MAIN EVENT SPEAKERS & PANELISTS

 

MOKHTAR ALKHANSHALI

Talk: Looking Back to Look Ahead: How Coffee's Roots Hold the Key to Its Future

Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up between Brooklyn, San Francisco and Yemen. Mokhtar comes from an ancient lineage of coffee farmers, that traces back to when the world’s first coffee was cultivated in his home province of Ibb over five centuries ago. As a Yemeni-American, Mokhtar hopes to serve as a bridge between the farmers of the oldest, rarest and most unique coffees to coffee lovers the world over. 

Mokhtar is the first licensed Q grader (coffee sommelier) from Yemen and made international news in March 2015 when he escaped war-torn Yemen on a fishing boat with his coffee samples. Mokhtar strives to empower coffee farmers with the knowledge and tools to bring about radical improvements in the quality of their coffees and lives.

 
stoumen_martha.jpg

MARTHA STOUMEN

Panel: From Grape to Glass: Exploring Natural Wine

Martha Stoumen was born and raised in Northern California. Following her studies in traditional agriculture and Italian language, at twenty‑two Martha went to intern in the vineyard, olive orchard, and winery at a small Tuscan farm. This started what would become an 8‑year series of apprenticeships, mostly abroad, sandwiched around a Master’s degree in winemaking at UC Davis. Martha specifically sought out apprenticeships at places like COS in Sicily and Léon Barral in France to learn the techniques of natural winemaking and organic viticulture, and to bring them back to California.

Martha is now 33 and making wines in California under her own label, Martha Stoumen Wines, that celebrate that wines, at their core, come from the earth.

 
Ria001.jpg

JASPER WILDE

Interactive Talk: Exploring Your Privilege with Boss Barista & the BGA

Jasper Wilde is a coffee educator at Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco, California. She is the Board Secretary of the Bay Area Coffee Community. Jasper is a social justice activist and is the co- host of Boss Barista, an intersectional feminist coffee podcast.

 

 

ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ

Interactive Talk: Exploring Your Privilege with Boss Barista & the BGA

Ashley Rodriguez is the creator and co-host of Boss Barista, a podcast dedicated to examining coffee through a feminist lens. She is the online editor for Barista Magazine and runs a cafe in Oakland, California.

 

 

CAT MUNGCAL

Interactive Talk: Exploring Your Privilege with Boss Barista & the BGA

Cat Mungcal is a queer intersex barista based in Vallejo, CA. They have served all over the bay area over the past 6 years, and is currently focusing on coffeegundam full time; a consultation and catering operation. 

 

LIZ DEAN

Interactive Talk Moderator: Exploring Your Privilege with Boss Barista & the BGA

Liz has been working in the coffee industry for seven years. Her first coffee job was at a Seattle's Best in Borders above Penn Station. She then became a barista at Irving Farm, where she moved up the ranks to become a store manager at one of their busiest locations, and then on to become the Director of Retail where she oversaw operations and staffing for eight cafes. Liz is passionate about creating and cultivating cafe experiences that are welcoming and inclusive. She believes that cafes should serve as community spaces and neighborhood focal points for staff and customers alike. Supporting and advocating for baristas and other employees has always been one of the primary drivers in her career. Outside of coffee, Liz loves yoga, horseback riding, eating good food, and her two cats Winston and Fitzwilliam.

 

NICHOLAS CHO

Panel: Fast, Cheap, Good: Pick 2 - Specialty Convenience Coffee

Nicholas Cho is the co-founder and co-CEO of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in San Francisco. Nick has served as a director on the Barista Guild of America’s Executive Council, on the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Board of Directors, on the World Barista Championship Board of Directors, and as the chairman of the United States Barista Championship. He was also the 2006 South East Regional Barista Champion and has served on the SCAA Standards Committee.
Nick has been a guest lecturer at the University of California Berkeley, Dartmouth College, University of California Davis, and a speaker at various events around the world.

 

Tony.jpg

TONX KONECNY

Panel: Fast, Cheap, Good: Pick 2 - Specialty Convenience Coffee

Tony “Tonx” Konecny is a Los Angeles based coffee roaster, entrepreneur, and writer.

Tony began his descent into coffee madness as a barista and then head roaster at Seattle’s seminal Victrola Coffee and later went on to bend the coffeebar genre as part of Intelligentsia Coffee’s Los Angeles project. An O.G. of what has come to be known as coffee’s Third Wave movement, Tony has the dubious distinction of being among the first coffee bloggers, for which he sincerely apologizes. In 2011 he founded Tonx Coffee, a pioneering direct to consumer coffee company later acquired by Blue Bottle. His latest coffee venture YES PLZ emerges from a partnership with Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s revolutionary fast food concept LocoL.

 

KENT SHERIDAN

Panel: Fast, Cheap, Good: Pick 2 - Specialty Convenience Coffee

Kent grew up in the coffee-barren suburbs of Atlanta before moving out to Bend, Oregon where he discovered what Specialty Coffee was all about. He soon realized what a relentless pursuit of innovation and perfection can lead to, whether that’s with Voilà or his arduous stand-up routine.

 

 
sudden coffee images-118.jpeg

UMEKO MOTOYOSHI

Panel: Fast, Cheap, Good: Pick 2 - Specialty Convenience Coffee

Umeko Motoyoshi is Head of Coffee at Sudden Coffee, where she leads product development. Her mission is to make specialty coffee a rewarding and welcoming experience for people of all backgrounds. She joined Sudden after working in specialty coffee for over 10 years, most recently as Head of Education & Training at Four Barrel Coffee.

Umeko is a licensed Q grader and (probably) the first person to represent an instant coffee company in a barista competition. During her time in coffee, she has managed cafes, refurbished espresso machines, and starred in a Japanese reality show, where she brewed gesha with water from a mountain shrine. The episode never aired.

 

MOLLY IRWIN

Panel: Fast, Cheap, Good: Pick 2 - Specialty Convenience Coffee

Molly Irwin is a product engineer at Fellow Products; the company that makes the Stagg Pour-Over Kettle and other coffee brewing tools. She is passionate about coffee and creating products in the space that are human-centered, high design, and beautifully functional. Coming from a background in robotics and consumer electronics, she is applying her skills to coffee products to design and produce products that empathize with the needs of everyone from the home brewer to the barista.