The FCIA support team is looking forward to working with our new and returning members in 2021. Since we don’t have a physical office, the team meets virtually every week via Zoom to plan our work schedules. This has always been the case, even before the COVID pandemic. I thought it might be helpful to give a brief introduction of our team members for your reference. All are part-time consultants to FCIA.
Bill Guyton, Executive Director (Arlington, Virginia)
I have been in this role for nearly three years. I recently wrote a background blog post on my professional experience, including supporting agricultural programs and trade associations. My main tasks at FCIA involve supporting the board and committees, developing new partnerships, managing staff and finances, serving as FCIA spokesperson, and implementing FCIA’s strategic plan.
Ephi Maglaris, Events Manager (Chicago, Illinois)
Ephi joined FCIA last summer. Her background is in event planning, and she has worked with the National Restaurant Association in the past. At FCIA, Ephi works closely with the Events and Education Committee to organize and implement all FCIA events, including educational webinars, conferences, regional meetups. She also helps to onboard new members and assists with our social media efforts.
Jennifer Wicks, Finance Manager (Sevensville, Montana)
Jennifer has worked several years for FCIA and is the only chocolate maker on staff. She manages FCIA finances and oversees the partnership program budgets, including for MOCCA.
Mey Choy Paz, Private Sector Liaison (Tingo Maria, Peru)
Mey is a sensory analyst with a background in cocoa trading. She represents FCIA on the MOCCA program in Latin America, which is funded by the US Department of Agriculture. Mey’s specific duties are to link cocoa farmer organizations with company members and to provide quality assessments of cocoa.
LaSaundra Scott, Administrative Assistant (Shreveport, Louisiana)
LaSaundra joined the FCIA team in the last half of 2020 to assist. She helps behind the scenes on webinars, board elections, membership database, and email distributions.
Taylor Beasley, Communications Intern Winter 2021 (Oakland, California)
Taylor is a student at Miami University with a co-major in Strategic Communications and Entrepreneurship. Due to the pandemic, she is living in California and taking classes remotely.
"I am thrilled to have the chance to work with and learn from such a passionate and hard-working team such as this over the next few months. With my interest in social media marketing and outreach paired with my love for fine chocolate, I plan on both educating myself on the industry as well as contributing to the already successful FCIA to the best of my abilities."
Kristopher Nunez, Communications Intern Winter 2021 (Woodhaven, New York)
Kris is a Freshman at Wheaton College in Boston. Due to the pandemic, he is living at his home in New York.
“It's such an honor to finally work with FCIA, a team so eager and motivated to educate and grow the fine chocolate industry. With my previous experience in social media marketing, web design, and video editing, I hope to contribute to FCIA's continued success. As someone from the Dominican Republic, where I'm from, fine chocolate is starting to rise in popularity, so I'm thrilled to bring back anything I can educate myself on working through FCIA."