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Brazil Senate pushes forward with probe of Bolsonaro’s Covid-19 response – World News

Brazil’s Senate on Tuesday launched a probe into President Jair Bolsonaro‘s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The congressional investigation, known by its Portuguese acronym as a CPI, can result in a number of actions, including the referral of possible wrongdoing to law enforcement. In practice, the inquiry is a political headache for Bolsonaro, who is already facing record disapproval amid Brazil’s worst coronavirus wave.

Senate leader Rodrigo Pacheco said on Tuesday that a congressional inquiry into the federal response to the pandemic would be combined with a probe into how federal resources were distributed to states. Some Bolsonaro-aligned lawmakers had pushed for an inquiry to probe how states and municipalities have handled the pandemic, though Pacheco argued such a move could infringe on the jurisdiction of state assemblies.

The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Brazil’s medical system to the limit in many parts of the country, partly due to the so-called P1 variant, which many medical experts believe is particularly infectious and deadly.

Some 3,808 Brazilians died of Covid-19 on Tuesday alone, according to Health Ministry data, bringing the total death toll to over 358,000, the second highest in the world behind the United States.

Moreover, victims are getting younger with over 50% of intensive care beds occupied by patients under 40 years old, according to a study published over the weekend by the Brazilian Association of Intensive Medicine.

Bolsonaro has drawn widespread criticism for his approach to the coronavirus, which he has described as a “little flu.” He has repeatedly ignored calls of health experts to wear masks and railed against the use of lockdown measures.

Angered by attempts to have him investigated, Bolsonaro has blasted lawmakers. A Supreme Court judge ruled last week that enough senators had backed an inquiry into the government’s pandemic response to launch the probe despite stalling by Senate leadership.

Lanzarote International Regatta – 49er and FX classes split to gold and silver fleets – Sailweb

First day of the Final Series for the 49er and 49erFX fleets, who are split into Gold and Silver fleets. The Nacra 17 class continue as one fleet.

Now that the final series phase of the Lanzarote International Regatta has started the object is to stay in the top 10, who will compete in the Medal races on Friday.

Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago Lopez dominate the 49er event, with another best of the day scoreline – 1,2,1 – to take a 13 point lead after 12 races.

Norway’s Jonas Warrer and Jakob Jensen (8,3,3)  are in second place with Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove of Ireland in third place after another good day, spoilt by another UFD.

All four British 49er entries made the cut and are in the gold fleet, with Chris Taylor and Rhos Hawes (7,20,13) in fourth place and four points ahead of Olympic Team GB sailors Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell (19,7,6) in fifth place.

In the women’s 49erFX, Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (8,1,5) extend their lead to 16 points.

Moving from fifth to second place are the Kiwi pair, Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meach (6,2,8) with Ida Nielsen and Maria Thursgaard (2,16,1) of Denmark up into third pl;ace, tied on 39 points with the American pair, Stephanie Roble and Margaret Shea (9,18,3).

While Britain’s Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (3,10,22) gain a place to 14th overall and are 14 points off the medal race.

In the Nacra 17 multihull fleet, Spain’s Tara Pacheco and Florian Trittel 1,1,2) stretch their lead to 11 points after 12 races.

Germany’s Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer (4,7,1) are second and Quentin Delapierre and Manon Audinet (16,6,9) of France are in third place.

49erFX Women – International Regatta – Gold Leaders after 12 races, 1 discard (46 entries)

1st BRA12 MARTINE GRAEL and KAHENA KUNZE – – 8 1 5 – – 39 pts
2nd NZL16 ALEXANDRA MALONEY and MOLLY MEECH – – 6 2 8 – – 55 pts
3rd DEN11 IDA M.BAAD NIELSEN and MARIE THUSGAARD – – 2 16 1 – – 59 pts
4th USA3 STEPHANIE ROBLE and MARGARET SHEA – – 9 18 3 – – 59 pts
5th NED8 ANNEMIEK BEKKERING and ANNETTE DUETZ – – 11 5 18 – – 64 pts
6th BEL240 ISAURA MAENHAUT and ANOUK GEURTS – – 10 12 12 – – 78 pts
7th CRO112 ENIA NINCEVIC and MIHAELA ZJENA – – 18 3 17 – – 80 pts
8th NOR26 HELENE NÆSS and MARIE RØNNINGEN – – 24 9 21 – – 81 pts
9th ESP1 TAMARA ECHEGOYEN and PAULA BARCELÓ – – 12 13 10 – – 83 pts
10th GER29 TINA LUTZ and SUSANN BEUCKE – – 4 7 7 – – 87 pts

