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.



Emilio Lopez Diaz, 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.


Sonja Grant, Vice Chair

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, Second Vice Chair & Events Committee Co-Chair


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.


Konrad Oleksak, Immediate Past Chair

Konrad Oleksak moved back home from Ireland in 2010, where he was working in the coffee industry since 2004. With encouragement from his wife, Konrad became National Coordinator of Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and not long after, with love for coffee, opened his coffee roastery Kofi Brand in 2011 in Warsaw. Since then, he’s been very much involved in creating and promoting coffee in Poland through events, competitions and workshops. Judging coffee competitions on a national and international level was a big part of his professional life until he was invited to the Working Group of Roaster Guild of Europe where he served as a member of the Events Committee. While managing his roastery, Konrad is also coaching barista competitors, roasting and sourcing coffee for them with success on both national and international competitions. 


Joe Marrocco, Communications Committee Chair

Joe Marrocco has served in several areas of Specialty Coffee from Barista to Roaster to Green Importing. When it comes to roasting, Joe loves to talk theory, try new equipment, break old roasting rules, and roast lots of different coffees. As a Sr. Sales Associate and the Director of Education at Café Imports, Joe has been given lots of opportunities to do just that. If you are ever in the Twin Cities area, you should look him up! He will likely take you out for coffee. If you can’t find him at the office, you may want to look around one of the many lakes or rivers where he and his kids will likely be hiking and fishing, or check his kitchen. Joe loves to cook, especially for friends.


Tony Auger, Competitions Committee Chair

There’s a fine line between addiction and dedication, and Tony has successfully balanced his career in coffee by going back and forth between the two. Tony’s first job in specialty coffee started as a way to fund his increasing habit of going to a cafe and ordering one of everything. He has now spent the past decade transitioning from coffee consumer to barista, then head roaster, QC lab manager and now he resides in green importing. Along the way he picked up various awards and accolades for his devotion to coffee - including four regional and national Brewers Cup placings, a US Roasting Competition placing, a Good Foods Award, and 3 consecutive Roasters Guild Executive Council nominations.


Filip Akerblom, Events Committee 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

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, Membership Committee Chair

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.


Filip Bartelak, Research & Education Committee Co-Chair

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.


Morten Münchow, Research & Education Committee Co-Chair

With my external lecturer position at Department of Food Science sponsored by SCA and my seat at SCA’s Research council and my many years of research projects in CoffeeMind I’m providing a connection to a lot of the past and ongoing research in specialty coffee. Also, a focus for me is how we can start creating our own research as a guild. As the lead creator of the SCAE Roasting certification system and part of the new SCA roasting certification creators group I’m also bridging SCA’s education to the guild community so that the certification system is available for the guild and the guild provides valuable feedback to the certification system.


Joanna Alm, Sustainability Committee Chair

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.


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!