The Alliance For Coffee Excellence (ACE) announced on 27 March the election of four new board members: Keita Matsumoto, Cory Bush, Yuko Itoi and Aleco Chigounis.
This election, voted in by ACE’s members, country partners and head judges, brings the number of formal board members to eleven.
Keita Matsumoto, the Deputy General Manager Sales Dept. of Wataru & Co is based in Japan. He has over 18 years of coffee experience in both the marketplace and at origin and has served on multiple Cup of Excellence juries. Wataru is one of the largest buyers of Cup of Excellence (COE) coffees at the auction.
Cory Bush will join the board from Antwerp, Belguim where he is the incoming Managing Director of a European specialty coffee importer. His experience includes work with Technoserve in East Africa and as Senior Trader for Falcon Coffee in the United Kingdom.
Yuko Itoi is the owner of Times Club, a small influential coffee roaster in Japan. She will receive a golden spoon award at the upcoming Specialty Coffee Association conference in Seattle having served on 45 COE international juries and has purchased more than 100 COE lots including multiple first place winners.
Aleco Chigounis is Co-Founder and President of Red Fox Coffee Merchants in Berkeley, CA. USA and Red Fox Sourcing Company in Lima, Peru. Aleco has extensive experience developing coffee quality and supply chains for a diverse set of companies including The Neumann Kaffe Gruppe’s San Jose office and Stumptown. He has served on close to a dozen COE juries.
“This is such a crucial time for ACE and the Cup of Excellence,” says Will Young, ACE’s Board Chairman, in a statement. “We need to make the right choices and engage our members more than ever as we strengthen the program and shape it for the future. This is the board that can succeed at doing just that.”
The new members join the present board made up of Chairman Will Young, from Australia, Past- Chairman Geoff Watts from the USA, Yun Son Lee from Korea, Joe Hsu from Taiwan, Tim Taylor from the US, Augustin Manirakiza from Burundi and Noelia Villalobos from Costa Rica.
The Alliance for Coffee Excellence is a non-profit global membership organisation dedicated to advancing excellence in coffee. Cup of Excellence gives out prestigious awards in coffee, helping lift the prices through an online auction system following the competition.