Update on the Slate of Candidates for the 2019 SCA Board of Directors Elections

Update on the Slate of Candidates for the 2019 SCA Board of Directors Elections


As presented last month, the Nominating Committee of the SCA Board, led by President Heather Perry, has nominated the following professionals from a pool of dozens who responded to the call for nominations made in June for the 2019 SCA Board of Directors elections:

  • Burak Alici, CEO, QVIDTVM Inc
  • Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos, CEO, Coffee Island
  • Paul Macek, Vice President, Programs, World Cocoa Foundation
  • David Piza, Director of National Accounts, S&D Coffee
  • Sarina Prabasi, Co-Founder Buunni Coffee and Author, “The Coffeehouse Resistance”
  • Doreen Zankowski, Partner, Duane Morris LLP and Co-Owner/Operator of Kope Kabana


The slate is now joined by petition candidate Cosimo Libardo, Group CEO of Carimali Holding (Carimali SpA, Carimali Catering, Elektra, Slingshot Europe)

According to the SCA Bylaws, anyone not selected to be on the slate may petition to be added to the ballot. Cosimo received over one hundred signatures during the petition period, and his name will be included on the ballot alongside the slate recommended by the Nominating Committee.

When elections open on Friday, November 1, 2019, all eligible voting members will choose six of the seven candidates to join the SCA Board of Directors. The elections will close on Saturday, November 30, 2019. Find the election timeline in our elections portal at sca.coffee/board/elections.

SCA members will receive their ballots from UK Engage, the third party company that runs our voting process, via the email vote@ukevote.uk, so please be sure to add the email address to your contacts. Please help us ensure your ballot is sent to the correct email address by logging in to your account at sca.coffee/member-login to verify your email address or by contacting us at elections@sca.coffee.

Thank you for being a member of the SCA and for taking part in this important process for the association.

YANNIS APOSTOLOPOULOS is the Executive Director at the Specialty Coffee Association

Meet the Slate of Candidates Proposed by the Nominating Committee

Burak Alici


I am the founder of QVIDTVM, a private investment company with a focus on enabling mission-driven founders and investing in unique businesses as a long term partner.

I have over two decades of experience in the finance sector, most recently at Morgan Stanley where I spent 12 years managing a global investment fund. I have extensively invested in the coffee sector from private specialty coffee companies including Blue Bottle Coffee and Ditta Artigianale to larger public companies including Starbucks, DE Master Blenders, Nestle, Whitbread (Costa), Peet’s Coffee, Dunkin Brands, and Keurig. I received an MBA from Columbia Business School, an M.S. in Finance from Boston College, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Bogazici University.

Currently, I serve on the board of directors of Ditta Artigianale (specialty roaster in Florence, Italy) and have had the opportunity to spend time with some of the foremost leaders of the next generation coffee movement over the years. I am a privately trained home barista and enjoys tinkering with espresso machines.

When I am not nose-deep into reading a book while enjoying a cup of Ditta’s Finca El Puente, you can find me outdoors cycling hills or enjoying building Legos with my two sons.

Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos

CEO, Coffee Island

I joined Coffee Island in 2010 and became the Chief Operating Officer of the company in 2013. During this time, significant developments occurred by increasing the network and expanding to new markets. Coffee Island became the 7th largest coffee chain in Europe and was selected as a National Champion representing Greece for three consecutive years in the European Business Awards (2014 to 2016) in the “The Growth Strategy of the Year” category. For its commitment to coffee excellence, Coffee Island has been awarded as the Best Coffee Chain in Southern Europe in 2016 and 2018, in the European Coffee Awards.

I am a Ph.D. candidate in economics, holding a Master of Science in Manufacturing Engineering & Management, with a background in Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics. Since I started working in the coffee industry, I have acquired the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) Coffee Diploma, as an Authorized SCA Trainer and a certified National Judge. I travel to farms around the world, setting up the company’s direct trade program and introducing the “Coffee Island’s Microfarm Project”, pushing the specialty coffee scene.

In 2015, I was awarded the Coffee Excellence Award as the Young Entrepreneur of the year by the SCA of Europe, for my contribution to the industry. I am also the President of the Greek Franchise Federation since 2017, and member of the Board in the SCA based in California since 2016.

I was born in 1980, am married, have two children, and love traveling and scuba diving.

Paul Macek

Vice President, Programs, World Cocoa Foundation

I am the Vice President of Programs at the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), where I manage our global portfolio of programs and initiatives. I lead our resource mobilization strategy and oversee the technical areas of agricultural productivity, social development, and the environment. After living and working in Africa for more than 20 years, I am fascinated by the challenges and opportunities that come from the intersection of business, global supply chains, and smallholder agriculture.