49er Men – International Regatta – Gold Leaders after 12 races, 1 discard (42 entries)

1st ESP97 DIEGO BOTÍN LE CHEVER and IAGO LÓPEZ MARRA – – 1 2 1 – – 22 pts
2nd DEN7 JONAS WARRER and JAKOB PRECHT JENSEN – – 8 3 3 – – 35 pts
3rd IRL99 ROBERT DICKSON and SEAN WADDILOVE – – 3 1 ufd – – 58 pts
4th GBR284 CHRIS TAYLOR and RHOS HAWES – – 7 20 13 – – 60 pts
5th GBR8 DYLAN FLETCHER and STU BITHELL – – 19 7 6 – – 64 pts
6th NED49 BART LAMBRIEX and PIM VAN VUGT – – 5 6 9 – – 73 pts
7th AUT29 BENJAMIN BILDSTEIN and DAVID HUSSL – – 14 8 8 – – 80 pts
8th CRO83 SIME FANTELA and MIHOVIL FANTELA – – 6 21 ufd – – 81 pts
9th SUI77 SEBASTIEN SCHNEITER and LUCIEN CUJEAN – – 2 13 20 – – 93 pts
10th IRL11 RYAN SEATON and SEAFRA GUILFOYLE – – 13 11 14 – – 94 pts

Nacra 17 Mixed – International Regatta – Leaders after 12 races, 1 discard (20 entries)

1st ESP28 TARA PACHECO and FLORIAN TRITTEL – – 1 1 2 – – 30 pts
2nd GER77 PAUL KOHLHOFF and ALICA STUHLEMMER – – 4 7 1 – – 41 pts
3rd FRA56 QUEN.DELAPIERRE and MANON AUDINET – – 19 6 9 – – 57 pts
4th SWE44 JÄRUDD EMIL and JONSSON CECILIA – – 9 5 7 – – 58 pts
5th FIN27 SINEM KURTBAY and JANNE JARVINE – – 2 3 6 – – 71 pts
6th FRA51 TIM MOURNIAC and NOA ANCIAN – – 7 11 3 – – 79 pts
7th DEN71 LIN CENHOLT and CP LUBECK – – 3 4 4 – – 94 pts
8th NOR41 N.FADLER MARTINSEN and M.STELLER MORTENSEN – – 6 9 10 – – 96 pts
9th JPN459 SHIBUKI IITSUKA and ERI HATAYAMA – – 12 8 14 – – 98 pts
10th SWE436 IDA SVENSSON and MARCUS DACKHAMMAR – – 5 2 5 – – 99 pts

Chronicle of a storm foretold – the 2021 Portuguese presidential election

At the peak of the pandemic, with Portugal recording the worst numbers of new cases and daily deaths in the world for a fortnight, the Portuguese were called upon to elect the President of the Republic. Unsurprisingly, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the incumbent president of the centre-right, was re-elected with 60% of the votes and the turn out registered a (perhaps higher than expected) decrease (39.2%). After an atypical campaign the far-right candidate, with almost half a million votes (11.9%), failed to reach the goal of ranking second, just overtaken by Ana Gomes, member of the Socialist Party (PS) and former MEP, who ran without the support of her own party, obtaining 13% of the votes. João Ferreira and Marisa Matias, both MEPs representing the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Bloco de Esquerda (BE) respectively, achieved poor results of around 4%.

The re-election of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the Portuguese political centre

