Specialty Coffee Association of America Announces Recipients of 2013 Recognition Awards

Honoring those who contribute their expertise to the coffee industry

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has announced the recipients of its 2013 Recognition Awards. Each year, the SCAA honors outstanding achievements in the specialty coffee industry and unique contributions to the association. The SCAA’s Recognition Awards are selected by a panel from the SCAA Past President’s Council. These leaders have made contributions to the industry, resulting in the development and promotion of coffee excellence and sustainability. The 2013 Recognition Award Winners are:

Lifetime Achievement – Ricardo Espitia, Executive Director of El Salvadoran Coffee Council (retired)
Ricardo was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador on August 14th, 1960 where he attended elementary and high school. After graduating he enrolled on an English language program in England and later went to Texas A&M University where he earn a distinguished student certificate in 1981 and got his Bachelor´s and Master´s degrees on Agricultural Economics in 1983 and 1985 respectively.

His first job was at FUSADES, a Salvadoran private development foundation and think-tank. Afterwards he started working for Technoserve, a US based non-profit organization, as administrative and technical support to El Salvador’s branch to provide assistance to agricultural cooperatives. In 1991, his coffee lineage flourished and he decided to start working in the coffee sector, he started working at the Salvadoran Coffee Council which is the agency in charge of defining coffee policy, representing El Salvador at international coffee forums, promoting Salvadoran coffee abroad, and providing market information to the coffee sector, among others. He begun as a coffee analyst and became head of the Statistics and Economic Studies Department. Due to his skills and leadership he became Executive Director from the institution between the years 2000 to 2009.

Distinguished Author – Zachary Carlsen and Jordan Michelman, Sprudge.com
Sprudge.com is the world’s most popular and shared coffee publication. Started in 2009 by two childhood friends, the website has grown into a daily source of coffee news, event coverage, industry insight and original journalism, drawing from a diverse pool of contributors representing the very best coffee writers working today. The website is proudly dedicated to providing thorough coverage of specialty coffee competitions, including the United States regional barista circuit, the United States Barista Championship, and the World Barista Championship. Along the way their work has been featured, linked, or excerpted by countless popular news sources, all with the goal of presenting coffee culture, baristas, importers, producers and roasters in a positive light.

Sprudge.com is partnered with a diverse roster of companies, representing all facets of the specialty coffee industry- from machine manufacturers to green coffee importers, from cafe consultants to roaster / retailers, and much more. The website remains a labor of love, wholly owned and operated by two friends who met each other at the tender age of 14. As their website grows, they invite you to join them as readers and supporters. This award is a great honor for them, and they hope to do it justice for many years to come.

Outstanding Contribution – Karl Schmidt, Probat, Inc.
As President, Karl Schmidt is responsible for the activities of Probat, Inc. primarily serving the North American market. Probat Inc.’s core competency is roasting and grinding technology. The company also provides complete coffee roasting facility concepts and consultancy for the Coffee Industry.

Karl is also extremely pro-active in educating the coffee community in the ever changing landscape of the environmental issues confronting the Industry on an on-going basis. He does this by participating in lectures and presentations at the SCAA and other organizations focused on coffee technology. Karl also provides this information to the various customers and companies in the industry as needed. He is a steadfast supporter of the International Women in Coffee Organization.

Prior to joining Probat, he held the position of Vice President of a major multi-national company in the Beverage and Food Industry. Karl has a background in Thermal Dynamics and Drying Technology and holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical and Process Engineering from a German University. In addition, he also completed seminars and training courses that were designed and developed by the Harvard Business School and the London School of Economics where he earned a Certified Diploma.

