Sergio Fajardo has been presented with the Leadership Medal of Merit during the Specialty Coffee Association (SCAA) of America conference in Seattle. Governor Fajardo was awarded for his dedication to improving education and increasing collaboration within his department so the world can enjoy high quality coffees from Antioquia. The SCAA also credited Fajardo for inspiring the transformation of Medellin through citizen participation and efficient administration of public resources. Fajardo, the Governor of Antioquia, Colombia was presented the award in front of a sold out crowd at the Coffee Quality Institute’s 16th Annual Luncheon. Governor Fajardo’s acceptance speech highlighted the issues facing the region and how the government plans to create positive transformation. “We’re going to use education, science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and culture… to transform the society through the capabilities we have as human beings,” said Fajardo. The Medal of Merit is Coffee Quality Institute’s most prestigious honor and has been presented at the exposition for over a decade. It is given to an extraordinary person who embodies CQI’s mission to improve coffee quality and the lives of people who produce it. Past recipients of the Leadership Medal of Merit include Coffeelab’s Sunalini Menon, World Coffee Research’s Timothy Schilling, and Ueshima Coffee Company’s Tatsushi Ueshima.