourcing, which uniquely suits him for his position with ACE. Mr. Watts is the past-chair of the ACE Board and a member of the Executive Committee.
Tim Taylor is owner at Ipsento Coffee, an award-winning, Chicago based, farm-to-table coffee roaster with two cafes. Tim has been working in specialty coffee since 2007 when he founded the importing arm of his business. 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.
Noelia VillalobosASOCIACIÓN DE CAFÉS FINOS DE COSTA RICA, Costa Rica - BOARD MEMBER
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.
Augustin Manirakiza, is the Communication, Promotion & Marketing Manager for InterCafe Burundi and the COE National Coordinator. Augustin has been instrumental in the success of Cup of Excellence in Burundi, speaks to the media regarding Burundi Coffees and regularly represents Burundi at major international trade shows. As a former mill operator and current mango farmer, he understands the challenges faced by all levels of production and marketing.
Kentaro Maruyama is president and founder of Maruyama Coffee, one of the foremost specialty coffee brands in Japan. In 2001, Kentaro organized Japanese buyers into the influential Japan Roaster’s Network (former Mikatajuku group), which has since been the successful bidder for many top Cup of Excellence lots. Kentaro has been an international jury member more than 50 times over the years. Kentaro is a former Chair of the ACE Board.
Yunson LeeTerarosa Coffee, Republic of Korea - Board Member
Yunson Lee is the CEO of Terarosa Coffee in South Korea. Over the last ten years, her devotion to excellence and transparency in green bean purchasing has resulted in her becoming one of the most knowledgeable and experienced buyers in the explosive South Korean market. Previously a journalist, Lee continues to write articles and books on coffee origins, preparations and theory. Her company, Terarosa has been dedicated to the Cup of Excellence cause for the last ten years; having bought 70 Cup of Excellence lots which they proudly serve in their 11 coffee shops.
Hidetaka HayashiHayashi Coffee Institute, Japan - Hayashi Coffee Institute, Japan - Emeritus
Hidetaka Hayashi is President and Founder of Hayashi Coffee Institute. He has also served as a consultant to a number of coffee entities for the last 25 years, including International Trade Centre programs. Hidetaka has been a Committee Member of SCAA International Relations Committee since 2002, and was a former President of SCAJ and a former ACE board member. He has participated in many COE competitions, including the original COE competition in Brazil.
Shinji Sekine is the Director General/Manager of the Coffee Department for Wataru & Co Ltd. in Japan. Shinji has worked in the coffee industry since 1979 and has attended more than 30 COE competitions as an international juror. Shinji is also currently Vice President of SCAJ.
Vanusia Nogueria has been the Executive Director of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) since 2008. BSCA was influential in the first Cup of Excellence competition and has partnered with ACE from the beginning. Vanusia holds a number of advanced business degrees and was a consulting partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers for 15 years. She is also a supervisory board member for UTZ Certified, a nonprofit organization focusing on sustainable farming.
Joe Hsu is the founder and General Manager of Orsir Coffee Taiwan. He is the pioneer specialty coffee bean seeker from the Greater China area. He has judged in multiple Cup of Excellence competitions in every COE participating country and has helped to build the direct relationship between producers and customers since 2006.
Susie SpindlerFounder, Executive Director, USA - Advisory to the Board
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.
Sunalini MenonCoffeelab, India - Advisory to the Board
Ann TraumannStarbucks Coffee Trading, Switzerland - Advisory to the Board
Dr. Alon HalevyRecruit Institute of Technology, USA - Advisory to the Board