After five years as president, in a mandate characterised by a smooth relationship with the government formed by the Socialist Party with parliamentary agreement of the BE and the PCP, Rebelo de Sousa presented himself in these elections as “a one-man candidacy”, trying to distance himself from any party support. Coming from the centre-right party, PSD, of which he is former president, minister and MP, he had not only the official support of his party, but also of the conservative right-wing party (CDS) and the veiled support of the Socialists whose government has had, since its election in 2019, the abetment of Rebelo de Sousa. Although on the election night Rebelo de Sousa presented himself alone in the traditional declaration of victory, the presidents of all the three parties were quick to welcome his re-election, in an obvious attempt to claim for themselves and for the political centre a supposed role in this victory. However, a survey carried out at the exit poll showed that Rebelo de Sousa, who became known by the “president of affections” for his sympathy with the people in distress throughout his past term, managed to reap approval across the political spectrum.
In the particular context of this election, marked by the debut of a far-right candidate, the reading of the expressive vote for Rebelo de Sousa as a reinforcement of the political centre may be fraught with a certain degree of myopia. On the one hand, the weak and erratic leadership of the centre-right party tends to promote the radicalisation of its vote. It is important to point out that: at the end of last year, for the constitution of the regional government of the Azores, PSD signed a parliamentary agreement with the far-right party Chega! (Enough!), raising it not only to the status of a political interlocutor, but even to an ally. On the other hand, the temptation to rescue an increasingly orphaned centre-right party prevented the Socialist Party to support a candidate from its political area, which, in practice, resulted in its resignation from assuming any role in the barrage to the rise of the far-right something that could only make the party’s founders, who fought so hard against Salazar’s dictatorship, blush with shame.

The vote on the leader of the far-right and the political reconfiguration of the Portuguese right

The second winner of the evening, although failing to achieve all the goals set throughout the campaign, was the messianic leader of the newly created far-right party, André Ventura. Elected in the 2019 parliamentary elections with almost 68,000 votes (1.3%), Ventura received almost half a million votes (11.9%) in this presidential election. Taking on a truculent, bullyish and rude tone throughout the campaign, in a homemade version of Trump and Bolsonaro that could count on the support of Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini, Ventura focused on the attack against his left-wing opponents and against the weakest in society (whom he classified as “allowance-dependents living at the expense of the people who work”, with a special focus on the Portuguese Roma communities). The exploitation of resentment, labelled by Jacques Rancière in a recent opinion article as “la passion de l’inégalité [“the passion of inequality”] which allows, rich and poor, to find a crowd of inferiors over whom they must, at all costs, maintain their superiority”[1] , is perhaps the key to the success of Ventura’s narrative, in a country that has barely emerged from a deep social and economic crisis and is already on the verge of plunging into a new one, and where Romanophobia has reigned for centuries. Stating that, if elected, he would be the president of the “Portuguese of good will”, Ventura further assumed the aim to impose a new constitution, the basis of a Portuguese IV Republic in line with the narrative of the anti-establishment party.
The expressive vote in Ventura may be translated into a very significant increase of the Chega! party in future parliamentary elections. According to practically all recent polls, Venturas party is competing for the third political force with the BE. Such an outcome would represent a serious problem for the traditional right parties, as it is from them that Chega! would get the overwhelming majority of its electoral base. It must be noted that Ventura was once a PSD member and, by the hand of its former leader and Prime Minister during the Troika years, Pedro Passos Coelho, was elected city councillor in a municipality in the Lisbon region his test balloon of an anti-Roma discourse. Also, the party’s number two and its ideologue, Diogo Pacheco de Amorim, was a member of a far-right bomber network[2] active during the revolutionary period and, later, a member of CDS. After the 1974 Revolution, the far-right didn’t just vanish as if by magic. Fearful, ashamed or timid, the far-right lacked, above all, a consistent political project, today represented by the Chega! In one word, the new far-right will host the old one. Since the arrival of the Chega!, CDS has been falling sharply in polls, being currently reduced to 0.8% of voting intentions (against the 4.2% it obtained in the 2019 national elections). Moreover, knowing that the dispute for its largest share of electorate takes place within the traditional right, Ventura on the night of the presidential elections was very clear when he said: “PSD, listen, you will only be in government with the support of the Chega!” An appeal for an alliance with PSD at national level, with some allure to its most radical electorate.
Ventura harvested his most important results in rural areas, including Alentejo, a traditionally communist region. The temptation of pundits and political analysts to refer a communist vote transfer to the far-right candidate is huge but, for the time being, lacks any scientific support. Indeed, the correlation[3] between the results of the communist party in the legislative elections of 2015 and 2019 and the result of Ventura in this presidential election in the Alentejo region shows that André Ventura has worse results where the communist party is stronger.

