Cyndi Chirco - South Sales
My journey in coffee began nearly 20 years ago as a barista in a little coffee shop in Northwest New Jersey. All our coffees were roasted on-site and I immediately became enthralled in learning about the different origins and identifying their distinctions.
I spent several years as a barista and then many more as a cafe manager. Moving around the country, I always found my home in coffee wherever I went. I settled in Houston, TX and spent 10 years working for a wholesale roaster learning and soaking in as much as I could about all aspects of the industry, seed to cup and everything in between. To me, coffee is not only magic, but also a vehicle for connection, change and growth. I am fortunate to have met my husband in coffee and we share our home with favorite little guy, Bowie – our rescue dog. I am passionate about sharing my experience and love for coffee and always striving to expand my knowledge in an industry that is ever changing.
Jen Hurd - West Coast Sales
I’ve spent nearly 20 years in the coffee industry and continue to be hungry to learn more and teach others. I’ve spent years as a barista, retail manager, sales manager for a roaster, and as a consultant and trainer — and I’m committed to building community through coffee. One of the things I enjoy most is helping people navigate the coffee industry and being a part of their adventure.
I currently judge several competitions around the country and serve as an Executive Board member for the Oregon Coffee Board. I’m inspired by the industry’s passion, growth and the need to continue to evolve. In my spare time I love spending time with my husband and our three cats playing video games at our home in Portland.
Jay Vernaleken - East Coast Sales
Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, I developed a love of coffee early in life, when my father purchased a monthly coffee subscription as a gift for my mother at Christmas. She always shared the coffee with me and I was hooked!
My professional career began in beer sales, where I learned the nuances of draft systems and obtained my Micro-Matic Dispense Institute Certification. Gaining the understanding of how beer is crafted and the unique profile that can be created was life changing for me. This allowed an easy transition into coffee with an OCS distributor and then to a roaster as a Territory Sales Manager. They taught me everything about coffee and I quickly learned that the quality of the coffee is only as good as the coffee bean.
Now being able to bring others coffee and having them experience the different qualities and flavors coffee can offer makes my career fulfilling. I live with my wife and our cats, Barley and Hops, in North Jersey where you can find me measuring, weighing and brewing coffee every morning.