Timothy Schilling World Coffee Research

Timothy Schilling steps down as CEO of World Coffee Research

The Board of Directors of World Coffee Research (WCR) has launched a search for a new Chief Executive Officer.

Dr Timothy Schilling, the Founder and outgoing CEO, will remain the Director of the organisation to ensure a smooth transition.

“We have done well to establish WCR and take it from the fringes to one of the world’s most reputable coffee [research and development] organisations with strategic research and trials operating in 28 countries,” Schilling says.

WCR says the change reflects the maturation of the organisation since its founding in 2012, growing from having a single employee and US$1 million in start-up funding, to being a team of 32 people based in 13 countries with an annual budget of US$5.3 million.

WCR has offices in Marseille, France; Portland, Oregon; Huye, Rwanda; and Santa Ana, El Salvador.

“This essential organisation needs to grow to realise its mission of growing, protecting, and enhancing supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it,” says Michael Keown, CEO of Farmer Brothers and Chair of the WCR Board of Directors.

“It’s the right time to bring in a CEO with expertise as an institution builder. We are so grateful to Tim for the visionary leadership he showed in building WCR, and we couldn’t be happier that he will be staying with the organization as founder and director.”

Tracy Ging, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer at S&D Coffee & Tea, guided a careful, two-year search planning process during her tenure as former Chair of the WCR Board of Directors.

“WCR wouldn’t exist if Tim hadn’t identified this gaping hole sitting at the heart of the coffee sector—a lack of farmer-focused, collaborative, precompetitive agricultural research,” Ging says.

“His passion and energy brought WCR into being. The industry is much, much stronger for its existence. We are so grateful, and so excited to watch this organisation grow to realise its full potential.”

WCR says Schilling galvanised the world coffee industry, worth US$174 billion dollars per year, to recognise the potentially disastrous vulnerabilities it faced due to the lack of functional and global open-source research and development programs that create new knowledge and technologies for the benefit of farmers.

Consulting firm Spencer Stuart is leading the search for Schilling’s successor.

For more information, visit www.worldcoffeeresearch.org

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