The left candidates

In the aftermath of the election night, Marisa Matias, who scored 3.9% (less than the half of her score in 2016), took the defeat without any subterfuge. Calling for solidarity and the affirmation of democracy as insurmountable milestones, Matias ended the campaign when none of the left candidacies had reason to celebrate. Although symbolically important, the second place of Gomes (PS) was neither expressive nor brilliant, reaching 12.9% 10 percentage points less than the counterpart candidacy in 2016. On the side of PCP, João Ferreira gathered 4.3% of the votes, with the rhetorical consolation of overcoming the previous candidacy, but with the evidence that his notoriety and his place in the party are not comparable to those of the previous candidate. Currently, Ferreira is one of the most prominent figures in PCP and will likely be the general secretary in the near future.
PCP’s and the BE’s candidacies stood for election under very different circumstances. PCP was facing its first election after enabling a controversial state budget, granting minimum stability to the current Socialist government. On the other hand, BE had taken the opposing stance, considering that the government’s budget did not meet minimal conditions for its approval, on the grounds of being conservative and insufficient to face the pandemic situation. Somehow, the guidelines for each candidacy reflected these differences: João Ferreira presented himself with a state stance, insisting on the defence of the constitution as the fundamental law and the visible heritage of the Carnation Revolution; Marisa Matias waving the flags of the National Health System, the forgotten precariat and the feminist, antiracist and lgbtq+ causes. Both candidates come out defeated, with different causes and repercussions.

The strategic withdrawal of the Socialist Party

The PS in government did not present an own candidate. Faced with the announced victory of the incumbent president, hitchhiking from a mandate made out of complicity and very rare dissonance, the Prime Minister took refuge in a biased neutrality, implicating his party in its entirety. Ana Gomes, with a strong public commitment to fight corruption, managed her candidacy without the official presence of her party. She polarised the vote with the far-right and mobilised a substantial proportion of progressive left and centre-left voters in order to win second place. Although her result represents a tangential victory over her opponent’s reactionary populism, she had limited success in winning votes from the left. Even one of the most mobilising moments of the campaign, prompted by Ventura’s sexist commentary on Marisa Matias’ red lipstick in one of his speeches, might have reverted to Ana Gomes. The solidarity wave of Vermelho em Belém (Red in Belém, Belém being the presidential palace), which invaded the media and surpassed borders, ended up highlighting the urgency in repudiating reactionary sexism at the polls, channeling the vote to those who appeared as the most capable of dethroning it. By not achieving a significant result, Gomes and the left of PS leave the party alone in the race for the centre, before the growing seduction of the centre-right by the electoral performances of the far-right.

The discrete defeat of the João Ferreira

João Ferreira (PCP) stood for election as one of the most likely personalities to lead the Communist party’s destiny in the near future. It is inevitable to think of an exercise in public legitimisation of the political figure of Ferreira, always well prepared, with a sober and objective campaign focused on the institutional exaltation and safeguard of the constitution. The competence of his performance does not, however, conceal the fragility of his proposal, which neither confronted nor called into question the political and social guidelines of the government. The Communist candidacy, despite constituting a fundamental political space, by placing the fundamental law at the centre of its discourse, becomes limited to a political minimum. The Communist candidate addressed, almost exclusively, his party hosts.

Dribbling around adversities with Marisa Matias

The historic result in the 2016 presidential, in which Matias ranked third with 10% of the votes, makes the 2021 results harder to accept. The scant 3.9% of votes underscore the difficulty of left mobilisation in this campaign: three candidacies running for the same electorate, narrowed by the Socialist Party’s leaning towards the reappointment of the current president. In the midst of the pandemic, Matias was prevented from taking the space where she is strongest: the street, the direct contact with people, the fulfilment of proposals made and supported directly by the actors concerned. Campaigning actions with health professionals, informal caregivers, workers struggling for their jobs, important milestones in the affirmation of left policies were assuaged and stifled by the pandemic context.
With emphasis on strengthening the public health system, targeting the forgotten of the pandemic and voicing the growing precariousness, the campaign stressed the importance of a left-wing alternative that does not exhaust in this election.

