Coffee Summit Speakers

Coffee Summit Facilitator

Laura Freebairn-Smith

Laura Freebairn-Smith, Organizational Performance Group, Principal
Laura Freebairn-Smith has been a consultant for such distinguished companies as the New York Times and People’s Bank. Her specialty is assisting leaders in realizing the full potential of their organizations through humanistic and analytical practices, while offering guidance in the redesign of infrastructure, the creation of strategic plans, and with organizational development.

Laura currently teaches leadership at Yale’s Drama School, and diversity and team building in the Executive MBA program at Yale’s School of Management. Prior to that, she served as Director of Yale’s Organizational Development and Learning Center, which she helped create.

Laura’s credentials include a BA from UC Berkeley (Philosophy and Political Science) and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She holds a doctorate in Organizational Systems from Saybrook Institute and has published articles and chapters on organizational development topics, most recently on the issue of stereotyping in the workplace.

Coffee Summit Speakers

Don Holly

Don Holly, Independant Consultant
A passionate coffee industry veteran, Don Holly began his career with Diedrich Coffee in 1982 as an owner, CFO and VP of Operations. From 1995-2001, he was the Administrative Director of the SCAA, leading the development of training programs, the Barista Championship, Cup of Excellence, Roaster’s Guild, and the Golden Cup Awards.

Don was a senior manager in the supply chain team at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters from 2001-2013 during the rapid growth of the Keurig single-serve system, directing the Purchasing, Planning and Quality teams, and retiring last year as VP-Beverage Quality. He developed many new products for the Keurig system, including the first tea and cocoa beverages, and was a strategy team leader for many of the acquisition, partner, and market initiatives.

Holly earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. He is a published author on a wide scope of topics and an experienced speaker.


Todd Metrokin, Ogilvy, Vice President of Creative Strategy

Todd Metrokin is a brand strategist and creativity expert with over 20 years of experience helping brands evolve to meet tomorrow’s marketplace challenges.


Tim Schilling, World Coffee Research, Executive Director

Dr. Schilling is a plant breeder and agricultural development specialist with strong market orientation and experience in agribusiness. He currently serves as the Executive Director of World Coffee Research (WCR) a non-profit, collaborative research and development program to grow, protect and enhance the supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it through agricultural research. The program is funded by the global coffee industry and managed by the Norman Borlaug Institute at Texas A&M University. Dr. Schilling led the U.S. SPREAD and PEARL projects in Rwanda that assisted the government transform the coffee industry over a 10 year period.

Before coffee and Rwanda, Dr. Schilling led U.S. projects in agriculture development in Turkmenistan, Mali, Southern Africa and Cameroon in areas of Agribusiness development, Sorghum improvement, Research systems enhancement, and Peanut breeding and agronomy.

Julio Sera

Julio Sera, INTL FC Stone, Senior Risk Management Consultant

Julio Sera works in the Latin American offices of INTL FC Stone in Miami, FL. He services the risk management needs of the coffee industry, with a focus on reducing price volatility for commercial clients across the value chain. Julio designs hedging portfolios tailored to each customer’s specific risk profile. Julio and the Global Coffee team are regularly sought out by import/export associations, cooperatives and industry focus groups in the US and abroad, to expound on the need for hedging coffee price risk.

Julio acquired his degree in Economics at Florida International University, and has over ten years of hedging expertise.


Scott Williams, BJ’s Wholesale Club, AVP Quality Assurance & Product Development

Scott is the AVP of BJ’s Quality Assurance & Environmental Stewardship Programs. His responsibilities include overseeing and developing the quality assurance testing and auditing program encompassing all categories across the business. In addition Scott is responsible for the responsible sourcing group; this group ensures BJ’s is sourcing goods in a way that is positive for the workers and the environment. His work has taken him around the globe to work directly with farmers and manufacturers in sourcing the best items and quality for BJ’s Members