Our Team2021-09-21T16:49:07-04:00

Our Team

STAFF

Alyson Welch

Executive Director

As Food 4 Farmers’ first Executive Director, Aly comes to our organization with more than 15 years of experience managing development projects, mainly in Latin America. Aly has extensive experience working in Mexico, Belize, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru and Indonesia. She has spent most of her career working for government contractors, overseeing projects in Latin America financed by USAID, and focused on the environment, economic development, governance, and land rights issues. Aly’s interest in supporting communities began while studying at the University of Vermont, when she traveled to Cuba. At that moment, she knew she wanted to pursue a career working internationally.

Aly lived in Mexico for two years, and dreams of returning. Until then, as a seventh generation Vermonter, she’s thrilled to return home, be close to family, and watch her daughter enjoy Vermont as she did, developing the same love of nature, maple syrup, and creemees.

Marcela Pino

Marcela Pino

Program Director

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.

Janice Nadworny

Janice Nadworny

Development Director

Janice is responsible for development at Food 4 Farmers and has worked in marketing, management, development and outreach for more than 30 years. After a childhood filled with making art, music, and stories, she took one of her father’s Economics classes at UVM and somehow ended up on Wall Street. For the next 15 years, Janice helped empower investors by educating them about the risks and rewards in financial markets; supported the City of Boston’s management of its $500 million retirement fund; and did her best to translate investment jargon into simple, clear English. In 1993, she moved back to her beloved Vermont, where she served as Director of the Annual Fund at the University of Vermont. Then she worked as an independent consultant to nonprofits across the state before becoming Development Director in 2008 for Grounds for Health, an organization that brings cervical cancer screening and treatment to women in coffee-growing communities. Janice became hooked on the coffee world – in particular, its power to effect real, lasting, and positive change and improve the quality of life for some of the people who need it most. In 2010, she co-founded Food 4 Farmers with Marcela Pino and Rick Peyser.

Janice has been a member of the Specialty Coffee Association Sustainability Council since 2009. She received her BA in Economics from the University of Vermont, and her MBA in Public Management from Boston University.

Beatriz Campo

Beatriz Ocampo

Program Officer

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 Duncan

April Duncan

Operations Manager

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.

Alexandra Katona

Communications Consultant

Alex works as a contractor for Food 4 Farmers, and manages marketing and communications for our organization. Captivated by coffee at her Alma Mater, University of Michigan, her first origin trip was to a coffee co-op in Chiapas during her junior year, where she established a relationship with producers and helped co-found a student run business. Alex has worked in the specialty coffee industry for nearly fifteen years; first at the Specialty Coffee Association, where she worked on events and marketing, then at the Coffee Quality Institute as its marketing and communications manager, as well as doing consulting work for coffee companies. Alex is drawn to all the lovely and passionate people that make up the specialty coffee industry and is particularly interested in creating more value at origin. In her down time, she loves spending time with her family, playing LEGO with her son, writing stories, reading, and being outdoors. She is also an author of children’s books.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rick Peyser

Co-Founder 

Sr. Relationship Manager, Lutheran World Relief

At Lutheran World Relief, Rick is Senior Relationship Manager for Coffee and Cocoa. Formerly, he served as Director of Social Advocacy and Coffee Community Outreach for Keurig Green Mountain, where he worked for 27 years. Rick is a past President of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the world’s largest coffee trade association, and served six years on the Board of Directors of the Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) which sets the standards for Fair Trade that benefit over 1.5 million small-scale farmers around the world. With running partner Bill Mares, Rick 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 Rick’s 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 from the sale of Brewing Change benefit Food 4 Farmers. In addition to founding and serving on Food 4 Farmers’ Board, Rick also serves on the boards of Project Alianza, the Selva Negra Community Foundation, and The Coffee Trust. Rick received his BA in English from Denison University.

Ed Canty

Ed Canty

Chair

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.

Andi Trindle Mersch

Andi Trindle Mersch

Vice Chair

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.

Mike Proia

Mike Proia

Treasurer

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.

Stacy Bocskor

Secretary

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 Bolger

Lindsey Bolger

Industry Consultant

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.

Bill Mares

Bill Mares

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.

Carrie McLaughlin

Carrie McLaughlin

Director of Engineering, SunCommon

Carrie McLaughlin has been working in the coffee and environmental sustainability sector for more than 10 years. As engineering manager at Keurig Dr Pepper, Carrie worked with manufacturing, engineering, R&D, procurement, and more to develop and commercialize innovations across the company. Previous to her experience with Keurig, Carrie worked in renewable energy development in both the community wind and solar industries.

Carrie has applied her technical experience and problem solving skills to mitigate the impacts of climate change locally and globally. In 2012, she established the Vermont chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), partnering with local businesses to develop clean water projects with coffee farming families in rural Nicaragua. She was previously part of the San Francisco chapter of EWB where she designed a small PV/Diesel hybrid power system for a health clinic in the remote mountains of Haiti.

Eric Nadworny

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.

Juliana Rangel Posada

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.

Alexandra Tuinstra

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

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.

Kayd Whalen

Kayd Whalen

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.

ADVISORS
Mane Alvez

Mané Alves

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.

Todd Barker

Todd Barker

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.

Liam Brody

Liam Brody

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.

Daniele Giovannucci

Daniele Giovannucci

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

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.

Sandy Yusen

Sandy Yusen

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.

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