Marcela is responsible for design, development, and management of Food 4 Farmers’ programs and programmatic partnerships. Marcela began her work with coffee producers in 2003 at Grounds for Health, whose mission is to bring cervical cancer screening and treatment to women in coffee-growing communities. Her role there ranged from managing all aspects of project implementation to site selection, project design, logistic and strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, development, communications, Board development, and donor outreach and engagement. Marcela developed a profound personal and professional interest in identifying effective, sustainable, and partner-based solutions to overcome some of the most pernicious obstacles for coffee producers and to help them achieve a better, life-long quality of life. In 2009 she joined the Rural Livelihoods and Agroecology Group at the University of Vermont in its Masters program in Natural Resources. Her research centers on the effects of income diversification of coffee producers on food security. She is also collaborating on an ongoing revision of monitoring and evaluation techniques to implement effective programs in coffee-producing communities.
In 2010, Marcela co-founded Food 4 Farmers with Janice Nadworny and Rick Peyser to help coffee producers realize a better quality of life for their families and communities through community-appropriate and lasting food security.
Jenn joined the Food 4 Farmers team in 2021 and is responsible for fundraising and partnership development. With more than 15 years of experience in fund development and nonprofit management for several local and national organizations, she is highly valued as a collaborative partner, and champions building relationships with mission-driven community partners.
Her passion for mission-driven work developed while studying Political Science & Sociology at the University of Vermont, where she participated in many international volunteer projects. She holds Executive Leadership, Nonprofit Management & Professional Fundraising Certificates from the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, Northwestern University and Marlboro College.
Jenn’s love for travel has brought her around the world. She has called many places home, but currently lives in Burlington, Vermont, with her fiancé and their two dogs.
Based in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, Beatriz is a graduate of Agricultural Economics from the Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, with 18 years of experience in rural development projects in the rural sector. She started her career with Fondo Acción Banamex, conducting analysis and evaluation of credit projects for companies in rural areas of Mexico. Then she worked for Root Capital for 10 years, first in the Financial Advisory Program with organizations in the coffee sector in Mexico and Peru, and second, starting in 2011, as head of servicing credit portfolios in Mexico and Guatemala with a focus on cooperatives of coffee and honey producers. Beatriz has also collaborated on conservation-related projects in Chiapas, Mexico. She is committed to the exchange of knowledge and the use of resources for the conservation of the environment.
April manages Food 4 Farmers’ home office. Her career has spanned many fields, reflecting her many interests. These include teaching and tutoring high school and middle school English and History, editing for small publishing houses, freelance writing, management consulting with an innovative startup in team building, massage therapy, and coaching soccer. April holds a B.A. in Education.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sr. Advisor, Food 4 Farmers
Rick Peyser is Sr. Advisor at Food 4 Farmers, an organization he co-founded. Prior to his current role, he served as Relationship Manager, Coffee & Cocoa for Lutheran World Relief for over 7 years. In addition, he led Keurig Green Mountain’s Supply Chain Community Outreach efforts, where he worked for 27 years. Rick served as President of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and as a Board member of the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International and Root Capital. Currently he is a member of the Board of Directors at Food 4 Farmers, The Coffee Trust, Project Alianza, and New Hampton School. Rick co-authored “Brewing Change: Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters” (2012) and is a Gund Global Affiliate at UVM’s Gund Institute for Environment.
General Manager, Cooperative Coffees
Ed’s coffee career began two decades ago in a Portland, Maine coffee shop where he learned the craft of roasting and the pleasure of customer service. This led him to Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s cupping lab in Waterbury, Vermont. His interest in coffee quality and growing communities started a 15-year career as Green Mountain’s Fair Trade and Organic coffee buyer. He values transparency, principled negotiations, intelligent system design, and innovative holistic agricultural practices that improve quality and producer livelihood through trade. Ed is a licensed Q grader and lives in Vermont with his partner Christe and children Asher and Emma.
Owner, Blank Page Cafe
In 2015, Mike opened Blank Page Café, a small bakery and café located in the farm store at Bread and Butter Farm in Shelburne, VT. Blank Page Café focuses on using locally roasted, responsibly sourced coffee, and partners closely with Brio Coffeeworks in this work. Blank Page Café aims to provide an enriched on-farm experience for customers by emphasizing community and food-based education. Mike’s passion for coffee is borne of his passions for farming, performance-oriented nutrition, and helping his community more carefully examine the complexities of our food systems.
