On Monday, October 12th, the Specialty Coffee Association announced their finalized slate of candidates for the upcoming 2020 Board of Directors election.

At the beginning of September, “the SCA Board of Directors, led by President Christina Meinl,  nominated a group of eight professionals from a pool of dozens” who responded to the board's annual call for nominations.  Those eight nominees include: Joanna Alm (Drop Coffee), Pamela Chng (The Bettr Group), Vera Espíndola Rafael (Azahar Coffee Company), Garfield Kerr (Mokha 1450), Mbula Musau (Utake Coffee Limited), Gloria Pedroza (Neumann Kaffee Gruppe), Jörg Peter Schwartze (Schaerer Brand), and Asli Yaman (Kimma Coffee Roasters). Four of the candidates—Chng, Espíndola Rafael, Musau, and Yaman—are seeking reelection for another two years on the board. The outgoing board members are Christina Meinl (Julius Meinl Coffee Group), Nils Erichsen (Wave Instruments), Vava Angwenyi (Vava Coffee), and Choi Seongil (Choi Coffee Company).

As per the SCA bylaws, any individual not part of the candidate list could lobby for consideration via nomination by petition, whereby they would need to collect at least 100 signatures from SCA members supporting their candidacy. Per the finalist announcement, a total of four individuals sought nomination by petition over the course of the month of September, including Candice Madison, whose write-in candidacy was announced in late September (delayed by a family tragedy), as well as Vava Angwenyi, who made public claims of conflict and discrimination against the board earlier this year.

Per the announcement earlier this week, none of the four write-in candidates were able to acquire the minimum number of write-in votes necessary for inclusion in the elections. Madison responded to the news with a public statement in the form of an open letter on Instagram. “Opening up the ballot to candidates that self-nominate was a function of the merger,” Madison writes, “but was this change communicated widely enough to the membership?” (Click here to read Candice Madison's complete statement.) Angwenyi has also responded to the results of the petition process, making a public statement via Youtube. 

As of press time, there are eight final nominees for the SCA Board, with eight total seats available. They are: Joanna Alm (Drop Coffee), Pamela Chng (The Bettr Group), Vera Espíndola Rafael (Azahar Coffee Company), Garfield Kerr (Mokha 1450), Mbula Musau (Utake Coffee Limited), Gloria Pedroza (Neumann Kaffee Gruppe), Jörg Peter Schwartze (Schaerer Brand), and Asli Yaman (KiMMA Coffee Roasters). Visit the SCA's official elections page for more details.

This story is developing…

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.