Since an inspirational trip to Guatemala in 2004, Samantha has dedicated her professional and volunteer efforts to the coffee industry. Her passions for coffee span the entire supply chain, with focuses as diverse as gender equity in coffee-producing communities, sustainable choices in consumer packaging, and creating inspiring educational curriculum to drive change.

Recognized throughout her career for her leadership and organizational expertise, she has served in volunteer leadership positions for many coffee-focused organizations, most notably the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, the Specialty Coffee Association and the Coffee Quality Institute. In these organizations, she has led efforts as diverse as research and development, strategic planning and learning & development.

Her love of coffee blossomed early in her career during the 10 years she worked for Caribou Coffee Company. During this time, she was named as the company’s Employee of the Year. In her most recent role as the Global Director, Corporate Sustainable Solutions for Mars Drinks, she created an enterprise-wide and customer-centric five-year sustainability vision and strategy. In her 20+ years in the industry she has been recognized over a dozen times for her excellence in leadership. She just recently made the decision to go out on her own and started, The Corner Piece, LCC, aiming to consult with sustainability/social-justice minded organizations to build better strategies and communication platforms for change.

Prior to discovering that her true passion lay in the world of coffee she gained her experience in education and training as an instructor for Gender Studies at The Ohio State University.

Samantha holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Communication, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies. She is also Q Grader certified and recently completed her post-graduate work in Sustainable Business Leadership through the University of Cambridge, U.K.