Before opening Blank Page Café, Mike spent nearly 3 years working in small-scale organic farming in California and Vermont, with a brief farming stint in Europe as a WWOOFer. Mike also holds a Bachelors degree in Finance from the University of Connecticut, is a Level 3 Chartered Financial Analyst candidate, and spent 9 years working as a Fixed Income Trader and Analyst at Cigna Investment Management. Mike spent time his time at Cigna managing portfolios, developing trading strategies, executing trades, building credit analysis models and ensuring all investment activity remained in compliance with mandates. Mike was born and raised in Connecticut but is proud to now call Vermont his forever home. Mike loves being physically active and tries to get into the mountains with his dog and partner as often as he can.
Trader, Sucafina Specialty, North America
Stacy joined the specialty coffee industry in 1998 when she took a job at Kaldi’s Coffeehouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since that time, she’s used her extensive language skills and travel experience in rural Latin America to develop strong relationships throughout the coffee value chain. Stacy now works as a Trader with Sucafina Specialty. Previously she was with UTZ/Rainforest Alliance, where she was responsible for business development for the North America market. Before joining UTZ, she worked for over 10 years in both quality and green coffee procurement at Keurig Green Mountain and Allegro Coffee. Stacy has served as a member of the Catholic Relief Services Borderlands Advisory Council, as a volunteer for Partners of the Americas’ Farmer to Farmer Coffee Project in Honduras, and taught ESL in grades 2-8 at Liceo Pino Verde in Pereira, Colombia.
Lindsey is a senior executive with over 30 years expertise in the coffee industry. She previously led Keurig Green Mountain’s Coffee Function, where her duties included risk management, coffee quality, beverage development, and social outreach. Lindsey has long been a champion of emerging coffee origins, helping to improve and promote coffee quality and creating linkages between coffee producers, roasters, and consumers. She is committed to working alongside coffee farmers to improve their quality of life and sustainability of their businesses. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Specialty Coffee Association and World Coffee Research. Lindsey is a certified Q Grader.
Vermont Beekeepers Association
Bill holds an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.A. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has been president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association and the Eastern Apicultural Society. In his varied career, he has been a journalist, high school teacher, politician, and author or co-author of 14 books. With running partner Rick Peyser, Bill co-authored Brewing Change, Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters — the inspiring result of those frequent runs and steady conversations. Brewing Change is part travelogue, part social commentary, and part motivating business model for building corporate social responsibility. Brewing Change chronicles Peyser’s 24-year career with an insider’s view of GMCR, one of the largest specialty coffee companies and purchasers of Fair Trade coffee in the world. One hundred percent of the authors’ earnings and 10 percent of Wind Ridge Publishing’s net profits from the sale of Brewing Change benefit Food 4 Farmers.
Eric Nadworny J.D.
Area Director, Employee & Labor Relations, Dignity Health
Eric is an attorney and has held executive Human Resources positions in healthcare and retail and non-profit organizations. He brings a demonstrated record of strategic and progressive leadership to help businesses meet challenges and respond to competitive pressures. Eric has been elected twice to public office, has co-authored a book on police policy making, and has served as a member of Habitat For Humanity and YMCA boards of directors. He also serves as a Project Director for the Taproot Foundation and consults on a variety of subjects with public and private clients. Eric is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Boston University School of Law.
Senior Associate, Tetra Tech
Jen Peterson is an integrated livestock, crop production, agroforestry and farming systems agronomist and adult education and training specialist with 30 years of experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of food security programs and market systems in sixteen countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the United States. Ms. Peterson has designed interdisciplinary development programs, extension strategies, communication tools, and training modules for the U.S. Government, multinational organizations (UN organizations and CGIAR centers), host country ministries, and local and international nongovernmental organizations. She is proficient in gender analysis, vulnerability and livelihood assessment, participatory wealth ranking, household economy analysis, political economy analysis, disaster risk reduction and food-security monitoring and evaluation techniques, as well as integrated agriculture and nutrition programing, climate smart agriculture best practices, and conducting value chain assessments. She has experience identifying and developing inclusive, gender and youth specific approaches and activities, and developing case studies, success stories and best practices from the field. She speaks fluent English, Kikongo and French, and has working knowledge of several African languages (Chewa, Zarma, Malagasy and a little bit of Pular/Fulfulde). She enjoys working as part of a multicultural team, building local capacity and empowering others to lead. She currently lives and works in the great state of Vermont, where she enjoys boating on Lake Champlain, hiking in the woods, and eating berries.
