Q: You were elected by your peers to the FCIA Board late last year. What excites you about the direction of fine chocolate and the role FCIA can play in growing the sector?
A: This is a really exciting time in chocolate! Chocolate making at a small scale is popping up all over the world. Every country I've been to has at least a handful of new chocolate makers doing something interesting with local flavors, customs, or beans. The specialty cocoa industry is just getting started, and you can taste amazing beans from places such as Sierra Leone, St. Vincent, Tanzania, and Taiwan. Chocolate based confections are becoming more popular in a variety of places that classically had lower interest in chocolate, such as India. Now is a great time to help figure out how we can all work together to make a better and more sustainable industry for everyone. What we do now could resonate throughout the growth of the industry for decades.
Q: What accomplishments you would like to see the organization reach within your board tenure?
A: I'd love to see the FCIA start to work on a more international level. We are already engaging with industry members from all over the world, but let's formalize that. As this industry grows it will be looking for information as to how we can work together and form an industry group that helps each of us in our businesses.
Q: What advice would you give to companies considering FCIA membership?
A: The FCIA is the most comprehensive set of industry members working together. I'm constantly excited by the people I meet and get to know through FCIA. You could have the same experience!