Mery Santos - President
Mery Santos has over 20 years of international marketing and sales experience, with an emphasis in food, beverages and agriculture. Mery has been involved in many important aspects of managing successful businesses. Her first trip to a coffee-producing country was in 2000 while working for the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation as part of the International Sales team.
At that time, she found one of her many passions in life: the world of coffee. Since then, she has participated in many international events such as the 2010 International Coffee Conference in Guatemala, the 2010 National Coffee Association Conference and the 2010 Specialty Coffee Association of America Conference. In addition, she volunteered for a coffee consulting project with the USAID “Farmer to Farmer” program in Guatemala (2007) and was keynote speaker at the “Agritrade-Guatemala” conference (2008).
Mery is an active member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, volunteering for the Professional Development Committee. Her background includes merchandising, brand identification, customization of beverage programs, and forecasting-inventory management, as well as international banking and logistics. She has visited and worked with many coffee-producing countries in Central and South America.
Mery speaks fluent Spanish and is working to become fluent in Portuguese. She was educated at the University of Missouri – Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in Production Management.
Desiree Logsdon - Past President
With over 30 years in the foodservice industry, Desiree Logsdon is skilled at translating her considerable expertise into tangible benefits for the beverage equipment customers of the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation. As Vice President of Marketing, Desiree is responsible for association relations and corporate responsibility, and is charged with developing and executing the company’s marketing strategies. She also supports trade show participation, customer relations, and community outreach.
Desiree is an active member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, the National Association of Convenience Store Manpower Committee and the Specialty Coffee Association Conference Committee.
Jennifer R. Gallegos - Vice President of Development
Jennifer began her career with PepsiCo where she worked in lead positions on the joint ventures forged with Lipton and Starbucks. It was while working on projects with the latter that her love for coffee developed. Later as a Vice President with Coffee Bean International [now Farmer Bros. Coffee] she designed strategic growth strategies that led to CBI emerging as one of the leading specialty coffee roasters in the US.
Today in her role as the Director of Coffee at Fair Trade USA, Jennifer leads a team that helps companies like Keurig Green Mountain, McDonald’s, Allegro/Whole Foods, and Walmart Inc. increase the value of and generate mutual benefit from social responsibility and sustainable sourcing. She also works on initiatives to bring new Fair Trade products to market, help brands communicate their sustainability story, minimize risk in supply chains, and assess the impact of interventions in coffee farming communities worldwide
Jennifer is an active and recognized leader in the coffee industry, fostering strategic partnerships to increase awareness regarding sustainability and advance gender equality. She currently serves as the Vice President of the IWCA (International Women’s Coffee Alliance), an organization with 20 chapters around the globe whose mission is to empower women as a means to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives for all. In addition to the IWCA, Jennifer also serves on the AISCA and the International Coffee Organization’s PCSB (Private Sector Consultative Board).
Kelle Vandenberg - Vice President
Kelle Vandenberg is the Vice President of Marketing for Pacific Bag, inc, a flexible packaging company who has won awards in sustainable innovations in packaging and is committed to giving back to the markets it serves. PBi is a global company headquartered in Woodinville Washington, with locations and partners in Lansdale, PA., Honolulu, HI., Gugligen, GR., and Taiwan. Kelle has been with PBi for over 10 years and actively enjoys all aspects of her job and the people she works with. Prior to PBi, she worked for a coffee roasting company in Washington and has spent over 20 years in direct management in the packaging, coffee, and hospitality industries. In addition to her work at PBi and the IWCA, Kelle is a free-lance writer for various publications.
“I believe in the work of the IWCA and the strength of the organization. I am humbled by the women of coffee worldwide and all they can do.”
Sharon Riechers - Treasurer
Sharon is currently the Director of Governance, Risk & Compliance for Bunn-O-Matic Corporation in Springfield. Sharon is responsible for internal financial, IT, and operational audits and special projects.
Sharon earned her bachelor's degree from Missouri State University with double major in Accounting and Operations Management and her master's of business administration from the University of Illinois. She began her career in public accounting with KPMG Peat Marwick and worked as an auditor there for seven years before moving into the private sector. She has been with BUNN for 19 years. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Global Management Accountant, and Certified Information Systems Auditor
Sharon's professional memberships include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Illinois Society of Certified Pubic Accountants, Information Systems Audit & Control Society, American Production and Inventory Control Society, and Illinois Women in Leadership.
Shannon Craige - Secretary
Shannon Craige has over 10 years of experience in the office coffee service, vending and food service industry. It was not until a few years ago that Shannon realized that her true passion was coffee and everything about it. Shannon has been involved with every aspect of the office coffee service industry from customer service to management. It is Shannon’s passion to not only find the perfect coffee match for her clients but also to educate them on where their coffee comes from and understand the work behind the roasted bean. Shannon has helped Carolina Vending’s Office Coffee Service division grow larger than the companies vending division over the last three years.
