Speakers & Instructors
Schooled in marketing, groomed in PR, refined in digital, accomplished in social - Kris Koivisto lives for brand strategy, optics and innovation.
He’s at his best when facing a challenge, and always believes there’s a more efficient and effective way to do things.
From 2007 - 2017, Kris worked for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. After spending his first seven years working in the team's award-winning PR department, he made the jump to digital in 2014, overseeing the team's social media strategy for the next three seasons.
The Trail Blazers won the NBA's Digital Innovator of the Year Award in both 2016 and 2017 and their Twitter account was named #1 in the NBA by Complex in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
In February 2017, Kris was recruited by a social media agency in San Diego. Two months later, he packed up his family and moved to Southern California as the Senior Director of Accounts at STN Digital.
Counter Culture Coffee
Hana is a cafe manager turned coffee educator.
Cherry to Seed: Experiments in Fermentation
Blue Bottle Coffee
I started in coffee 18 years ago, Specialty Coffee 10 years ago, and have been with Blue Bottle Coffee for 8 years. I started at SF Ferry Building Cafe in 2010, and currently manage the Abbot Kinney Cafe in Venice, CA and have been there since it opened in 2014.
VP Coffee, Inc
Working as a coffee professional for 20 years, and has served as a barista, roaster, product development manager, customer relations expert, training coordinator, technical service provider, green coffee trader, Brent is now the business development manager for VP Coffee, Inc. There he oversees various functions of the business focusing on sales and marketing, while administrating the customer relations program. He lives in Apex, NC with his wife, two kids, and pets. He serves on the Executive Council for the Barista Guild of America and Chairs the Content Development Committee. He is a certified head judge. He loves coffee through and through.
Dissecting the Espresso Machine
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Laila Ghambari is the Director of Education and Training Operations for Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, Or. She served 5 years on the Executive Council for the Barista Guild of America and in 2014 she won the United States Barista Competition. She loves hiking and spend time with her son Fitzgerald.
Designing Efficient Barflow
Matt Barahura is the Wholesale Educator for Intelligentsia Coffee in Los Angeles. Originally from San Diego, he's been in the industry for over 10 years. He's a seasoned competitor, long-time instructor and generally aims to get more people serving better coffee.
Water Chemistry, Beyond the Water & Water Chemistry, The Impact on Flavor
Cloud City Coffee/El Diablo Coffee/Royal Drummer Cafe
Jill opened her first shop, Cloud City Coffee in 2002, thinking that her primary goal was just providing a community meeting space. The coffee bug hit her and she became obsessed with all things coffee related. She has since gone on to open two more shops, is a member of the “brew crew” (related to all things brewing at SCA) and is a certified Q Grader.
Batch Brew Exploration & Brewing Fundamentals
Coffee educator with 7+ years experience in specialty coffee that devotes herself to co-operating a roasting facility in San Diego as well as running a non-profit SCA campus that provides job training to underserved populations.
BlendIn Coffee Club
Weihong Zhang graduated from Kansas State University and got his PhD degree in Biochemistry. A chance of cupping specialty coffee led Weihong into specialty coffee industry. Weihong is now a licensed Q Arabica Grader, and Authorized SCA Trainer for Introduction to Coffee, Barista, Brewing, Sensory Skills, Green Coffee and Roasting.
Crafting Seasonal Espresso Beverages
Becky Reeves has over 8 years experience as a coffee professional focusing on education and market development. She’ could talk your ear off about regenerative agriculture while also making a strong case for the cinematic serious of DreamWork’s Trolls. She’s a Market Development Manger for Oatly US, and is passionate about accessibility, transparency, and sustainability.
Crafting Seasonal Cold Brew Beverages
Onyx Coffee Lab
Dylan Siemens, head trainer at Onyx Coffee Lab in Fayetteville, Ar, is a veteran barista and brewing competitor. In 2017, he won the United States Brewers Cup Championship. Siemens’ aspirations in the coffee industry began in high school, as a customer of new business-owners Andrea and Jon Allen, who would eventually re-brand and grow their business as Onyx Coffee Lab. Siemens joined the team at the age of 19 and quickly became the full-time trainer for the company and their wholesale accounts. His passion for experimentation and discovery drive him to research and test all aspects of coffee extraction. Likewise, his passion for the industry compels him to share his findings and experiences with others in the coffee community.
Compulsory Brewing - A Competitor's Approach
Bailey Rayne Arnold
Beginning her specialty coffee journey in 2010, Bailey currently occupies the role of Director of Education for Gregorys Coffee in NYC. Alongside her team of educators, she facilitates the growth and development of around 300 baristas in three cities. She has taught at MANE, coordinated three seasons of TNTNYC, and is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Content Development Committee on the BGA's Executive Council. She is almost certainly a polymath, and her cat's name is Joey Tribbiani.
Jill Fountain, co-owner of Macchinisti, LLC in Austin, Tx, has successfully blended two of her passions, coffee and engineering, into a satisfying career. Beginning as a barista in Boulder, Co, she quickly fell in love with coffee, and was soon promoted as a head barista and trainer. Having always been mechanically inclined, she did not hesitate to tackle problem equipment. Eventually, she became the in-house technician for this three-location café. After a fortunate apprenticeship opportunity, she was able to realize her goals as an entrepreneur. She now uses her skills and experience to help further the coffee industry by making technical knowledge more accessible.
Dissecting the Espresso Machine