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SPECIALTY COFFEE – SCAA announces recipients of 2014 Recognition Awards

Honoring those who contribute their expertise to the coffee industry, the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has announced the recipients of its 2014 Recognition Awards.

Each year, SCAA honors outstanding achievements in the specialty coffee industry and unique contributions to the association. These leaders have made contributions to the industry, resulting in the development and promotion of coffee excellence and sustainability.

The SCAA’s Recognition Awards are selected by a panel from the SCAA Past President’s Council, with the exception of the Sustainability Award, which is selected by SCAA’s Sustainability Council.

The 2014 Recognition Award Winners are:

Lifetime Achievement – Robert Stiller

Bob Stiller founded Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. in 1981 and served as its President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board until 2007. He remained as Chairman until 2013 when he retired from the board.

Under Bob’s leadership, Green Mountain made a tremendous contribution to corporate social responsibility giving 5% of its pretax profits yearly to fund charitable projects and being listed as number one for social responsibility in 2006 and 2007.

The company was also recognized many times as a best place to work and for its financial success, and Bob received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from Forbes, among other personal awards.

Bob always fostered and allowed the company’s actions to be guided by employee initiative, and this led to employees being truly engaged in the success of the organization. At one time 20% of the organization’s employees traveled to coffee communities to understand first hand their impact to the world.

At Green Mountain, Bob showed how a dedication to the employees, customers, consumers, supply-chain providers and other stakeholders could create a beneficial business model that results not only in profits – which were shared throughout the organization – but also in a passion for making the world a better place.

Bob’s advocacy of Fair Trade has led Green Mountain to being the world’s biggest supplier of Fair Trade coffee. He is also a proponent of Appreciative Inquiry for focusing on what works with engagement and solutions, and he has proven again and again that inclusive corporate culture is a business model that works.

As an outgrowth of Bob’s life experiences, the Stiller Family Foundation announced a major grant in 2012 to provide funding for the creation of the Robert P. Stiller School of Business at Champlain College in Vermont and the establishment of a permanent endowment to promote programs positive psychology-based business and community management approaches.

For this and other work, the foundation received the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2013 Award for “Outstanding Foundation.”

Alfred Peet Passionate Cup – Sunalini Menon

Sunalini Menon is a postgraduate in Food Technology from the University of Madras, India. She worked at the Coffee Board of India, a Government of India Organization, from 1972 until 1995, holding positions of increasing responsibility and ultimately becoming the Director of Quality Control.

In 1993, she established her own company, Coffeelab Limited, in Bangalore, India. Coffeelab is the first of it’s kind to be established in the private sector and provides comprehensive quality related services for the Indian Coffee industry.

The lab is managed by women, who handle sensitive and critical steps in quality evaluation, such as green coffee evaluation, roasting and tasting.

Sunalini has more than 35 years of experience in the coffee industry both within India and internationally.

She is directly associated with quality and quality-related aspects of domestic and international coffee and has been promoting the concept of Quality in coffee over many years, making presentations and conducting workshops on the subject in International Conferences conducted all over the world.

She has visited a large number of coffee producing and consuming origins, which has helped in developing her visual and organoleptic skills in coffee evaluation. Her skill in quality evaluation is respected and recognized the world over, with many producing and consuming origins seeking her expertise for an independent quality evaluation of their coffees.

She is not only considered as one of Asia’s recognized coffee cuppers, but is also invited by coffee origins to conduct cupping workshops; to educate coffee entrepreneurs and enthusiasts on the finer nuances in the coffee cup.

Sunalini is the “Quality Ombudsman” of the Speciality Coffee Association of India.