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OUR PEOPLE

Russ Kramer • President of La Minita

Russ has worked in the coffee industry since 1983. He worked at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters through 1993, serving in various capacities including roasting, product development and training. From 1993 through 1995, Russ worked for the Coffee Connection in Boston, Massachusetts. There he was responsible for all research and development and was instrumental in the commercialization of Frappuccino. Since 1995, Russ has worked for La Minita, currently serving as the President of our trading company. He has served on the SCAA's Environmental Committee, the Coffee Advisory Board of Dunkin' Donuts, and has been a frequent speaker and panel member at the SCAA annual convention. His presentation on coffee roasting in 1996 is now a part of the SCAA's published roasting training materials.


Drew Zent • Senior Manager Green Coffee

Drew joined La Minita in 2001 as a sales manager. Drew works directly with our green coffee projects in Sumatra and Costa Rica and is also responsible for working directly with many of roaster clients in development of their coffee offerings including menu development and blends. He has extensive experience in the development of coffee extracts for various uses.


Scott Merle • Vice President

Scott has worked in specialty coffee since 1988 and has experience in every aspect of the value chain from Barista to Roastmaster. He joined La Minita in 2009. He has extensive knowledge of green coffee sourcing, purchasing, roasting, and blend development, and is proficient in various types of coffee evaluation. Scott works directly with our green coffee projects in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya. He devotes special focus on certified coffees and works with many of our US customers to source and build up their sustainable coffee positions. Scott has participated in multiple International cupping panels, was a founding member of the Executive Council of the SCAA’s Roaster’s Guild, serves on the Editorial Board for Roast magazine, and has served on multiple committees and councils within the SCAA, including eight years on the SCAA Sustainability Council where he spent a three year term as chair. Scott has dedicated his career to furthering coffee quality throughout the value chain, and has emphasized and exemplified fair pricing practices to hard-working producers every step of the way.


Jim McEnaney • Green Coffee Manager

Jim joined La Minita in 2008 and is responsible for green coffee quality in Burlington Vermont and works with our office in Costa Rica and other origins for quality control. He works with Micro Roasters across the country helping develop their roasting portfolio.Jim has been active member of the Roasters Guild since 2009 and working towards other certifications from SCAA.


John Shuell • Vice President – Finance


Casandra Savelberg • Purchasing Agent

Casandra joined La Minita Coffee in February of 2011. She is responsible for maintaining purchase contracts, sales contracts, international direct shipments, and fixation requests. She works closely with our US customs broker to manage destinations and documentation for US imports. She manages all direct overseas shipments as well as some of our international shipments from the US; this includes document review, invoicing, and continuous communication with both the consignee and the shipper to ensure all parties have what they need prior to departure of coffee from origin country and arrival of coffee to destination port. She also works with La Minita’s accounting department to make sure contracts are paid in a timely manner, and assists with inventory review, buy/sell transactions and our on-hand inventory.


Ali Neuman-Sistare • Customer Support


Tina Barnes • Customer Service Representative


Dena Verdin • General Accountant