Shannon’s passion for coffee has allowed her many travel opportunities to the coffee growing regions of Central and South America. Along with a passion for coffee she also has a passion for travel and experiencing different cultures.
Shannon’s other interests include volunteering with the Wake County SPCA, InterAct of Wake County and singing with a professional choir in the Raleigh-Durham area. Shannon is also a classically trained vocalist and studied at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Shannon loves to spend time with her family and two dogs, Tyson and Sasha.
Annabella Dagilo - Chapter Relations Chair
Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, and descendant of Italian and Belgian emigrates, Annabella has been related to coffee all along her life. After obtaining a B.A. in Liberal Arts in the United States, she went back to her country and went on to marry and become a full time housewife and mother. She got involved in coffee production in the early 1990’s after the “guerrilla” set fire to her family’s coffee mill. After a few years, she faced the task of rebuilding it and turning it again into a productive business. As President of Capitales Unidos, S.A. de C.V., she is at the helm of the family business which owns two large coffee plantations and the coffee mill, all of them RainForest Alliance Certified; as well as the largest horticultural production facility in El Salvador, which is Hortifruit certified.
In 2009, she was elected as President of the Board of Directors of the Alianza de Mujeres en Café de El Salvador, AMCES, from 2010-2012. Later Annabella was appointed to the Board of Directors of ConTextos. Most recently Annabella was appointed marketing chair on the Denominación de Origen Apaneca-Ilamatepec Board of Directors. The organization turns coffee from the Apaneca-Ilamatepec Range into the first product protected by a designation of origin in El Salvador.
Maureen McHugh - Events Chair
Maureen McHugh is Vice President of Operations at Equator Coffees & Teas, an award-winning boutique specialty coffee roasting company, tea purveyor and coffee-farm owner based in Marin County, California.
Maureen’s responsibilities include overseeing financial budgets, planning the use of materials and resources, directing the company’s customer service program and mentoring and managing over 20 employees.
In her role as Vice President of the company, she helps to continuously define and fine tune the company’s vision and ensure that all of Equator’s business operations are aligned with the company’s mission. Maureen has taken the lead on several of the company’s social responsibility and sustainability initiatives including B Corporation Certification, Green Business Certification and its food security initiative through the sponsorship of Chido Govero, winner of the 2009 SCAA Sustainability award for her ground-breaking work teaching food security skills to women in Zimbabwe and Tanzania utilizing coffee pulp.
Since 2006, Maureen has been a volunteer with the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Events Chair. Maureen has an undergraduate degree in Human Resource Management and an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise.
Mansi Choksi - Membership Chair
Mansi has more than 10 years of experience in sales and marketing. Her first job out of college was with a small business based out of Southern California, whose focus was on media storage and gaming accessories. Mansi worked her way from Inside Sales to the Marketing Manager position at the company. The job was great to learn the basic foundations of sales and marketing, as well as gain familiarity with small businesses and how they operate - it’s definitely one of those situations where you wear multiple hats and job titles are overrated. She most appreciates the plethora of opportunities she received to expand her knowledge and experience as well as learn and grow as a professional.
While working for a private company was a great experience, Mansi knew that she always wanted to work within the non-profit sector (after all, she graduated from University of California, Irvine with a double major in Sociology and Public and Community Service and a minor in Education, so she had to put that expensive college degree to some use!). Luckily, Mansi was hired by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and that’s where she figured out what she loves to do- genuinely help people!
As the Membership Director of SCAA, Mansi manages the membership strategy and benefits for SCAA Company members, Roasters Guild and Barista Guild of America and is constantly looking for ways to enhance the member experience through value added benefits. Mansi also serves as the Sr. Staff Lead to the Sustainability Council who is comprised of members from within the specialty coffee community who meet, discuss and provide solutions for issues and topics in coffee and sustainability. Before her career at SCAA, Mansi was limited in her knowledge of the coffee industry, but over the past 5.5 years, she’s worked diligently to become a true coffee professional. As the Director of Membership, she talks and writes to 100’s of coffee professional per day so she quickly learned about all the different segments of the industry and their personal challenges and wants. As a member of the coffee community, Mansi most enjoys the passion and kindness everyone in the industry shares. It’s rare to see so many sectors of an industry work together, but Specialty Coffee definitely challenges that traditional association mold and even competitors come together to help sustain the industry. It’s this remarkable spirit of coffee that keeps Mansi coming back each day, happy to work and make a difference.
Mansi started volunteering for IWCA in 2009 and has seen the organization grow tremendously over the last few years. She particularly enjoys the bi-annual conferences and board strategic sessions as it reinvigorates the entire reason she is volunteering for this organization. Mansi believes in the mission of IWCA and knows that with enough support and dedication, the IWCA can truly improve lives locally and around the world. As a new Board Member, she’s excited to see the possibilities ahead.