A storm foretold… and beyond

In the struggle against the far-right it is very hard to avoid the trap of “expansion through struggle”: the more infamous the proposal and the more strident the blunder, the more reactive is the tendency of those who have not resigned, leading indignation to spread the message and multiple the impact. In the aftermath of the Trump era and with social networks as stage, politics is experiencing a vicious circle: struggling ends up favouring the phenomenon fought. The far-right political agenda is becoming increasingly normalised, with the instrumental help of the traditional right’s greed for power, always tempted by coalitions and alliances which have proven suicidal in several parts of the world. In this regard, this Portuguese election is a perfect example.
The confirmation of the success of the far-right leader in Portugal replicates the profile of the sensationalist and unscrupulous television pundit turned into the leading actor in a dangerous plot. The collective and spontaneous reaction to the insult of the “red-lipped candidate” became a magnifying factor of Marisa Matias’ campaign, with painted lips invading public space with the concise force of a hashtag: #VermelhoEmBelém (#RedInBelém). At the end of the day, though we cannot know to which extent this might have strengthen the far-right candidate, we take for granted that this is surely a fragile harbour in face of the foretold storm.
With an uncertain future ahead, the path to be taken by the Socialist government, decisively placed at the political centre through this election, remains to be determined. With the old traditional right magnetised by the electoral fanaticism of the new far-right, with a Communist party attached to the stability of the current government, the fear regarding the country’s course after the pandemic increases. The Socialists occupation of the centre will bring about the consolidation of the liberal hegemony, further facilitated by the rise of the far-right. Such a political situation will require a popular response as well as to work towards organising the struggle against the ordinary vultures of the crisis.

[1] In the original: “celle qui permet également aux riches et aux pauvres de se trouver une multitude d’inférieurs sur lesquels ils doivent à tout prix conserver leur supériorité.”
Jacques Rancière, “Les fous et les sages – reflexions sur l fin de la présidence de Trump” Analyse Opinion Critique, 15.1.2021.

[2] The Democratic Liberation Movement of Portugal (Movimento Democrático de Libertação de Portugal) was a far-right political organisation with connections to the Catholic Church, aiming at putting an end to the revolutionary process that lasted from the 25th April 1974 until the 25th November 1975. The organisation was eventually dissolved in 1976.

[3] From Pedro Magalhães, political scientist, Twitter account

Sargassum on the beach is one problem; disposing of it is another

Some of the sargassum collected from the Caribbean Sea and Quintana Roo beaches is ending up in clandestine dump sites, a practice that poses environmental risks.

The number of such places has increased due to the lack of official landfill sites, the newspaper Milenio reported.

The director of the Puerto Morelos branch of Zofemat, the federal office of maritime land zones, condemned the dumping of sargassum in unauthorized locations. “They can’t just dump it on any property … or beside the highway,” Gerardo Rosas said, referring to people who offer sargassum disposal services to authorities and beachfront businesses such as hotels and restaurants.

He added that Zofemat has also detected the disposal of the seaweed in mangrove areas. “That causes a direct impact on the ecosystem, on the wetlands,” Rosas said.

Using specially-designed sargassum-gathering vessels, the navy collects the seaweed from the Caribbean sea off the coast of Quintana Roo and deposits it at the end of each day in containers on docks, Milenio reported. Municipal authorities are then tasked with disposing of the seaweed on land. But they sometimes subcontract the job to people offering disposal services and they dump the sargassum in areas where it shouldn’t be discarded. Such sites don’t have geomembranes – synthetic liners – that prevent toxic liquids called leachates from seeping into the soil.

“Studies tell us that [sargassum] produces leachates [when it decomposes] and it has a high arsenic content,” said navy sargassum strategy coordinator Alejandro López Zenteno. “So how [sargassum] is managed at the time of disposal on land is very important to avoid damage to the water table.”

Managing the seaweed this sargassum season has been a challenge as huge amounts have washed up on Quintana Roo’s coastline. As a result, authorized landfill sites have been overwhelmed by the weed.

The Quintana Roo sargassum monitoring network’s latest map shows eight Quintana Roo beaches with excessive amounts of sargassum, 33 with abundant amounts and 13 with moderate coverage of the smelly brown seaweed. That’s a significant improvement compared to late May when 50 beaches were plagued by excessive amounts.

Two of the beaches that currently have excessive amounts and six of those with abundant quantities are located on the east coast of Cozumel, an island off the coast of Playa del Carmen. Local Zofemat director Marco Antonio Loeza Pacheco acknowledged that the quantity of sargassum that has reached Cozumel this year has exceeded expectations. Over three tonnes of the weed have been removed from beaches in recent days, he said Monday.

