The nonprofit Coffee Quality Institute has named longtime coffee sustainability and international development expert Michael Sheridan Chief Executive Officer.
Sheridan, who most recently held the title of Director of Sourcing and Shared Value at Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee, will officially assume CQI’s top executive spot beginning in December.
Sheridan will succeed former CQI Board of Trustees Chair Bridget Carrington, who has been CEO on an interim basis since the departure of Tina Yerkes late last year.
“It has been a privilege to guide CQI through the process of engaging Michael as its new CEO,” Carrington said in an announcement from the Southern California-based organization today. “Under his leadership, CQI enters a new chapter, which will result in even more impact in coffee-producing communities.”
Among its many education-based initiatives designed to improve market access and financial outcomes for producers, while ensuring and promoting coffee quality throughout the coffee chain, CQI operates the popular Q Grader certification scheme for coffee professionals.
Sheridan joins the organization after six years with Intelligentsia, where he helped lead progressive green coffee sourcing activities and direct-trade partnerships, as exemplified by the company’s small-scale-farmer-supportive ECXw events.
Prior to joining Intelligentsia, Sheridan helped lead numerous farmer-supportive initiatives in the coffee sector in Central and South America on behalf of the nonprofit Catholic Relief Services.
Throughout his career, Sheridan has been an active public voice in the coffee industry, writing for numerous trade publications, including Daily Coffee News and Roast magazine. Sheridan penned a 2017 feature story in Roast, titled “Farmworkers in the Coffeelands: Improving Conditions for the Industry’s Most Vulnerable Players,” which won the Western Publishing Association’s annual award for “best feature story.”
“I am honored, humbled and excited to lead Coffee Quality Institute into the future,” Sheridan said in yesterday’s announcement. “CQI’s best-in-class quality education has been making coffee better and driving impact in the places where coffee is grown for more than 25 years. What really inspires me is where we go next, and how we build upon that global CQI network to best meet emerging challenges in the landscape to support thriving coffee-producing communities.”
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