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WCR is growing!

July 23, 2018

WCR welcomes new team members all over the world
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WCR's agronomy team in Central America

Over the last few months, World Coffee Research has expanded its team to support programs all over the globe. "This new talent is going to help us coordinate and execute programs including the Global Coffee Monitoring Program, our seedling and nursery development program, and a more robust support structure,” says WCR CEO Tim Schilling.

Nursery Development Program

To address the critical need to build a strong and professional coffee seed sector, WCR is implementing a Nursery Development Program which will operate in several coffee producing countries globally. It's aimed at strengthening the capacity of small entrepreneurial and cooperative nurseries and seed producers to produce adequate volumes of genetically pure and healthy seedlings. 

As a result, WCR hired Emilia Umaña Acosta as the new Nursery Development Specialist. Emilia is responsible for all field activities related to the coffee seed and nursery sectors under the WCR Nursery Development Program. Emilia has an agricultural engineering degree in agronomy from EARTH University in Costa Rica, and a degree as a project manager specialist from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica. She has a depth of experience and understanding of renovation programs and the coffee nursery and seed sector from her work in nurseries. 

Global Coffee Monitoring Program

In addition to launching the Nursery Development Program, WCR has hired four agronomists to widen the reach of the Global Coffee Monitoring Program. The Global Coffee Monitoring Program is a network of on-farm demonstration trials that test two improved coffee varieties and two soil treatments directly in their fields. Each farm trial site uses the farmer’s current varieties and soil practices as controls for comparison.  In each country where the program is active, a lead country agronomist oversees the installation, development, and maintenance of the trials. In the first half of 2018, WCR has now widened the scope of this trial to encompass Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, Honduras, Uganda and Nicaragua and hired country agronomists to support them. 

Héctor Andrés Santos Rojas is the Country Agronomist for Honduras. He coordinates WCR's activities in Honduras, with an emphasis on the the Global Coffee Monitoring Program.  Hector has a Ing. degree in Agriculture from the Centro Universitario Regional del Litoral Atlántico, and a masters degree in project management from the Technological University of Honduras, Tegucigalpa.  He has been working with Honduran coffee farmers and cooperatives for over 10 years in providing technical assistance, credit counseling, business-planning advice and guidance in implementing climate-smart practices.

Jose Paiz is the Country Agronomist for Guatemala and Mexico and coordinates WCR's activities in Guatemala and Mexico. Jose has ten years of experience in agricultural and forestry farm management and nursery establishment, particularly in coffee, forest products and export plants.  He has experience in coffee processing and in budget management, operations, annual planning, and in conducting training. He has an agricultural engineering degree in forestry engineering and a Master's degree in agricultural production under controlled conditions.

Elly Castro is the Country Agronomist for Nicaragua and coordinates WCR's activities in Nicaragua.  Elly earned an agricultural engineering degree in agricultural education from EARTH University in Costa Rica and a master's degree in hydrology and water resources management from Acala de Henares University in Madrid, Spain. He has experience in coffee agronomy, nursery production, natural resources management and field data collection and analysis. 

James Astuhuaman is the Country Agronomist for Peru and has an agronomy engineering degree obtained in Lima. He has supported the design and management of coffee projects in South America since 2013, primarily through work as a facilitator in the counseling and training co-op members to use different methodologies in their farming. He has significant experience in value chain development in both the coffee and cocoa sector.

Maureen Namugalu is the Country Agronomist in Uganda. She is an agronomist and soil scientist by profession, with strong agricultural production background. Maureen has worked with Café Africa Uganda in collaboration with UCDA and NaCORI for the last three years focusing on coffee agronomy, coffee extension services, and the assessment of coffee seedling survival rate of Arabica and Robusta coffee in Uganda. 

Support Staff

In order to support and coordinate all the brilliant staff on the ground, WCR has also hired three new support staff, both in France and in Portland, OR.

Michelle Burville acts as both the executive assistant for CEO Tim Schilling and as the business manager for WCR’s Europe division. As the business manager, she provides overall administrative and financial coordination for all activities in WCR's European offices. She grew up a British expatriate in France, and is now based in Toulon.

Molly McLain comes to WCR with over 10 years experience in the banking industry, though her academic background is in biology. Combining these skills, she administers WCR’s Checkoff Program, assisting current and prospective participants with inquiries, enrollment and best practices for implantation. She is based in Portland, OR.

Elisabeth Fillmore is WCR’s communications assistant. Working closely with the communications director, she coordinates WCR’s social media and web presence and assists with adminiatrative duties. Although Elisabeth grew up in Germany, she holds a bachelor's degree from McGill University in English Literature and Arabic. She is based in Portland, OR.

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