Manager of Public Elations, Ben & Jerry’s
Mission-driven business seems to be a career theme for Laura, who is currently Manager of Public Elations for Ben & Jerry’s. Before that, she spent time as Communications Director for the Vermont Department of Tourism, extolling the virtues of the nation’s most beautiful state (not a hard gig.) She was also Communications Manager for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, where she promoted Fair Trade, organic coffee and learned a tremendous amount from fellow Food 4 Farmers Board Members Lindsey Bolger and Rick Peyser. Laura and Rick produced After the Harvest, a 20-minute film highlighting the “thin months” when coffee producers don’t have enough money to feed their families. Laura is an empty nester with her husband Duane and they live at the top of a mountain in Waterbury Center, Vermont.
Juliana Rangel Posada
Associate Professor, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University (TAMU)
Juliana is an international leader in honey bee research. She has led multiple research projects focusing on honey bees and has received National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology. Juliana serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Apicultural Research and is a reviewer for multiple scientific journals.
Chief Programs Officer, Root Capital
Alexandra’s work has been anchored in rural livelihoods for the past 15 years. Born, raised, and currently based in Costa Rica, a country whose economic and political origins are deeply rooted in smallholder coffee, Alexandra has worked on the challenges facing farming communities around the world. At Root Capital, she is responsible for the advisory services that strengthen rural businesses serving and representing smallholder farmers, and for the team that ensures state-of-the art impact measurement practices and learnings are shared with the broader sector. Before joining Root Capital, Alexandra started the Farmer Finance program at the Rainforest Alliance, working directly with coffee-farming community leaders and the organization’s technical teams to improve farmer access to financial services. As a researcher, and later program coordinator and director at the Center for Rural Development Studies, she contributed to projects that addressed food insecurity among rural families in Central America, the impact of access to credit, and the systems associated with sustainable agriculture.
Magda Van Dusen
Co-Owner and President, Brio Coffeeworks
At Brio, a specialty coffee roaster in Burlington, VT, Magda oversees the company’s operations and works closely with coffee partners to implement coffee standards through trainings on brewing methods, coffee processing, work flow, and other topics. She also focuses on cultivating a sense of community among cafes, baristas, and coffee enthusiasts by promoting coffee education and collaborating with other businesses on innovative projects. Magda previously worked as a barista at one of Washington, D.C.’s premier coffee bars, the Wydown Coffee Bar. She is deeply engaged with the professional coffee community through the Specialty Coffee Association and the Roasters Guild of America. Magda also brings extensive international development and financial management experience. As Director of Operations at Integra Government Services International, she managed the firm’s operations in support of projects aimed at improving the lives of the poor by facilitating economic growth and human progress. As a Senior Accountant at RAFFFA, P.C., she supported non-profit clients by providing full cycle accounting. As a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Magda oversaw the firm’s implementation of a business system review program for grant and federal award recipients. At the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Magda oversaw project accounting, developed financial management tools, set up field operations, and conducted field audits for projects in the former Soviet Union and the Caucasus. Magda has a Bachelors degree in International Affairs and a Masters in Accounting, both from George Washington University. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Burlington’s South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA). Magda was born and raised in a mountain town in Poland, one of the many reasons she loves living in Vermont.
Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea
Mané has worked in the specialty coffee industry for two decades and, prior to that, in the wine industry in California. Mané travels extensively to coffee producing countries throughout Central America, South America and Asia, where he teaches seminars on coffee production and quality standards. Mané has nurtured direct relationships with many of the coffee farms and families who cultivate the products he sells. Mané often collaborates with the farmer and co-ops directly to create great tasting coffees that are fully traceable.
Senior Partner, Meridian Institute
Todd has worked for Meridian since 1999, with extensive experience facilitating policy dialogues, negotiations, and strategy development processes. Todd manages and leads policy dialogues, negotiations, and strategy development projects. Todd focuses on issues relating to food and agriculture in both developed and developing countries, and has worked closely with major foundations to help them envision and then launch AGree: Transforming Food and Ag Policy. This project leverages Meridian’s strategic consultation, convening and facilitation expertise, and brings together key stakeholders in an effort to build agreement on the transformation of U.S. food and agriculture policy. Todd also serves as Project Director for Innovations for Agricultural Value Chains in Africa, where leading scientists and innovators are collaborating with key players in the maize, cassava, and dairy value chains in Africa to identify innovative post-harvest management and processing technologies that reduce post-harvest crop loss.
President, Sustainable Harvest
Liam is President of coffee importer Sustainable Harvest. Previously, he was Senior Vice President at Root Capital, a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. Liam played a critical role in leading Root Capital through five years of explosive growth, building the organization’s fundraising, business development, communications, impact assessment, and corporate relations. He draws on over 20 years of experience working in rural economic development and agricultural value chains in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Prior to joining Root Capital, Liam was director of sustainable coffee for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (now Keurig Green Mountain). He also served as Program Manager, Campaign Director, and Policy Advisor for Oxfam America. He holds an M.Ed. in Social Policy from Harvard University and a B.S. in Agricultural and Extension Education from Cornell University.
