Coffee Business News, Cup of Excellence

Alliance for Coffee Excellence Announces New Board of Directors


The membership-based nonprofit, Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), has announced the appointment of eight newly elected board members for its latest term.

ACE has extended its board to include 13 members, increasing the members from the previous 11. These new directors were elected by current ACE members and partners.

New Board Members include Raphael Braune, founder and Senior Vice President of Comandante Grinder Technologies and of German specialty coffee pioneer Supremo Coffee; Bartosz Ciepaj, Master Roaster of Harrods; Maryna Gray, founding partner and Director of Coffee for Bean Box; Satoshi Ito, General Manager of the Import Department for Japan-based Wataru & Co.; Jan Schuitemaker, founder of CoffeeXperts; and Amir Gehl, entrepreneur and founder of Difference Coffee in London.

ACE says these board members, representing five countries, will help cast a vision for the direction of the global nonprofit while providing support and guidance for ACE staff and members.

“The newly elected ACE board further reflects the global reach and coffee expertise with the appointment of these newest members,” says Darrin Daniel, ACE and Cup of Excellence (CoE) Executive Director.

Two current board members, Aleco Chigounis of Red Fox Sourcing, and Tim Taylor of Pedestrian Coffee have been re-elected.

ACE serves as the primary marketplace partner for the CoE program and will focus on CoE, National Winner and Private Collection Auctions.

ACE, supported by a global network of members, also conducts cuppings, marketing, events, and other activities designed to increase understanding, appreciation, and premiums for exemplary coffee worldwide.

Earlier this year, ACE and CoE split into two separate organizations, each with its own focus and funding opportunities.

COE, which was formerly owned and operated by ACE, is now a 501c (3) tax exempt nonprofit organization enabling more opportunity to access greater funding for in-country development.

The two organizations will be closely tied together with advisory panel crossover as well as resource and staff sharing.

For more details about the ACE board, visit

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