Presenting Slate of Candidates for the 2019-2021 BG Leadership Council

 
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The election process for the 2019-2021 BG Leadership Council elections is officially underway. After several weeks of nominations, we have a slate for the four available seats on the council.

We would like to extend our thanks to the Nominating Committee for their efforts in selecting such a talented slate of candidates for this year’s election!

Meet your new slate: Silvia Constantin, Jessika Heredia Sosa, Aashifa Hussain, Katherine Jena, Gerald Katabazi, Kiersten Little, Ever Meister, Meghan-Annette Reida, and Angelo Sportelli.


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Silvia Constantin

Romania

My name is Silvia and I am around coffee from 2004, when I open my coffee magazine Coffee Break. After this, I start to be involved in specialty coffee, when I manage to open the Romanian chapter in 2010. I organize competitions nationals and regional's from 2010 and after so many years around I have a team now on the chapter, all the champions are involved in chapter and they help me to organize, better and better. Between coffee competitions from Romania, I was a volunteer to judge or to help other coffee events around the world. I am involved like a volunteer in Barista Guild, since 2015 and I was almost in all of them, helping baristas and BG and SCAE or SCA, being part of the teams, working for better events. I am a coffee person who wants to promote all BG events in a different part of the world, not necessarily Europe and US, my plan is to organize events in middle East, in Africa, in Central America and Asia, or everywhere where the community wants our expertise and our support. I love the coffee community and barista community and I believe that together we can do better coffee world.

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Jessika Heredia Sosa

Maribor, Slovenia

I started working as a barista in Juan Valdez stores in Bogota Colombia 9 years ago while I was studying chemical engineering, it was interesting to get barista skills and think in the physics behind it. I have stood out as a leader who seeks for the quality of product and service, so I got promoted to manager and then to collaborate with the Colombian Federation of coffee growers in representing the brand in Europe during EXPO Milano 2015. Since that, I have been more involved with coffee events, constantly improving my knowledge when attending workshops abroad. Currently, I live in Slovenia and work for at Tovarna Kave coffee roasters where I am head barista and help as a green coffee buyer, occasionally I organize events for the community, make workshops and teach about specialty coffee. I have been a volunteer in the barista guild and SCA events and got part of the leadership council a few months ago, where I collaborate in the preparations of the events on the European side.

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Aashifa Hussain

London, UK

After being introduced to the delightful world of coffee by Well Grounded and gaining my very first SCA accreditation in 2016 I found a passion for coffee and fell down the coffee rabbit-hole we all know and love! Having the joy of working in this industry since then I have worked my way up to the position of Barista Trainer. In that time I have co-founded a platform for women called The Kore Directive, as well as contributed to publications like Caffeine Magazine. I enjoy cultivating sensory experiences, reading The Financial Times, and canoeing (as well as all and any whitewater activity). Outside of coffee, I am a Girl Guide Leader and amateur tennis player. One of my biggest goals is to empower people with educational tools and cultivate safe spaces. I would like to support women in the service industry, be that in farms or coffee shops, I believe it is my responsibility and duty as someone with knowledge to help and support others in their goals in this industry.

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Katherine Jena

Seattle, US

A little about me! Seattle is home. It's pretty great here. I studied Environmental Science and Policy in college, but after snagging a barista gig post-grad I quickly realized I wasn't going to be leaving coffee anytime soon. As I dug deeper into specialty coffee I started to recognize intersections throughout the various facets of this industry that touch on really important issues for me that, at the end of the day, equate to something much bigger than just a cup of coffee. Finding a place where community building, social justice, environmental justice, and my particular affinity for playing with sensory experience can all coexist is pretty special, and it's something I'm excited to wake up and participate in every day.

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Gerald Katabazi

Uganda

Gerald is a social and economic coffee entrepreneur passionate about baristas, roasters, and farmers working with volcano coffee limited as a Director of Coffee Affairs, a sales division charged with overseeing global trade. In 2008, he founded Volcano Coffee Ltd with a mission of improving coffee quality, promoting domestic consumption behaviors, offering skills developments to the young people and to act as a marketplace for Ugandans and Africa coffee products at large and his goal and mission are to see the coffee production shift from being traded as commercial coffee products rather be sold as specialty coffee products by the year 2022 in Uganda and other African coffee-producing countries. Gerald Katabazi is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Coffee Baristas Forum-Uganda and Founder member at Authentic Coffee Roasters Society both arms championing the best-brewed behaviors in the country and is a Young African Leader under Mandela Washington Fellowship program.

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Kiersten Little

St. Louis, US

My name is Kiersten! I’m from the Abe Lincoln town of Springfield IL. I started working in coffee during college and quickly fell in love with it after a trip to Chicago (when my mind was blown by seeing a pour over at Intelli). I moved to St. Louis to start my bachelor’s degree and got a job at Kaldi’s Coffee. I weighed out my options and decided to dedicate my time to specialty. I am currently a GM and teach coffee/tea classes on the side. Next month I’m traveling to Rwanda with Kaldi’s and visiting a coffee farm, but also my first tea farm! When I was slinging French vanilla chocolate hazelnut lattes at 18 at a mom and pop shop, I had no idea coffee would take me this far, but I’m so glad I’ve been a part of an amazing community! I’m so thankful for all the relationships I’ve made and the people that have inspired me.

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Ever Meister

Boulder, US

Hello, coffee people! It's been almost 20 years that I picked up (and promptly dropped) my first portafilter, and since that time I've been lucky enough to learn from and work with so many amazing people in the industry that has become my life and home. My focus as a coffee professional has been on accessibility and inclusivity, making sure that everyone has a seat at the cupping table and a chance to learn and thrive in their professional lives. I've been a retail barista, store manager, co-director of coffee, wholesale account rep, trainer and educator, and a coffee writer, as well as an avid student and passionate cheerleader for my peers and colleagues. It would be an honor to serve and represent you in this capacity with the Guild.

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Meghan-Annette Reida

Milwaukee, US

Hi! My name is Meghan-Annette and I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA where I am currently studying Economics while working as a barista. It has been my joy to work as a barista for almost 5 years, filled with numerous opportunities for both professional and personal growth. When I'm not studying or behind the bar, I can be found at home with my 12-year-old tabby, Captain Jack, where we work on jigsaw puzzles together.

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Angelo Sportelli

Milan, Italy

My name is Angelo Sportelli and I'm a Barista and Trainer. Electronic Engineer by training, in 2009 I decided to follow my childhood dream and become a chef. I worked for a famous fine dining chain as a chef and trainer until 2015, when I discovered my love for coffee. I worked as Head Barista for one of the first Specialty Coffee shops in Cardiff (Wales) and soon after became Sales and Support Manager for a local roastery in Bristol, England. in 2018 I decided to move back to Italy and became at first a Freelance Barista and Trainer. In September 2018 I became part of the team of MUMAC Academy, Gruppo Cimbali.