Meet The CRG Advisory Council

The CRG is governed by a group of elected leaders, the CRG Advisory Council (CRGAC). The CRGAC exists to facilitate ongoing delivery of member benefits and services specific to the Guild and as outlined in the SCA Strategic Plan. Council members add intellectual, political, and social value to new and ongoing initiatives of the SCA, CRG and the industry. The Council will provide SCA specialized expertise in its focused area through the contributions of knowledgeable, influential experts. The CRGAC is comprised of a collaborative team of 4 Officers and 8 CRG members-at-large.



The CRG has seven standing committees: Communications, Competitions, Diversity, Education, Events, Membership, and Sustainability. CRG Committees are chaired by a member of the CRG Advisory Council (CRGAC) and include additional CRG members.

Interested in joining one of our committees? Get in touch!


Sonja Grant, Chair -

WCRC* Delegate

Sonja Björk Grant, is a barista, roaster, and barista trainer from Iceland. She has worked in specialty coffee since 1995, spending the first 13 years with Kaffitar in Iceland. In 2008 she founded the first third wave cafe and micro-roastery in Iceland, Kaffismiðja Íslands. And now Sonja has founded a new coffee company, Kaffibrugghúsið, a cafe, micro roastery and training centre. Sonja is one of the pioneers of the World Barista Championship and other barista competitions that World Coffee Events (WCE) organisation oversees, and has substantially contributed to the development of the competition judging system.


Jen Apodaca, Vice Chair -

US & EU Events

Committee Oversight,


Committee Oversight

Jen Apodaca started roasting coffee in 2005 for McMenamins Inc. in Portland, Oregon. She has roasted coffee for Ecco Caffe, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, and Blue Bottle Coffee. She is now the Director of Roasting for The Crown; Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room. She has experience on several styles of roasting machines and is dedicated to the craft of making coffee more delicious. She is an International Juror for the Cup of Excellence and the Chair of the Coffee Committee of the Good Food Awards for the past 4 years.


Filip Bartelak, Second Vice Chair -

Education & Research Committee Chair (Includes WCRC)

Born in 1978 in Poland. Filip majored in I/O & Political Psychology at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. He Since 1999, he has worked as a sensory expert and R&D supervisor at Consonni as well as being a green coffee buyer and roast master for Coffee Grange. Creator of leading coffee roaster brands in Poland and abroad. Coffee quality and roasting consultant. Certified Arabica and Robusta Q Grader, Assistant Q Instructor, SCAA Certified Lead Instructor. WCE certified judge (WBC and WBrC). Member and judge for Cup of Excellence. Member of Education Committee for Roaster Guild of Europe.


Filip Akerblom, EU Events Chair

Based in Sweden, Filip has long been involved with SCA through teaching and a number of accolades including receipt of the SCAE Young Entrepreneur Award 2009. Filip has had a huge part to play in the development of the SCAE CDS roasting modules supported by his position as chair of the SCAE education committee. When he's not teaching or roasting you can find him promoting the international Roasting Championships!


O.M. Miles, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) Committee Chair -

WCRC Delegate

Miles joined IKAWA to open their US office in Los Angeles and help the business create a foothold in the country. She has a wealth of specialty coffee knowledge, most recently working as Director of Education at Royal Coffee New York, and previously as Production and Roasting Manager at Allegro, and Roaster at Blue Bottle.


David Myers, US Events Chair -

Origin Trips Delegate

Eleven years ago, David ventured into specialty coffee when he happened upon a Diedrich IR-12 that was for sale, along with several bags of beans. He's been hooked ever since, going from a part-time roaster delivering coffee door to door, to operating several cafes and a wholesale business. He has been volunteering at Roasters Guild Retreat, Barista Camps and SCA Events as a Lead and Station Instructor, and has served on the Roasters Guild Education Committee for the past two years. He recently traded in the Diedrich for a Loring, but often has the most fun trying new machines in the roasting tent at the Retreat. He is especially interested in connecting with and engaging newer members with the Guild, and growing and diversifying the membership.


Joanna Alm, Sustainability Delegate (includes CPCRI)

Born and raised in Borlänge in Dalarna Sweden, Joanna started working with specialty coffee in Norway about eleven years ago. She has been working at Swedish-based roaster Drop Coffee since 2010, starting out as a barista Joanna is now the Managing Director and owner. Joanna is proud of Drop Coffee and grateful to be able to do what something that she heartily loves. Joanna has also competed in quite a few barista and roasting championships and has won the Swedish Roasting Championship (2014, 2016) and placed 2nd (2015), 3rd (2014) and 4th (2016) in the World Coffee Roasting Championship.


Darius Vezelis, MMC Vice-Chair: Communications

Working in specialty coffee business since 2007. Always was active SCAE member. Dedicated my time for organizing Barista champs in Lithuania for 6 years as acting SCAE National coordinator. Established my roasting company in 2012. Want to bring and share knowledge with all roasting guild members.

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Chris Halien, Education & Research Vice-Chair: US Education @ Events

Chris Hallien is a dedicated and passionate professional with a wide range of experience in the coffee industry. He began his career in coffee twenty years ago having held positions in several functions. Chris is a coffee scientist and has spent a large portion of his career exploring green coffee quality and its relationship to coffee roasting. He held the positions of Director of Roasting and Director of Coffee at Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea and as Quality Specialist at Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee. He is equally proficient roasting in smaller scale operations as he is in larger scale facilities. Chris has several years of experience in green coffee quality, as green coffee buying and working with producers at origin.

He has served on several Cup of Excellence juries, volunteered with the CQI Coffee Corps on multiple projects and contributed to the WCR in its genesis stages. He has been active in several coffee organizations as a trainer, presenter and eager contributor. Chris is a long-standing member of and presenter for the Roaster’s Guild and the Specialty Coffee Association, where he currently serves on the Standards Committee. He is a licensed Q grader and C grader, a Certified Food Scientist, Sensory Scientist, and is Product Manager for Cropster Roast and Cropster Lab.


Emilio Lopez Diaz, Past Chair

Emilio began his coffee career back in 2001 when he founded Topeca Coffee Roasters while still being a college student at the University of Portland ,OR. He became a member of the Roasters Guild in 2002 and has been an active member ever since. Based out of El Salvador, he now runs a full vertically-integrated business from seed to cup, with roasting, farming, exporting, and importing operations out of Brazil, the United States, and El Salvador. With coffee running through his veins, he is a sixth generation producer devoted to the coffee industry and the coffee community.


WCRC = World Championship in Coffee Roasting

MMC = Membership, Marketing, & Communications

CPCRI = Coffee Price Crisis Response Initiative


SCA Staff Partners:

US Events: Stacy Woods, Kristen Hartman, Shelby Paul (Expo)

EU Events: Hannah Davies

MMC: Vicente Partida, Cindy Ludviksen, Mansi Chokshi

ED&I: Ellie Hudson, Vicente Partida

Sustainability: Ellie Hudson, Kim Elena Ionescu

Education & Research: Vini Arruda, Ben Helt, Peter Giuliano, Heather Ward, Leanne Chang

CPCRI: Ellie Hudson, Julie Housh

Origin Trips: Carrie Gibson


The CRG has seven standing committees: Communications, Competitions, Diversity, Education, Events, Membership, and Sustainability. CRG Committees are chaired by a member of the CRG Advisory Council (CRGAC) and include additional CRG members.

Interested in joining one of our committees? Get in touch!