CONCORD, NC—November 27, 2018—Five passionate coffee professionals were recently selected to receive the Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) new Leadership Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship—made possible by the generous support of S&D Coffee & Tea. The scholarship is aimed at increasing leadership diversity within the global coffee community by allowing access to professional development resources to people from underrepresented or marginalized communities. “We are proud to work with SCA to develop a program that provides members of the coffee community that typically don’t have access, with the tools they need to further their career,” said Helen Griffith, VP, Marketing, S&D Coffee & Tea. “These scholars have the opportunity to create real change in the industry and we want to make sure they get off to an excellent start.” To kick off the program, scholars were invited to S&D Coffee & Tea headquarters in Concord, NC for a 2-day immersion that included an in-depth overview of S&D and tour of the roasting and manufacturing facilities. The scholars had the opportunity to discuss their professional development goals, take part in coffee and tea cupping, a Charlotte coffee crawl, as well as one-on-one time with select members of S&D’s management team. Throughout the program, scholars will focus on their education and career goals, personal and professional development opportunities and team building. The group will be fulfilling a 2-year journey together, attending an SCA origin trip, a community/professional event and completing their choice of a Coffee Skills Program (CSP) course or AST Certification. Each scholar is paired with an instructor to complete their CSP, a mentor to support their goals and a SCA senior staff member. “We are delighted to be working with S&D on this program,” said SCA Executive Director Ric Rhinehart. “LEAD was born out of the recognition that we as an industry have a lot of work to do to diversify our leadership at every point in the value chain. As a nonprofit organization, our interest is to increase access for marginalized communities to the resources required to do that. We’re honored to have the support of partners like S&D Coffee & Tea, who help make this program a reality.” LEAD was developed to open doors to underrepresented people in the coffee community. The scholarship was first announced at the Re:co Symposium in April 2018. SCA received over 60 applications from individuals all over the world, representing a wide range of coffee professions, including baristas, café managers, graduate and PhD students and more. In the end, SCA narrowed it down to five recipients to receive the 2-year program. The 2018-2020 LEAD Scholars are Karla Ly Quinones, Lisette Barbera, Smayah Uwajeneza, Stephanie Alcala, and Taya Brown. Learn more about each of the LEAD scholars and follow their unique journey on the S&D Coffee & Tea blog.
For more information on S&D Coffee & Tea, visit www.sdcoffeetea.com. To learn more about Specialty Coffee Association, visit sca.coffee. ### About S&D Coffee & Tea S&D Coffee & Tea, a subsidiary of Cott Corporation, is the largest coffee and tea manufacturer an supplier to restaurants and convenience stores in America. S&D is also a leading producer of liquid extracts. In continuous operation since 1927, the company serves over 110,000 customers through national distribution and direct store delivery. For more information about S&D Coffee & Tea, go to www.sdcoffeetea.com. About Specialty Coffee Association The SCA is a trade association built on foundations of openness, inclusivity, and the power of shared knowledge. From coffee farmers to baristas and roasters, our membership spans the globe, encompassing every element of the coffee value chain. SCA acts as a unifying force within the specialty coffee industry and works to make coffee better by raising standards worldwide through a collaborative and progressive approach. Dedicated to building an industry that is fair, sustainable, and nurturing for all, SCA draws on years of insights and inspiration from the specialty coffee community. Learn more at www.sca.coffee.