A truck was recently seen dumping sargassum on a Cozumel street, confirming that the improper disposal of the weed is not a problem limited to the Quintana Roo mainland. Loeza urged hotels and beach clubs to consult with authorities so that the sargassum they collect can be disposed of in a place where it won’t pose a risk to the environment.

With reports from Milenio and El Sol de México 

PREVIEWSworld’s New Releases for 5/25/22

UNNATURAL BLUE BLOOD #1 (OF 10) CVR A ANDOLFO (MR)
Every week, PREVIEWSworld announces which comics, graphic novels, toys and other pop-culture merchandise will arrive at your local comic shop. The products will be on sale in comic shops on the indicated date.

NOTE: This list of Premier Publisher titles is tentative and subject to change. Please check with your retailer for availability.

PREMIER PUBLISHERS

ITEM CODE DESCRIPTION PRICE
BOOM! STUDIOS
MAR220828 ALL NEW FIREFLY #4 CVR A FINDEN $4.99
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MAR220821 VAMPIRE SLAYER (BUFFY) #2 CVR A MONTES $4.99
DARK HORSE COMICS
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NOV218876 HELLBOY OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 SEED OF DESTRUCTIO $29.99
NOV218890 STRANGER THINGS TP VOL 01 OTHER SIDE (NEW PT $19.99
NOV218874 BLACK HAMMER TP VOL 01 SECRET ORIGINS (NEW P $17.99
DEC210388 ANDRZEJ SAPKOWSKIS THE WITCHER A GRAIN OF TRUTH HC $17.99
FEB210305 ART OF TROVER SAVES UNIVERSE HC $39.99
DEC210399 BPRD THE DEVIL YOU KNOW TP $29.99
MAR220347 BRITISH PARANORMAL SOCIETY TIME OUT OF MIND #2 $3.99
MAR220372 COLLECTOR UNIT 731 #2 $3.99
JAN220402 EC ARCHIVES VAULT OF HORROR TP VOL 02 $19.99
JAN220403 ELFQUEST STARGAZERS HUNT TP VOL 02 $17.99
MAR220342 HELLBOY & BPRD NIGHT OF THE CYCLOPS ONE-SHOT CVR A $3.99
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DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
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How entrepreneurs are bringing the ‘cool’ life to the heartland – KLC Journal

For heartland communities hoping to thrive, encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs can energize the local economy. Places such as Ord, Nebraska, have emerged as regional poster children for economic development. Peers such as Council Grove in Kansas are seeing green shoots of their own. But such shifts can be difficult to make, and there isn’t a tried and true formula that works everywhere. To figure out what works, communities have to develop their own combination of tactics and be willing to push until they find their version of success. 

With 15 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, visitors to Council Grove, such as Barbara Worley of Olathe and daughters Mila and Eloisa, might be forgiven if they expect to see a town tightly tethered to its past. In fact, entrepreneurship isn’t just encouraged in the Morris County seat, it’s being cultivated. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)

All Bob and Christy Alexander had in mind was renting studio space in downtown Council Grove to expand a side hustle that was burgeoning into a small art business.

Then, with Bob branching out from stained glass into metalworks, the couple started to think about buying one of the many vacant, dilapidated buildings along Main Street. So they borrowed some money and set sail with no business plan and absolutely no idea about how to run a business.

Fourteen years later, Alexander ArtWorks is still going strong. Some townspeople hail the Alexanders as pioneers who paved the way for a Main Street rebound, but Christy rejects the label.

“Pioneer indicates something that is intentional,” she says. “We were never trying to start a renaissance or anything like that.”

Whatever the origins, the Alexanders sparked a momentum that helped this Flint Hills community of approximately 2,100 residents write its own playbook for rural revitalization. At a time when the story being told about our nation’s smaller communities is typically one of decline, disinvestment and a lack of innovation, Council Grove shows how entrepreneurs can energize an economy for the better by making it easier for residents, particularly younger generations, to start up their own business, and supporting them once they do.

But if you want more entrepreneurs in your community, how exactly do you get them? Because there doesn’t seem to be an exact formula that works for every community, and the answer can seem a bit mysterious at first.

Barriers vary widely from community to community, as the Kansas Leadership Center, publisher of The Journal, learned during a recent Heartland Together listening tour about rural entrepreneurship through Kansas, Missouri Nebraska and Iowa. (The tour was part of a $150,000 grant to KLC from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This story was produced independently of the tour.)

