Nominations for NCA Awards are due September 15 – learn more.
“This year’s Volunteer of the Year recipient was nominated because of his enthusiasm, his dedication, his willingness to step up and take on any task that needs doing,” said Bruce Goldsmith, Chairman of the NCA Board and President, Baronet Coffee, Inc., at the NCA 2015 Annual Convention in Charleston, S.C. on March 13, 2015.
Despite his legendary dedication, Ron Contaxis, vice president of sales, Wilbur Curtis Company, claims that he doesn’t deserve all the credit.
“It’s all about the people,” Contaxis told the NCA in an interview after officially receiving the 2015 NCA Volunteer of the Year Award at this year’s Annual Convention. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to the Wilbur Curtis Company — without them, nothing will get done.”
When Contaxis joined the NCA after 10 years in the industry, he was immediately struck by the “civility” and community he found among NCA members. He decided that he needed to get involved.
Now a 20-year NCA member, with 30 years in the coffee trade, he has more passion for coffee and the NCA than at any time in his career.
“There was something than more than just coffee,” he remembers. “It’s a really a special organization. People helping each other because of their love for coffee.”
Going forward, Contaxis strives to expand the NCA’s village. As a veteran of the NCA Board of Directors, he says that the organization has been “working on being inclusive [versus exclusive]. We’ve taken huge steps, and we’re not done yet.”
As the NCA continues to evolve, Contaxis remains a passionate advocate for “education, education, education.”
He says that more learning opportunities will benefit both NCA members and the coffee industry as a whole.
“In this business, we have wonderful opportunities to learn from each other,” he says. “The education [we’ve received through the NCA] has been invaluable.”
Interested in learning about new segments of the industry, taking a seat at the decision-makers’ table, and making new connections? To get involved as an NCA volunteer, please contact Matt Cariani, NCA, Manager, Member Value & Engagement, at MCariani@ncausa.org.