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A.J. Singh (Ph.D.) --
Mary Greengo -- Queen Mary Tea
Mary C. Greengo is the founder and President of Queen Mary Inc. While growing up, she always enjoyed a cup of tea while baking in the comfort of the kitchen with her mom. Mary knew at a very young age that she wanted to be in charge and work for herself. A love of tea and a desire for independence created the blueprint for Queen Mary Inc. that encompasses the world famous Queen Mary Tea Room & Restaurant, a signature line of branded loose-leaf teas sold at her own retail store and a flourishing online business. Additionally Mary has developed a robust and burgeoning direct selling business through independent tea consultants that are sharing the Queen Mary brand all across the country.
Chris Villano -- serendipiTea
I am born and raised in New York. I received a business degree from Boston University and worked at several corporate hotels and restaurants while there. I then furthered my studies at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) where I received a degree in Culinary Arts. Thereafter, I became involved with several specialty food-related businesses and restaurants as an investor, chef, board member, and/or operator. In 2018, with over two decades of culinary, operating, management and ownership experience in the restaurant/food & beverage industry I moved into the role of majority partner at SerendipiTea with an eye on the future. Noting that the Specialty Tea and the Organic industries are rapidly expanding I, while remaining true to the company’s founding mission, am steering SerendipiTea toward expansion and wider growth as it nears its 25-year anniversary.
Kyle Stewart -- The Cultured Cup
Jhanne Jasmine -- Stash Tea
Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace --
Virginia is a physician, scientist, and award-winning educator, with a life-long fascination with the science behind our sensory perceptions. Through her research and teaching as faculty member in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University (one of the world’s premier institutions for research on nutrition and eating behavior), she gained an appreciation of tea as the quintessential example of a complex and delicious beverage. Now retired, she focuses on helping others understand and use the science of sensory perception to develop their appreciation of tea and tea-food pairing, through WTE workshops, through assistance with the organoleptic experience of tea for World Tea Academy, and through her blog, http://virginiaspairteas.blogspot.com.
Edward Morgan --
Edward is a 20-year veteran of the service industry working in smart casual and fine dining. He has spent the last 10 years of his career in the Hotel Industry at high-end well-being and pseudo eco-tourist destinations such as Travaasa Resort in Austin and Miraval Resorts in Arizona and Texas. Edward is a Certified Sommelier and has attended a number of STI certification courses which has served to satiate his passion for tea much as the Court of Master Sommeliers did for wine. “I am able to move between the tribes as Somms are fascinated with the genesis and complexity of tea. I personally see many similarities between tea and wine, especially Oolong.”
Currently, Edward is the Beverage Director for Miraval Resorts Austin and has created a brand standard across Hyatt Miraval for Coffee and Tea incorporating quality and provenance. His reasoning is to abide an offering that entices patrons to move unabashedly between the leaf and bean.
Edward also owns a small import company called “Leaf, Vine & Bean” through which he deals in microlots of high-quality coffee and small parcels of tea from China, Taiwan and Japan. As an educator, he teaches coffee, tea, wine and spirits classes while hosting social events both at Miraval Resorts Austin and locally in Texas.
Edward’s biggest concern in the industry, with respect to tea, is propaganda, throttled information and the lack of a unified quality standard. “This is where we are failing. There is very little confidence in what we do and the trust we have is on blind faith.”
Edward has an undergrad in communications and is currently working on his MBA in Austin.
“My passion lies in understanding relationships in nature and their impact on one another.”
“I am a student and teacher in kind.”
Eve Hill-Agnus --