HOBOKEN, N.J., USA; Hamburg, Germany; March 16, 2023 — As it nears the successful completion of its inaugural year, the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe Partnership to Advance Coffee Equity (NKG Pace) announces the selection of its second official class of NKG PACE Partners.
Following on a highly competitive and multi-part interview process, the NKG Pace Application & Selection Committee invites Jalen Kelly, Shaa’ista Sabir and Zakiya Mason to be the 2023–2024 NKG Pace Partners.
Developed by NKG and the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity (CCRE), NKG Pace is a paid, one-year, QC-focused program through which the three Neumann Gruppe USA (NGUS) companies — Atlas Coffee Importers, InterAmerican Coffee and Rothfos Corporation — share their deep knowledge of the green-coffee industry, as well as the quality expertise of their sister export companies in nearly every coffee-producing country, in the interest of promoting diversity in the U.S coffee industry.
The inaugural 2022 NKG Pace Partners — Charles Umeano, Porttia Portis and Jayy Terrell — will graduate April 28, overlapping with the incoming Partners to allow for a few days of collaboration and celebration.
“The knowledge and experience that the 2023 NKG Pace Partners bring with them is impressive, but even more so is their tenacity. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with these individuals over the course of the year and to witness the drive, enthusiasm and adaptability that has served them thus far in their careers guide them through the program,” says Amanda Armbrust-Asselin, QC & Education lead for NKG PACE and head of the Application & Selection Committee.
“As we prepare to say goodbye to one group of Partners and welcome in a new one, I am already anticipating the mark that each individual will leave on the program and the coffee industry at large,” she added.
CCRE Board Member and Eight50Coffee Founder Muna Mohammed, who participated in the Application & Selection process, also offers her congratulations to the 2023 NKG PACE Partners. “It was a pleasure to meet and interview so many incredibly talented Black coffee professionals for this cohort selection,” says Muna. “I feel deeply optimistic that with bold steps and commitments, like this program from NKG, that these employment experiences will change the trajectory of how knowledge and expertise is shared and who it’s available to for generations to come.”
Nicolas Rueda Latiff, CEO of Neumann Gruppe USA, enthused that the impact of the program is growing larger with each new generation of Partners. He continued, “Today we’re celebrating that growth and the pursuit of diversity and equity through actions, not just words.”
Any company wishing to support the NKG PACE mission as a sponsor is warmly encouraged to reach out at email@example.com.
All of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe companies and the CCRE wish Jalen, Shaa’ista and Zakiya the heartiest of congratulations and the very warmest of welcomes.