Welcome to Catalyst's new blog!
origin updates - customer & producer profiles - technical exploration
In the time I've known Andrew Russo, I've never seen him boast or put someone else down. In an industry full of blather, that in itself is a recommendation.
But there's a lot more to Andrew than quiet competence, as you will see in the months to come. We've been trying to recruit Andrew on the down-low for a while now, following his innovative foray into online coffee education (Craft Coffee Institute), his well-researched writings on Probat's history and the pitfalls of planning a roastery, and his Save Lekali foundation, for which he raised $23,000 single-handedly and got every penny through to the village with 100% traceability for donors. We're impressed by his coffee cupping and roasting skills, his selfless volunteering in times of disaster through Team Rubicon USA, and his devotion to his family. We're excited that he's pursuing an advanced degree in nonprofit management and that he's a relentless history buff. We're vaguely intimidated that he's an endurance athlete and casually "runs 10 miles" on an average Friday.
As Michael and I spend more and more time at origin, we know the beautiful Catalyst community of roasters, green buyers, baristas, and US-based coffee pros also deserve focus and attention. Starting today, Andrew will be transitioning into handling coffee orders, sample requests, and followups. He'll also share aspects of Quality Control and roast profile analysis with Michael. He'll take on the occasional consulting engagement. And he will apply his strong ability with systems to the sprawling, well-intentioned origin projects we are engaged in, increasing accountability and ensuring the right checks and balances are in place as we connect more and more roasters and producers who share visions.
In the days to come we will be reaching out to introduce you to Andrew and fill you in on ordering and support protocols to ensure you are well taken care of while Michael and I head to Ethiopia for the winter (more on that soon). For now, if you have the time, please take a moment to email Andrew at email@example.com to wish him well in his new position!
- Emily McIntyre