At WCF, I have been instrumental in shaping the organization’s signature initiatives, including:


I hold a BA from the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI) and an MA from American University (Washington, DC). When I am not working, you can find me relaxing with my family, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and drinking espresso.

David Piza Cossio

Director of National Accounts, S&D Coffee

I was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, region where I developed a passion for agriculture and international trade. During the last 13 years in the coffee industry, I have strived to leverage the power of international markets to generate prosperity for all stakeholders throughout global value chains.

I have a broad range of experiences in the sector. I’ve served as an economic adviser for the public sector in Colombia, worked with farmers and cooperatives, exporters, importers, and roasters. Additionally, I coordinated international development projects for the Coffee Quality Institute in Africa and Latin America.

I am an active participant in industry organizations and have had the honor to be a member of the SCA’s Sustainability Council, I’ve been a Re:co Symposium speaker and volunteer, served as a judge in barista competitions, and served as a member of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge’s Advisory Board among others volunteering activities.

I hold a BSc. in Industrial Engineering from La Universidad de Los Andes and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

As S&D Coffee & Tea’s Director of National Accounts, I work daily to cultivate relationships with customers and farmers to create shared value via innovative and inclusive business models.

Sarina Prabasi

Co-Founder Buunni Coffee and Author, “The Coffeehouse Resistance”

I’ve lived the life of a global nomad, growing up, living and working around the world. I’ve had a career in international development, focusing on global health, education and water, and sanitation, most recently as CEO of WaterAid America. When our family moved from Addis Ababa to New York City in 2011, my husband, Elias, and I started Buunni Coffee together. Today Buunni is a thriving business and a hub for community conversation and action. We are about to open our fourth location.

In April 2019, my book, The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times was published by Green Writers Press. I was born in the Netherlands, raised in India, China, and Nepal, and have spent formative years in the United States and Ethiopia. You can find me on Twitter @SPrabasi and Instagram @SPrabasi1.

Doreen Zankowski

Partner, Duane Morris LLP and Co-Owner/Operator of Kope Kabana

My background is in engineering, construction, real estate, food and drug, and corporate law both nationally and internationally. For more than 25 years I have counseled national and international corporations on complex litigation, construction, environmental, and corporate matters, as well as issues related to technology, contracting, and engineering and the environment. A partner at the national law firm of Duane Morris, I am a litigator and member of the firm’s corporate law practice.

My work as an attorney is leveraged by the 15 years I spent at CDM Smith, Inc., a global engineering, construction, and technology firm, where I was an engineering consultant, federal procurement officer, strategic planner, and chief health and safety officer, before becoming assistant general counsel and general counsel of several company subsidiaries. Over the past 10 years, I have been practicing in the food and drug area of the law. I have blogged about legal issues relating to the coffee industry, including farming, packaging, retail and wholesale matters. I believe my experience and expertise in these areas will greatly benefit the work of the Specialty Coffee Association and its board of directors.

Cosimo Libardo

Group CEO, Carimali Holding (Carimali SpA, Carimali Catering, Elektra, Slingshot Europe)

My professional journey started in 1998 in the USA. There I had the chance to witness the first steps of what would later become the Specialty Coffee movement. I have always believed specialty would drive coffee’s future and in my position of Nuova Simonelli Sales Director, I successfully led three consecutive terms of WBC sponsorship – which gave the competition the boost to become even more professional and to reach and inspire more baristas. During this time, I was also instrumental in the creation of the VA Black Eagle and Mythos One.
In 2014, I moved to Australia, where I was given the opportunity to manage one of the most established specialty coffee roasters: Toby’s Estate Coffee. The Australian coffee scene was a life-changing experience for me, giving me the opportunity to learn in-depth about green coffee, roasting, and equipment distribution. In that context, becoming a Q grader was a great personal achievement.

I’ve recently returned to Europe as Carimali’s Group CEO: a group of companies specialized in manufacturing innovative extraction technologies for milk and coffee.

I started volunteering in SCAE in 2011, where I served as President in 2014, leading to the creation of the Barista Guild of Europe and chapter system reform. I am now part of SCA’s Finance Advisory Council.

Learn More About the 2019 SCA Elections

Visit our SCA Elections page to learn more about the elections process, find out who on the board is cycling off this year, and answers to other frequently asked questions. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact us via email at elections@sca.coffee or via the contact form at the bottom of the page.

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