About Us

We believe that if we support a community’s vision by investing in leaders who are committed and driven to see change, we build more equitable and sustainable communities.

We Invest

Our Investment Projects involve forging direct partnerships with Change Leaders in coffee-dependent communities in Africa and Latin America. We identify, invest in, and support Change Leaders to implement their own community development projects focused around sustainable education, water, livelihoods, and gender equity.

We Consult

Our Consulting Projects involve indirect partnerships with coffee communities. We provide services to organizations with existing ties to local leadership, including program design and development; project management; grant writing; monitoring and evaluation; and organizational development.


Our Team

Nora Burkey

Founder and Executive Director

Nora holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development from the Graduate Institute at School for International Training, where she focused her studies on gender in development and food systems. For her Master's thesis, she conducted research on women’s lending groups in Nicaragua which had intended to recognize the unpaid work of women in supply chains. After graduating, she stayed in Nicaragua and for the past three years has lived in Matagalpa building The Chain Collaborative, which focuses on small community-led development projects with local leaders in coffee communities around the world. While directing The Chain Collaborative, she is also independently pursuing a Doctorate in International Development Studies at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, focusing on development in the coffee sector with fellow coffee researcher Dr. Gavin Fridell. She speaks English and Spanish. Her favorite drink is an Americano.

Martha Camp

Volunteer Project Liaison: Ecuador

Martha is a retired professional peacemaker. She served as the Director and Lead Trainer for Plowshares, Inc. as well as the Mediator for the Meigs Country Court of Common Pleas in Ohio. Since the sixties, she has been a lover of peace and coffee, sampling the drink in Parisian cafes and the Turkish coffee houses of Georgetown, D.C., in underground hangouts in Boston and shops in the old New Orleans. Today, she lives happily with her husband in the small town of Chaucha, Ecuador. With a spirit for adventure and a lifelong passion for subsistence farming, Martha finds herself tending not only her milk cows, chickens, and kitchen garden, but also an orchard containing tropical fruits and coffee trees. Moved by compassion for the struggles of local female farmers, Martha has become a champion to improve the livelihoods of these coffee growers and bring the exotic flavor of this mountain-grown coffee to tables around the world. Her favorite coffee comes served with a beignet.

Tina Kim

Strategy and Operations Director

Tina’s ties to the coffee industry began in 2012 in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, where she spent two years managing a program aimed at addressing food insecurity in the coffee lands. She has a diversity of experience working in both the public and non-profit sectors, having developed and implemented a variety of community- and school-based initiatives related to environmental conservation, food, agriculture, health, and nutrition. Tina holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of California San Diego, and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State University. She joined The Chain Collaborative in 2014 as a founding board member, and in 2016 transitioned to join the staff to focus on the strategic and operational growth of the organization. She speaks English, Spanish, and Korean. Her favorite drink is a dark roast drip.

Krista Pelletier

Project Manager

Krista has over 10 years of experience working on international and domestic development efforts related to health education, micro-credit, trade and development, and food and nutrition security. For the five years before joining The Chain Collaborative, she had been working to ensure that older adults in Marin County, California had access to nutritious and affordable food. She managed several programs, volunteers and employees to combat hunger and managed evaluation services to ensure the satisfaction of beneficiaries. Krista holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Environmental Studies with a concentration in International Development. She holds a Master's degree in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training with a specialization in monitoring and evaluation. Throughout her studies, Krista has been especially interested in the intersection of economic development and poverty alleviation through agriculture and agro-ecology. Her favorite drink is a cappuccino.

Denis Twinamatsiko

Volunteer Project Liaison: Uganda

Denis was born in Nyamigoye Parish in Southwestern Uganda. Taking advantage of every educational opportunity he could, he traveled far from home to attend secondary school, eventually graduating from university in Kampala. Denis went on to work in Uganda for six years on coffee and tea plantations as a Standards Coordinator and Sustainability Officer. Later, Denis traveled to Liberia in West Africa to manage USAID value-added cassava processing units. He returned to Uganda in 2015 to organize his home village and work with small farmers in his community to advocate for better prices. He is now the founder and CEO of Africa Now Initiative Ltd, a social enterprise geared toward the promotion of socio-economic transformation of rural areas in Southwestern Uganda. He also consults for sustainable agriculture labels like Rainforest Alliance, UTZ certifications, and ISO Standards. He is passionate about sustainable development, nutrition, food security, education, and everything else that supports smallholders in Southwestern Uganda. Denis likes Ugandan coffee best.
 

Our Board

Michael Adinew

Board Member

Michael is the President of Rift Valley Trading. He has experience in the growing, importing, sales, business development, and customer relations aspects of the specialty coffee industry. He has over 22 years of experience in sales, strategic marketing, market research, project management, competitive intelligence, staff supervision and customer relationship management from several Fortune 500 companies. An Ethiopian native who has lived in the United States since 1988, Michael has been actively developing worldwide business opportunities over the past 6 years for his family's specialty coffee operation in Ethiopia. He works and volunteers with the Specialty Coffee Association, the Coffee Quality Institute, and the University of California to make sure that the best practices and most innovative farming techniques are implemented at all levels of his operation. Michael holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing and Advertising with a minor in International Business from California Lutheran University. He is torn between pour over or French press as his favorite coffee.

