Skip to main content

ACE/Cup of Excellence Executive Director Darrin Daniel Resigns


Darrin Daniel speaking at the 20th Anniversary Brazil Cup of Excellence event in 2019. Daily Coffee News photo by Howard Bryman.

After more than six years holding the top executive position at the sibling nonprofits Cup of Excellence (CoE) and Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), Darrin Daniel has resigned.

In a letter shared with DCN yesterday, ACE said the search for a new executive director will begin “in the coming weeks.” Meanwhile, all current CoE and ACE programming will continue as scheduled.

With deep experience in green coffee with companies such as Allegro Coffee and Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Daniel was named executive director of both organizations — based in Portland, Oregon — in 2017. He took over for longtime CoE organizer Susie Spindler, who came out of retirement to lead the organization on an interim basis.

Under Daniel’s leadership, the Cup of Excellence green coffee competition and auction program expanded into new markets — including Ethiopia and Indonesia — while ACE also launched a sibling auction program called Private Collection Auctions (PCAs).


A cupping at a Cup of Excellence event in Brazil. Daily Coffee News photo by Howard Bryman.

Both the CoE and PCA auction programs routinely result in high-scoring coffees — often micro or nano lots featuring progressive post-harvesting techniques or non-traditional coffee varieties — that can fetch exceptionally high prices from international buyers.

“It has been an honor to serve as your executive director for the past six years,” Daniel said in an announcement from ACE. “I am proud to promote all the work we have done together to promote excellence in coffee and support farmers and roasters around the world.”

Along with family and friends, Daniel recently opened an independent cafe and music venue on the Oregon coast called Rockaway Roasters.

Does your coffee business have news to share? Let DCN’s editors know here