Education Committee

Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton edits STiR Tea & Coffee (www.stir-tea-coffee.com) and the weekly World Tea News (www.worldteanews.com). In 2015 he founded Tea Journey magazine, a digital consumer publication for tea enthusiasts (www.teajourney.pub). He is the former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine (www.teamag.com) and a former publisher of World Tea News, an online resource for the global tea community. Dan is a beverage retail consultant and a frequent speaker at tea and coffee conferences worldwide. His work has appeared in many beverage publications including Specialty Coffee Retailer, Cheers, Fresh Cup, CoffeeTalk and the SCAA Chronicle.

Since 1995 Dan has led six magazine ventures. His introduction to the food and beverage industry came as CEO of California Beverage Publications, publisher of Patterson's Beverage Journal and the Beverage Bulletin. Dan launched the Certified Organic Food Directory in 2003 and Natural Food magazine in May 2005. In 2007 Dan joined M2Media360 as Natural Food Network's editor-in-chief. The following year he was also named editor-in-chief of Specialty Coffee Retailer. He is the former publisher of LA411, NY411, Animation Magazine and the founding editor of Below the Line, a Hollywood magazine for film and video production crew. Dan was a newspaper reporter and editor in California for 20 years prior to the start of his magazine career. He has four grown children and resides in Winnipeg, Canada with his wife, Susan. www.linkedin.com/in/MysticMedia

John Chaffey

John came into the coffee and tea trade in 1985, mentored by Jim and Bill Scandrett at venerable trading firm Hayter and Scandrett. Since joining Metropolitan Tea Company in 1992, he has provided guidance to young entrepreneurs in growing their business. His background in working with origin producers and connecting with international buyers provides a broad market view, whether dealing with small retailers or multinationals. Currently operating in over 50 countries, John keeps busy looking to cultivate clients and educate them with fresh ideas and new tea items to support the expanding trade.

Metropolitan Tea Company was honored with the Toronto Board of Trade Sustainability Award, as a result of its efforts to become a carbon negative company. Also, they were most recently the recipient of the Gold Medal Environmental Sustainability Award for Best Environmental Initiative at the 2016 North American Tea Conference in Niagara Falls.

John Cullicott

President & COO of Walters Bay: John has over 16 years of experience in the tea industry. As the President and COO of Walters Bay, he is part of the Walters Bay team that pioneered the grower-direct business model which focuses on sustainability, traceability, and transparency. His operational experience covers the full supply chain from tea nurseries and tea gardens to tea processing factories and packaging. John was also part of the development team that created category winners at the North American Tea Championship for 12 years in a row. He has attended and been a featured speaker at international conferences and trade shows on tea and helped develop some of the first STI courses on tea growing and processing.

Brian Keating

Brian is the founder of the Sage Group®,a business publisher, think-tank and consultancy focused upon the specialty tea and natural products industries. Brian was the first tea blend master and tea buyer for Whole Foods Market, the world's largest natural foods retailer and he has been a top-rated speaker at the annual World Tea Expo. He is widely quoted; his insights have been showcased in articles in both consumer and business publications, including Newsweek, The Economist, and Nutrition Business Journal. He also has unique hands-on experience at the retail level, having owned one of North America's premier tea shops/caf├ęs for many years, and has pioneered numerous retail and foodservice merchandising, marketing, and training methodologies. In addition to producing many specialty tea beverages, Brian was a recognized leader as the energy-tea category emerged during the 1980- 90's, from the development of new flavor/active ingredient combinations to unique extensions of traditional marketing concepts.

Elyse Petersen

Elyse Petersen is the CEO of Tealet, a wholesale marketplace for direct tea trade. The company promotes a mission of environmental and social sustainability by focusing on the marketing of fine quality tea. Tealet is the tea supplier for Lucky Dragon and other hospitality professionals in learning about tea, terroir, and transparent sourcing. Petersen has a B.S. in Food Science and Technology and a Japanese-focused MBA from the University of Hawaii. She spent the early part of her career as a Food Safety Manager and Quality Assurance Supervisor in several different food industries where she was responsible for FDA and USDA compliance.

Rob McCaleb

Rob McCaleb is the founder and president of the Herb Research Foundation, a researcher, writer and educator and a leading proponent of natural health care with botanical and nutritional products. He was Research Director at Celestial Seasonings for 13 years, building their analytical lab and quality programs, including the first ever professional flavor profiling and control program for herbal products. He helped develop many of their herbal tea products, built their botanical research library, and conducted global quality troubleshooting of the herbal supply chain. Currently, he works with companies to assist them in formulating, labeling and marketing natural and organic foods, especially tea products, dietary supplements, and functional foods.

Educated in Cellular Biology and Botany at the University of Texas and University of Colorado, he was a PhD candidate in Ethnobotany (ABD) at Union Institute. He is author of The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs, Best Herbs for Healing and was co-founder and technical editor of HerbalGram. McCaleb headed the Technical Committee of the American Herbal Products Association and was one of only two botanical scientists on the presidentially-appointed Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels created under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which studied global regulation of natural health products.

McCaleb has worked for over 30 years in sustainable herb growing and harvesting operations and marketing ventures throughout Africa, in Asia, Central and South America, Eastern Europe and Russia.

Thomas Shu

Thomas Shu is a third generation tea specialist, and has worked extensively in every aspect of the tea industry, handling the raw leaves starting from the plantation to the manufacturer, and then to the presentation to the end consumer.

He is the founder of JT&Tea, and one of the founding members of American Premium Tea Institute (now STI, Special Tea Institute). Through his extensive broadcast of Taiwan tea processing, culture, and lore, Thomas has been honored as the Ambassador of Taiwan Tea, by the Taiwan Tea Manufacturer's Association. He has coined several terms in the tea industry, and has set the standards of quality on a global scale. He designed the "Tea-One Tasting" methodology to help consumers appreciate and love the etiquette, traditions, and the romance of tea. Mr. Shu is also the originator of the TOST program (Taiwan Oolong Study Tour), which he and Josephine Pan lead, and teach, groups of tea professionals on what has be touted as one of the most successful tea origins, and tea education training programs. In addition, Thomas has collaborated, with Dr. Jerry Liu and the Taiwan Tea Institute (TTI), to develop educational programs, which define theories and principles of tea practices and consumer experiences, to aid tea professionals in understanding different aspects of production and consumption of tea, which include standardized cupping practices, and grading system for the Oolong Sommelier.