Robert Ditchey

Secretary

Bobby brings to the board a background in corporate communications, public relations, and project management. Prior to joining The Chain Collaborative as Secretary, he served as the public relations manager for a leading non-profit military service organization based in Washington, D.C. and as a public affairs and resource manager for the department of defense. His extensive experience in communications and public relations has been critical in both improving The Chain Collaborative's external communications as well internal communications between the board and staff. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Arizona State University and a Masters in Social Policy from Georgetown University. He is a Tony Robbins live events crew member and Elon Musk fan, fueled by the power of visioneering–the process of building concepts or dreams into a workable application. The power of visioning is one reason he has been inspired by The Chain Collaborative's mission to turn a community's vision or dream into a reality. His favorite brews are dark roast coffee and wheat beer.

Mike Ebert

Vice President

Mike is the founder of Firedancer Coffee Consultants, which he founded to help specialty coffee companies achieve long-term success. Mike has worked in coffee processing, packaging and distribution for over 30 years, and has extensive experience in all other facets of the specialty coffee supply chain. In his role as a senior consultant, he offers an educational approach to help create the right strategy for long-term success. He provides expert consulting and project management to clients seeking business process design, improvement, and implementation. In the past three years at Firedancer, Mike has focused on building coffee businesses, quality, and food safety, and has received various certifications. Firedancer works primarily with roasters, producers, and retailers in order to help them create, perfect and grow their specialty coffee programs. Mike has previously served on many nonprofit boards, including the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, and Coffee Kids. Mike likes a good old cup of drip coffee.

Jen Green

Board Member

Jen is a recovering lawyer, social entrepreneur and coffee geek based in Cambodia and Thailand, where she is consulting for a variety of specialty coffee projects. Jen has spent the past 4 and a half years in Southeast Asia connecting with coffee farmers, producers, specialty roasters, cafe owners and baristas, and bringing together quality producers with roasters who are seeking to pay for specialty quality and enhance sustainability. Her focus is on dismantling structural inequality in the coffee supply chain, empowering communities, promoting the recognition of women, enhancing transparency, giving agency to producers, and finding solutions to the allocation of risk. Jen has helped specialty coffee take hold in Cambodia, where she ran a pop-up specialty brew bar and transitioned the first Cambodian social enterprise cafe and roasting company, Feel Good Coffee, to local ownership and management. She loves introducing people to the nuance of specialty coffee, its diversity of flavors and its connection to human rights and social justice.

Sara Morrocchi

Coming 2018

Benjamin Myers

President

Benjamin joined the Chain Collaborative board in 2015, is the longest-standing member, and is currently serving as President. He brings to the board a variety of experiences in both the non-profit sector and the coffee industry. He has worked for The Peace Corps in Russia, the Seneca Center in Oakland and Stumptown Coffee Roasters in New York City, and served as a consultant for The Coffee Quality Institute in Colombia and Ethiopia. Benjamin also founded 1000 Faces Coffee in 2006 and Vortex Doughnuts in 2015. He currently works for 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters and resides in Los Angeles, California. He holds a Bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley, where he focused on Ecological Systems and Western Philosophy. He has traveled extensively throughout the coffee lands, making over 20 voyages to different coffee producing countries in his 10 years working in coffee. His favorite coffee drink is a long black or espresso, but has been known to drink mate in the morning.

Nadine Rasch

Coming 2018

Matt Slater

Board Member

Matt is the International Director for Re:co Symposium, a unique event designed for high-level discussion, leading innovation and strategy development for those passionate and influential in the world of specialty coffee. In his early years as a young musician, Matt was heavily involved and influenced by the Punk DIY scene, the collaborative and ethical foundations of which continued to play a key role in his life. This same collaborative spirit is prevalent in specialty coffee, which led Matt to Taylors of Harrogate and then to Falcon Coffees where he was responsible for building collaborative supply chains as a Q Grader & Coffee Buyer. He co-founded North Star Coffee Roasters in his home city of Leeds, where he currently resides. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, has traveled the world extensively and believes it's the people and the relationships that drive his passion for collaboration in coffee. His favorite drink is a black filter coffee from Kenya, washed with lashings of citrus acidity in the cup.

Toby Tiktinsky

Treasurer

Toby is Vice President of Project Development for Convergent Energy + Power, where he oversees origination, negotiation, and development of large scale energy storage projects. Having dedicated his career to environment and development, Toby brings to the board over 15 years of experience pioneering new markets with early stage companies across renewable energy, greenhouse gas emission reduction, energy efficiency and urban agriculture. As Pakistan Country Director for EcoSecurities, he established the country’s first private carbon finance company and helped to finance distributed generation and energy efficiency projects. He has worked at BrightFarms and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Toby graduated with honors from the University of San Francisco and holds an MSc from the London School of Economics. His favorite coffee is French roasted Haitian Blue Mountain, brewed pour over in a dented enamel camping carafe.