In some places, tour facilitators learned, it can be hard for business owners to secure a downtown storefront because of decaying buildings and absentee landlords. In others, the challenge is getting workers who can secure a job with salary and benefits at the local manufacturing plant to see starting their own business as an attractive alternative. Natural disasters, changing demographics, conflict between established residents and community disruptors, and wariness about communities aiming too high can all complicate the equation.

However, by looking at communities such as Council Grove, and Ord, Nebraska – a similarly sized community that is being touted by its advocates as a regional example of rural resurgence – patterns emerge that show a community’s path to forging a more shared mindset about growth and entrepreneurship.

One is the importance of building upon a foundation of young talent and finding ways to support their ventures, through both financial programs and community loyalty. Caleb Pollard and his partners in Ord’s Scratchtown Brewing Co., one of a number of entrepreneurial ventures that have been popping up in the central Nebraska community of about 2,000 people, like to call it “positive transformation through fermentation.”

Other trends include a willingness to preserve what’s most essential about a community’s past by trying new things to help secure its future, whether that be by embracing immigrants or by nurturing entrepreneurism in schools.

But such shifts aren’t necessarily easy to make quickly. Downtown Alma, which is about 40 miles northeast of Council Grove in neighboring Wabaunsee County, is also showing signs of life. But community attitudes have tended to be more cautious about change than in Morris County.

Part of the reason is that Wabaunsee County is a county of small towns with strong individual identities and different regional loyalties scattered across multiple political jurisdictions. Collaboration on economic development there requires working across different perspectives in a way it doesn’t in a community where 40% of the county’s population is anchored in one place.

Because each town and region is distinctive, it’s important to be cautious about drawing overarching lessons, economic development experts say. One that rings clear, from Ord in particular, is that it takes a combination of tactics to achieve success. A focus on small businesses, for instance, doesn’t need to preclude targeted recruitment of large employers, and financing assistance for startups can be incredibly helpful.

Another takeaway is that the revitalization of a community feeds upon itself: A rebounding community is attractive to younger generations, who then become the risk-takers that fuel continued growth. Instilling school-age kids with entrepreneurial spirit is an important part of recruiting and retaining young leaders.

In the end, success breeds success. Nothing shuts up naysayers better than proving them wrong, entrepreneurs told The Journal. Which means that entrepreneurs and the communities they’re working in need to be able to hold steady through failures and learn from setbacks to ultimately secure wins and develop a winning formula that works for them.

No town is too small to make a comeback, says Christy Preston. She covers the western part of the state for NetWork Kansas, a nonprofit established by the state to provide fiscal and technical assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“When we work at it together, then everything is unstoppable,” Preston says. “You can do a lot of great things.”

One community’s path

Chart of Valley County statisticsRural decline is far from universal, with some researchers noting many thriving rural counties benefit from proximity to population centers, an influx of immigrants and popularity with retirees. But the overall trend favors cities and suburbs.

The latest census figures show that 86% of the U.S. population lives in a metro area. In examining 2020 census data, the Kansas Health Institute determined that approximately 60% of Kansans live in urban counties. Similar dynamics are at play in Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.

The hollowing out of some rural towns means more than just the loss of a Rockwellian way of life, says Don Macke, a Nebraska-based community economic development expert. Downtrodden communities filled with poor and unhealthy people rely heavily on government assistance financed by all taxpayers, he notes.

“It’s not like they go away and die,” Macke says. “They just become really expensive.”

Macke leads e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, which is part of NetWork Kansas.

It is his organization that identified Ord as a model for a rural rebound by nurturing entrepreneurism. It has a web page devoted to its extensive studies of Ord. But the community’s success is as rooted in theexercise of community leadership as it is in technical solutions that encourage entrepreneurs.

Over the past two-plus decades, leaders in Ord have persuaded voters to invest in themselves through a 1% sales tax for economic development, money that can provide “gap financing” for local small businesses in need of additional capital to get started. The first loan went to Valley Thunder Rods and Restoration, an auto body shop that specializes in antiques and classics, which remains in business under the ownership of Trent Proskocil and his brother. (NetWork Kansas provides similar financing through its E-Community program, which includes more than 60 communities around the state.)

