JavaJog 2017 Grant Review Process Underway!

JavaJog is pleased to announce the members of the 2017 Grant Review Committee and the proposals currently under review.

The Committee is convened by the JavaJog Advisory Council to ensure a transparent and credible grants selection process and is  made up of independent external experts who review proposals and make recommendations to the Advisory Committee on the programs to be funded. This year’s committee is made up of three members, with background in the coffee industry, development arena, and individuals with direct experience in East African coffee and development programs.


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Charlene Lewey, Director Trade Promotion Management, King Arthur Flour: Charlene is responsible for driving trade promotion strategy and managing all facets of the trade promotion process including post promotion analytics, process optimization, supporting technology and deductions management. Previously she worked at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (now Keurig Green Mountain) where she was Sr. Director of Order to Cash processes. She has also served as Treasurer on the board of directors for the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and is currently Chairman of the Board of Food4Farmers. These organizations are both focused on increasing economic opportunity for coffee growers to enable them to achieve sustainable livelihoods.

Dennis Macray, Chief Operating Officer, Theo Chocolate: Dennis serves as Chief Operating Officer for Theo Chocolate, the first bean-to-bar maker of organic, fair trade, fair for life, and non-GMO-certified chocolate in North America. In his role, Dennis oversees the day-to-day functions of the company, including its supply chain and sourcing strategy. With more than 15 years of experience in ethical sourcing and sustainable agriculture, Dennis helps Theo deliver on its mission to create delicious products while working to improve livelihoods and protect the environment in farm and factory communities alike. His supervision of Theo’s supply chain — from smallholder farmers in the Congo to local logistics partners — ensures strict compliance with trusted third-party certifications such as fair trade through IMO’s Fair for Life program, Non-GMO Verified Project and organic certification by QAI. Before arriving at Theo, Dennis led a private consultancy to clients including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Cocoa Foundation and the Eastern Congo Initiative. He spent eight years as Director of Global Responsibility at Starbucks, where he was responsible for coffee and cocoa sourcing practices, CSR reporting, strategic NGO partnerships and sustainable agriculture initiatives. Prior to his career in the consumer packaged goods industry, Dennis worked in similar capacities for startups and international NGOs.

Ben Schmerler, Senior Director Philanthropy, Root Capital: Ben is responsible for overseeing all philanthropy fundraising, building relationships and engagement strategies with existing and potential donors, investors, government institutions and value chain actors. He provides management, oversight, and leadership towards achieving Root Capital’s strategic objectives. Previously, Ben was a senior global supply chain manager at Fair Trade USA, and he has spent many years working and bicycling across the planet. Ben is member of the Sustainability Council for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and owns a small espresso bar in Boston. He holds a B.A. in environmental policy and political science from the University of Washington and speaks French, Spanish, and Wolof.

We are grateful to these individuals for their service and support of JavaJog!


We have received 5 innovative proposals which are currently under review:

  • COMAL The Heritage Hen Project: Cultural Preservation, Food Sovereignty, and Income Diversification Among Mayan Women Coffee Producers
  • The Chain Collaborative: Women Build the Future in Chaucha, Ecuador
  • Food4Farmers: Women coffee farmers bring organic produce to the Jinotega community
  • Girls Gotta Run Foundation: Scholarship and Savings Fund Project
  • The Kula Project: Rwanda nursery and seedling distribution project

Stay tuned for the announcement of the grant recipients!


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