President and Co-Founder, The COSA
Daniele Giovannucci, former food company executive and Senior Consultant to the World Bank Group, began conducting research on sustainability issues in developing nations in 1992. He now regularly advises international bodies and governments (FAO, IFAD, UNCTAD, IDB, EU, USAID, etc.) on agricultural trade competitiveness and rural development strategies for poor regions. Daniele directs research on emerging ecological and social standards for The Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), formed by a consortium of 20 global institutions. His work on the linkages between developing country farmers and global markets focuses on innovative approaches such as emerging ecological and social standards that are fast becoming part of global trade and a basis for Corporate Social Responsibility.
Ernesto Méndez, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Vermont
Ernesto is an Assistant Professor with the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group at the University of Vermont. His current work analyzes interactions between agriculture, livelihoods, and biodiversity conservation in tropical and temperate landscapes, with an emphasis on small-scale farmers and their organizations. He is a research associate with the Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) at Antioch University New England, and Adjunct Professor at the International University of Andalucia (Spain). Ernesto is a founding member of Advising & Interdisciplinary Research for Local Development and Conservation (ASINDEC) in El Salvador and the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) in California. These partner organizations focus on research and direct support to conservation and rural development efforts with coffee farmer cooperatives in Central America. He holds degrees in Crop Science (California Polytechnic State University), Tropical Agroforestry (Tropical Agriculture Research and Education Center, Costa Rica), and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since 1996 Ernesto has worked on interdisciplinary projects related to agroecology, environmental conservation, and rural development as a researcher based in Costa Rica, El Salvador, California, and Vermont.
Andi Trindle Mersch
Director of Coffee and Sustainability, Philz Coffee
Andi currently serves as Director of Coffee and Sustainability at Philz Coffee in San Francisco. Her varied background within specialty coffee began behind the espresso bar in 1989, and since then, includes cupping, sample roasting, training, consulting, green coffee trading, roast quality control, sales, writing, and marketing. Andi is a past member of the SCAA Board of Directors. She has published articles with Roast Magazine, the SCAA Chronicle, and Specialty Coffee Retailer, and contributed to Fresh Cup, Coffee & Cocoa International, and Coffee Talk. She served 5 years on the Board of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, including a term as President.
Janice co-founded Food 4 Farmers with Marcela Pino and Rick Peyser in 2011. Until 2022, she led the organization’s development and outreach, while building its financial, operational, and administrative capacity. Prior to Food 4 Farmers, Janice was Development Director at Grounds for Health, Director of the Annual Fund at the University of Vermont, and Senior Vice President at Colonial Investments.
One of Janice’s favorite experiences ever was as an active member of the Specialty Coffee Association’s Sustainability Council. She also served on the SCA Lectures Committee to bring critical issues to the forefront of the specialty coffee industry. Though she has to be careful about her daily caffeine intake, Janice is still hooked on the coffee world – in particular, its power to effect real, lasting, and positive change and improve the quality of life for farming families and their communities.
Janice received her BA in Economics from the University of Vermont, and her MBA from Boston University.
Senior Vice President, InterAmerican Coffee
Kayd has been importing and trading specialty green coffee for nearly a decade and has managed InterAmerican’s San Diego office since 2011. Her dedication to quality, sustainability, long-term relationships with roasters, and partnerships at origin can be felt through her upbeat, positive attitude and contagious enthusiasm for everything coffee related. Kayd spends most of her time drinking coffee, cupping coffee, and talking about coffee.
Kayd is Q Certified and active in the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the coffee Quality Institute. She has been an instructor for SCAA’s cupping education program since 2008. Proficient in French and Spanish, Kayd loves to travel and visits origin often; cupping and sourcing new coffees, hiking around farms, and building strong relationships. She has visited and led trips to coffee growing regions in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and Indonesia. She also loves to play volleyball, snowboard, and bike to work.
Director, Communications and External Relations, Champlain College
Sandy joined Champlain College in 2015, where she works to broaden external visibility of the College, strengthen community relationships, and contribute to solutions to shared issues in Burlington and Vermont. Sandy’s communications career has been driven by her desire to create and share stories that connect to her own personal interests and make a difference in the world. Sandy previously worked at Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters) as Director, Corporate Communications and Community Relations, and as Director of Public Relations, where she spearheaded the company’s external communications around its coffee and beverage brands as well as its sustainability practices. Sandy also served as Global PR Director at Burton Snowboards and worked for Cone, a public relations firm in Boston. Sandy holds a BA from Dartmouth College and a MS in Communications from Boston University.