SCAA Announces New Sustainability Director, Kim Elena Ionescu


The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has announced the selection of Kim Elena Ionescu as its new Director of Sustainability. Ionescu will be the first to hold the new role within the organization, which was created as part of a larger effort to grow SCAA’s work in the sustainability sector.

“We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” reported Ric Rhinehart, SCAA’s Executive Director. “Kim will bring leadership and vision to the association’s programs and a deep sense of commitment to our industry’s sustainability related issues. She has a breadth of perspective and experience that will not only directly benefit our members, but the industry at large.”

Ionescu has been working in coffee for over 11 years, beginning as a barista and later joining SCAA member company Counter Culture Coffee in Durham, North Carolina where she lead their sustainability programs as Coffee Buyer and Sustainability Manager. She has also been a member of the SCAA Sustainability Council since 2013 as well as holding the distinction of being a three-time SCAA Symposium speaker.

“We are faced with enormous challenges to the sustainability of coffee, from climate change to population pressure in coffee-producing communities, but we have never been in a better position to effect change than we are now.” Ionescu says. “Individuals, companies and member organizations are testing ideas and exploring new territory every day, and if we can harness that energy to work collectively, coffee can be a leader in sustainability and set new standards for global agriculture.”