Special Recognition – Dan Streetman, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
In 2003, while a student at Texas A&M University, Dan became a barista and then, in 2004, a member of the Barista Guild of America (BGA). After graduation, he made coffee his full-time career, joining Cuvee Coffee Roasting Company. Dan attended his first SCAA in 2007, volunteering as a Station Instructor for the Skill Building Workshops. He was hooked on the experience of teaching and the chance to meet his inspiring colleagues. He proceeded to compete later that same year, before becoming a barista competition judge and a United States Barista Championship (USBC) Certified Head Judge in 2008. Also in 2008, after serving two years as the South Central Regional Chapter Representative, Dan was elected to the BGA’s Executive Council. In 2010, Dan left Cuvee and traveled the country acting as Head Judge in the Regional Barista Competitions. Subsequently, Dan was hired by Dallis Brothers Coffee to bring the brand to his home state of Texas. Currently, Dan works for Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, where he implemented a new buying system and has improved the quality of the coffee at every level.

Alfred Peet Passionate Cup – Piero Bambi , La Marzocco s.r.l.
As a very young man, Piero Bambi began working at La Marzocco, the Italian espresso machine manufacturer, as a technician and provided overall technical support to those working on the shop floor. In time, he dedicated energies to designing, first and for many years, machine components, electrical and hydraulic circuits, etc. and then, in 1989/1990, introduced the first machine designed entirely in his own hand – the Linea. He also patented the more innovative brewing technology related to the Linea.

When the company planned on moving to new, larger facilities in 1960, Piero, together, with a team of architects, designed the new facilities on the hills overlooking Florence and coordinated all aspects of building.

In addition to his technical and design talents, he began expending his energies to sales and exports. It is in this capacity that he opened the doors of La Marzocco to other members of the industry, to the gradually expanding number of roasters outside of Italy, to coffee lovers in general and, over the past 15 years, to the young and dynamic barista class to share his passion and dedication to and knowledge about espresso coffee, as well as share in fervent but friendly debate.

In 1994, Piero dedicated his own time to writing “Coffee Machines for Use in Bars” which, in addition to narrating the history of La Marzocco, provides solid advice that is still worth sharing today. Piero continues to play an important role in introducing new technology and/or design, is a master at problem solving on the shop floor and perhaps most importantly, bears witness to the history of the coffee industry itself.

Service to the Association – Andi C. Trindle Mersch
Andi’s varied experience within specialty coffee began behind the espresso bar in 1989 and, since then, includes cupping, training, consulting, green coffee trading, roast quality control, sales, writing, and marketing. Andi currently trades green coffee and manages the Atlantic Specialty Coffee quality control lab. She has published articles with Roast Magazine and Specialty Coffee Retailer, and contributed to Fresh Cup, Coffee & Cocoa International, and
Coffee Talk. Andi served 5 years on the board of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, including a one year term as President.

Andi is finishing her three years of service on the SCAA Board of Directors as Chair of the Professional Development Committee. She has proudly volunteered with the SCAA since 1998, formally joining the former Training Committee (TC) in 2001. She served on the espresso and cupping Subcommittees of the TC until 2010 when she transferred to the newly formed Professional Development Committee (ProDev), which she helped form and manage since its inception. Andi also served on the SCAA Nominating Committee in 2006/2007.

Along with 12 years of committee and board service, Andi has developed and presented course content in brewing, cupping, roasting, espresso, and coffee business at the annual Event and Roasters Guild retreats for the past 15 years. Outside of the coffee world, Andi is the founder and Artistic Director of Triple Shot Productions, a 501(c) (3) theater producing company in San Francisco. Andi has performed and produced small theater in San Francisco since 1993 and most recently produced the world premiere of Dan Wilson’s Just One More Game in March of this year. Andi is hanging up her theater and about half of her coffee hats to focus more on her highest priorities: her 16 month old “little bean” Alexis and her beloved, most appreciated husband, Eric.

Sustainability Award – Organic School Garden Project – Pueblo a Pueblo
The goal of the Organic School Garden project is to reduce the instance of hunger and malnutrition among indigenous school-age children, ultimately improving their health and school performance. The objectives are four-fold: to have six well-functioning and producing school gardens; to improve the knowledge of children and teachers in nutrition, organic farming, and food security; to increase access to healthy and nutritious meals; and to strengthen DIGEPSA’s (Ministry of Education) school garden program at the district level. Learn more at www.puebloapueblo.org. View the official announcement for this award here.