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Full speaker line-up confirmed for the 2018 World Coffee Portal CEO Forum

Exclusive gathering of over 200 senior leaders and influencers from the across the coffee, café and related food-to-go sectors will take place 8-9 November at the South Park Center, Downtown Los Angeles

Allegra World Coffee Portal heads to Los Angeles in November to host the 4th annual CEO Forum. Building from the success of last year’s hugely successful New York event, this year will see another stellar line-up of industry leaders gather to discuss key issues facing the global coffee industry today.
An unparalleled programme of inspirational speakers will deliver the very latest thought leadership and critical business insight. Exploring the theme ‘Good Citizen, Good Business’, the forum will examine how highly-successful, visionary companies embed principles in their business for the long-term benefit of all stakeholders.
As well as benefitting from essential networking opportunities and global perspectives, attendees will also receive a half-day study tour of the best coffee shop concepts in the LA and VIP access to the launch of the Los Angeles Coffee Festival trade event.

Key discussion topics

This year’s forum will examine the global mega trends set to shape the coffee industry over the next 3-5 years, featuring the latest research and data from World Coffee Portal and highlights from the upcoming Project Café USA 2019 report. Other key topics will include:

Global insights from industry leaders across key markets
• Scaling excellence – opportunities and challenges
• Building a sustainable and ethical supply chain – from origin to operations
• Equality, diversity and representation throughout the coffee industry
• Staff training and people development – inspiring tomorrow’s hospitality professionals
• Engaging and supporting local communities


Speakers lined-up for this year’s event

The conference programme features an exciting line-up of influential thought leaders from across the world. 


Estaban Liang

Managing Director – China, Costa Coffee

Born in Taiwan and raised in Spain, Esteban has an MSc in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and an MBA from INSEAD. Having previously held positions such as Asia Expansion Director and China Deputy Managing Director for the Inditex Group (parent company for brands including Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka among others), Esteban has deep knowledge of the retail environment in China and Asia. Esteban works currently as the China Managing Director for Costa Coffee's 450+ portfolio in the country.

Nicholas Stone

Founder & CEO, Bluestone Lane

Nicholas “Nick” James Stone is a native of Melbourne Australia who moved to New York City in 2010.  He is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Bluestone Lane, an Australian-influenced lifestyle and hospitality brand based in New York, NY. Since opening its first location in July 2013, Bluestone Lane has become the fastest-growing premium coffee and café brand in New York City, having opened 27 locations and a flagship coffee roastery and production facility within its first 4.5 years of operations.



Brett Smith

President, Counter Culture Coffee

Brett Smith is the President of Counter Culture Coffee, which he co-founded in 1995. Since then, Counter Culture has become recognized in the industry for finding and bringing to market the most exciting, authentic, and delicious coffees in the world, for a dedication to real social, environmental, and fiscal sustainability, and for creating cutting-edge coffee people through industry-leading education.



Le Hoang Diep Thao

CEO, Trung Nguyen International

Known as the Coffee Queen of Vietnam, Le Hoang Diep Thao is the the keystone of Trung Nguyen coffee empire – the largest coffee corporation in Vietnam and highly-acclaimed national brand. Thao and Trung Nguyen brought Vietnamese coffee to the whole world, unlocking numerous business and job opportunities for millions of people. Le Hoang Diep Thao is  also the co-founder and co-owner of Trung Nguyen Group (TNG) – a proud national brand of Vietnam.


Jo Brett

US President, Pret A Manger

Jo Brett leads Pret A Manger's US operation. The “ready to eat” food & coffee concept was founded in London in 1983 and today offers freshly prepared food and organic coffee at over 500 locations worldwide. Jo has been an integral part of the growth of the global company for 21 years. She began her journey at Pret as an Assistant Manager in London and moved up the ranks to now lead the brand across the US with a vision to bring joy through food and coffee. 


Jenny Willits

CEO, Seven Miles Coffee Roasters

Jenny is the CEO of Seven Miles Specialty Coffee Roasters, one of Australia’s largest independent roasters. She is a passionate ambassador for the quality of their product, their breadth of offering and most importantly, how Seven Miles provides exceptional customer experience for all.Prior to joining Seven Miles last October, Jenny’s career had been in driving business growth through building brands most recently as Managing Director of communications agency J. Walter Thompson.


Chris Jordan

COO, Coffee Manufactory

Chris Jordan has worked in the coffee industry for over 20 years and is a recognised industry leader. Chris’ experience encompasses a range of business disciplines, including in-depth experience of sourcing, growing, roasting, quality and retail processes across multiple, diverse geographies. His impressive CV includes senior roles at Verve Coffee Roasters, Dormans Coffee, Technoserve, Coffee Initiative and Starbucks. He is currently COO of specialty coffee roaster and wholesaler, Coffee Manufactory,


Hoonshik Sung

Co-founder & Brand Director, Bean Brothers

Hoonshik Sung is the Brand Director and Co-Founder of Bean Brothers, highly successful 9-strong Korean speciality coffee shop and roaster that has recently expanded to Malaysia. Operating for 8 years, Bean Brothers' concept has been a key player in Korea’s vibrant and fast-growing speciality coffee market and offers a range of 50 coffees roasted in-house. Today they continue to play a key role in consumer education through a comprehensive range of coffee tasting sessions workshops and brewing classes. 


Zayde Naquib

Founder, Bar Nine

Zayde Naquib is the Founder of Bar Nine, a coffee roaster and café that has been serving Los Angeles and beyond since April 2014. Zayde has worked in the coffee industry for 10 years, switching careers from post-production in the film and video industry. Bar Nine is known for their café experience, and several ways they try to “do business better,” most notably with a Hospitality-Included model and with their commitment to sustainability through an all-glass takeaway program and use of solar power. 



Leonidas Trampoukis

Founder, LOT Architecture

Leonidas Trampoukis is the co-founder and principle of LOT – an award-winning architectural and design firm with offices in New York and in Greece focusing on applying strong design concepts with consciousness and pragmatism. Founded in 2012, LOT works on an array of projects ranging in scale and complexity from spatial installations to interior spaces and buildings of high capacity architecture.




Jeffrey Young

CEO & Founder, Allegra Group

Jeffrey Young founded Allegra Strategies and The Allegra Group in 1999 and holds a business degree in Finance and Economics and an MBA (with Distinction) from the University of Houston. He has worked within research and strategy consulting for nearly 20 years having managed an extensive range of ground-breaking research projects within the retail, leisure and consumer lifestyle sectors. Jeffrey is also co-author of The London and The New York Coffee Guides, Founder of The London Coffee Festival and Chairman of The Allegra Foundation.


Tickets for the Allegra CEO Forum, 2018 are now on sale – apply for a place here or contact Hannah Heath
hheath@allegra.co.uk for more information


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