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New Trustees Join CQI

November 14, 2022

Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is pleased to announce the addition of three members to the existing board of trustees.

“I am very happy to announce that we have added three our new members to this important advisory body,” said Bridget Carrington, chair of the Coffee Quality Institute board of trustees. “We benefit from the expertise and experience of our existing board and adding these new perspectives and capabilities can only be of value to CQI.”

Coffee Quality Institute is a fully independent nonprofit that supports the coffee community through education in post-harvest processing and quality evaluation, including administration of the Q Grader program.

The new Coffee Quality Institute trustees:

Liz Caselli-Mechael is Head of Content and Digital for the Nestlé master brand globally. Her team works to produce compelling digital content and ensure industry-leading social media communications driven by audience insights on purpose-based stories around climate and responsible sourcing. Previously, she’s led consumer communication and digital strategy as the Director of Issues Management at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and supported innovative marketing and communications programs for agricultural and nutrition development across sub-Saharan African through the USAID Feed the Future initiative. She is also a Board Member and former Chairman for Miriam’s Kitchen, working to end chronic homelessness in Washington DC.

Liz Caselli-Mechael

"I began my career focused on supporting USAID efforts to bring coffee and cocoa farmers into global supply chains for better incomes and resilience. While the focus of my work has changed, it continues to be grounded in the belief that this connectivity can benefit farms, communities, companies, and consumers. I believe that CQI’s work to support high-quality coffee for thriving and sustainable communities is more critical than ever in the face of climate and economic challenges for smallholder farmers"

Matthew Mills has been Commercial Director of Masteroast Coffee Co ltd since 2019. The private label coffee roasting business has been a pioneer of specialty coffees in the UK for more than 40 years, and he is responsible for sourcing and sales for the business. In addition, Mr. Mills is founder and owner of MasterCol Trading SAS, a boutique specialty coffee exporter in Colombia, focused on sustainable and ethically sourced specialty coffees.

Prior to moving back to the UK in 2019, Matthew spent 15 years overseas, working and running operations for the multinational trade houses in East Africa, Central America, South and North America. Matthew has built a wealth of experience that has covered almost all areas of the coffee supply chain, from building sustainable producer group supply chains, running milling operations and exporting businesses, through to building coffee importing businesses and running roasting facilities. 

Matthew Mills

"I wanted to contribute to the development of quality standards within the specialty coffee industry. CQI meets the needs of professional cuppers and graders around the world. From a roaster perspective, I feel I am well placed to use my commercial experience and expertise to contribute to the work of CQI which is assisting producers to improve their skills and, through a common language, their ability to understand the requirements of their buyers."  

As Nestle’s Coffee Partner (NCP)’s Director of Coffee, Matt Swenson works in the technical and product side of the business, helping plan for the next big innovation in the coffee pipeline. Swenson brings his deep coffee expertise to the breadth of Nestlé’s coffee portfolio, which includes brands like Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Nescafé, and Blue Bottle. From soil to bean to bottle, Matt is passionate about coffee education and bringing the coffee’s sustainability story to life for customers, consumers, and employees alike. While Matt focuses much of his time on the entire NCP portfolio, he also leads sustainability strategy for the division’s coffee and communities programming.

Prior to joining Nestlé Coffee Partners, Swenson was Chameleon Coffee’s Chief Product Officer, where he led Chameleon's Sustainability Program, establishing projects in Peru, Myanmar, Guatemala and Colombia to directly invest in Chameleon’s coffee growing communities. Under Swenson’s leadership, Chameleon launched an impactful partnership with the first of its kind female-led co-op in Myanmar. He was also involved in spearheading initiatives in Peru, Colombia and Guatemala. These community partnerships continue to thrive and have empowered hundreds of farmers and producers with skills to implement better agricultural practices and in turn, improve their productivity and livelihood. Prior to joining Chameleon in 2016, Swenson co-founded Nobletree Coffee headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. He is a licensed Q grader and Q Arabica Instructor with Coffee Quality Institute.

Matt Swenson

"I’ve had great interest in CQI over the years, since first becoming a Q grader in 2010. I joined the Coffee Corp Volunteers and then became a Q Arabica Instructor and was able to serve the organization on a few volunteer trips over the years, deepening my commitment to the mission of the organization. When the opportunity came to serve on the board, it was incredibly exciting for the prospect to help further shape and ensure the future of this great organization that has added so much value to the industry, as well as me personally."