2017 IWCA Leadership Summit and Convention Recap

New! Visit the IWCA YouTube Channel to experience the 2017 IWCA Convention for yourself!

During the first week of August more than 100 women, representing a variety of roles across the coffee value chain, convened in Puebla, Mexico for the 2017 IWCA Leadership Summit and Convention. The bi-annual convention is an opportunity for chapter members and industry leaders to exchange ideas and experiences about inclusion, gender balance and overall challenges facing the coffee sector.


The inaugural  IWCA Leadership summit provided an all-day  forum for IWCA Chapters Leaders to work together to advance the development of their own chapters and strengthen the  IWCA global organization. Eighteen chapters, including women from all major coffee growing regions worked side by side to define a common membership metric, share success stories that support IWCA’s five pillars {insert link to five pillars pg}, and build the interpersonal connections that are critical to IWCA’s unique success.


Insightful dialogue continued throughout over the following three days of the Convention with panel discussions exploring a range of issues from the relationship between sustainability and inclusion, to policies, principles and research that are helping to drive women’s empowerment. Conversations included effective strategies for greater market access in their respective regions, emerging consumer trends, and new technologies. Attendees also had opportunities to participate in educational workshops that focused on improving quality, increasing productivity, and enhancing business skills.


The convention in Puebla also marked the continued expansion of IWCA  as a global entity with the official signing of an Indonesian chapter. In addition, the organization signed letters of intent to establish future chapters in China and Australia. Much of IWCA’s programming, including events like the Leadership Summit and Convention, are supported by industry sponsors and partners. The connections,  insights, and outcomes from this event will aid in the future development and success of the global chapters.

The robust content of the convention would not have been possible without the participation of industry leaders who served as moderators, panelists, and speakers including:

  • Ric Rhinehart, Executive Director, Specialty Coffee Association

  • Jose Sette, Executive Director, ICO

  • Kellem Emanuele, Director, Attego ESG Impact Solutions

  • Ted Lingle, Sr. Advisor, Coffee Quality Institute

  • Nicole Gobeth, Fundacion Solidaridad LatinoAmericana

  • Victoria Garcia, founder 147, Mexico Shark Tank panelist and a Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico” 2016

  • Jennifer Gallegos, Vice President, IWCA (better with Director, Farmer Brothers Coffee?)

  • Grace Mena, Founder/President, Delicafe

  • Karen Cebreros, Founder, Earth’s Choice

  • Dr. Jorge Flores

  • Verena Fischersworring, Hanns Neumann Stiftung

  • Ted Lingle, Sr, Advisor and BOD, Coffee Quality Institute

  • Joanna Furgiuele, Executive Director Coffee Kids

  • Mike Ebert and Renee Espinoza, Firedancer Coffee Consultants

  • Karla Ly Quinones, Perfect Daily Cup

  • Ruth Ann Church, Chair of IWCA Research Alliance committee

  • Raquel Santos Menezes, Professor, Universidade de Viçosa, Brazil

  • Claudia del Pilar Rodriguez Mejia -Gender Equity Program Coordinator, National Federation of Coffee Growers, Colombia

  • Mrs. Francis Pérez Arroniz

Convention Sponsors and IWCA Leadership Summit Host:

  • BUNN, Convention Sponsor
  • Gavina, Convention Sponsor
  • Italian Coffee Company, Summit Host

IWCA Scholarship fund contributors made it possible for 18 IWCA Chapter to engage and contribute in Puebla:

  • Schluter Coffee Company
  • Baratza
  • Cafe Culture
  • City Girl Coffee
  • Columbia Street
  • Roastery
  • Crop to Cup
  • Kohana Coffee Company
  • InterAmerican Coffee
  • Red Rock Roasters
  • S&D Coffee & Tea
  • Temple Coffee Roasters
  • Urnex
  • Schluter Coffee Company
  • SCA
  • Royal Cup
  • Appolinaire Ngwe, President CICC
  • UTZ Kenya
  • WCE

The mission of IWCA is to empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry. To learn more about how you can support IWCA events and programs click here.