To date, more than $6.2 million has been loaned to 68 local businesses throughout Valley County, leveraging over $19 million in development.

Community officials attracted some businesses, such as an ethanol plant that spawned a cluster of related industries, including Valley Transportation, a trucking company established to haul grain and byproducts. They also fought to keep important economic linchpins Ord already had. A successful push in the mid-1990s to save the community hospital, which operates now as the Valley County Health System, created an anchor for a health care cluster that is a leading creator of jobs in Ord’s region.

At the same time, there have also been investments in quality of life amenities. A nonprofit, the Valley Performing Arts Theater, was established and acquired the community’s iconic theater on the square to put on performing arts events. Such offerings, e2 indicates, are essential to the core formula for “rural community development success in today’s competitive location environment.”

Whatever the formula, the community is producing results that could be hard to refute.

Although Valley County experienced a 4.7% drop in population from the 2010 to 2020 census, it saw a small uptick in population during the pandemic-era population shifts of 2021. Several other indicators are pointing in the right direction. They include personal income, job growth and retail sales.

Between 1970 and 2016, personal income in Valley County grew from $120.9 million to $183.8 million in real dollars, a 52% increase, according to e2 research. That outpaces the 40% rate of growth Americans as a whole gained in median personal income according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve over roughly the same period.

The county also saw a slight gain in employment between 2000 and 2018, outstripping peer counties in Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota.

But the No. 1 metric, in Macke’s view, is population growth among people in their 30s and 40s – young families and the next generation of leaders. Between 2000 and 2010, according to e2, Valley County experienced a nearly 54% increase in residents between the ages of 30 to 34. The increase was nearly 10% in the 40-44 age bracket.

In the 2020 Census, the county’s working age population’s percentage dropped slightly, from 54.2% to 51.3% of the total population, although detailed figures on the exact demographic breakdown were not yet available.

Over the past 20 years, the area in and around Ord, Nebraska, located on the eastern edge of the scenic Sandhills in the middle of the state, has counted over $125 million of private and public investment, resulting in the creation of more than 100 businesses and 350 jobs. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)
Transformation through fermentation is the catchphrase at Scratchtown Brewing Co. in Ord, Nebraska. Caleb Pollard, a brewery founder and Ord’s former economic development director, has also been active in the town’s arts and culture scene. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)
Valley Thunder Rods and Restorations was the first beneficiary of Ord’s 1% sales tax for economic development when it landed a business loan. “It just seems like once things just finally started rolling, everybody was on board: ‘Let’s make Ord something great,’ and ‘Let’s try this;
let’s do this.’” says Trent Proskocil, a co-owner of the auto body shop. (Photos by Jeff Tuttle)
Preserving a way of life through growth

Macke’s point speaks to another argument Macke’s point speaks to another argument for rebuilding small towns.

It preserves a way of life that many Americans enjoy, offering a slower pace, less stress and closer community relationships than in a city.

Chart of Morris County statisticsThat desire to live in such an environment was often cited by the dozen small-business owners The Journal spoke to for this story, including group conversations with entrepreneurs in Council Grove and Alma.

The businesspeople in the two Kansas communities do everything from running craft breweries and coffee shops, to restoring old buildings for event spaces and stores, to doing custom screen printing and embroidery, and operating a specialty beef company.

Economic development officials supporting these business owners include Tracy Henry, executive director of the Greater Morris County Development Corp., and Jim MacGregor, director of economic development for Wabaunsee County. MacGregor succeeded Henry after she left Wabaunsee County for the Morris County position in late 2019.

In Council Grove, Jesse and Deidre Knight are among the owners of Riverbank Brewing, along with Lindsay Gant and others. Beth Watts owns Watts Coffee Co., which she operates out of space she rents in the Alexander ArtWorks building.

Riverbank Brewing opened in November 2021, and Watts opened her coffee shop in January 2019.

Jesse grew up in the nearby town of Alta Vista, and Deidre grew up in Salina. They both have farming backgrounds.

They lived in Kansas City for a while after graduating from Kansas State University, but they found themselves in Council Grove often. The thought of moving to Council Grove had an irresistible appeal.

“It was a way of life that we appreciate,” Jesse Knight says. “It’s not that Kansas City wasn’t fun. I think we knew that wasn’t where we wanted to be long term.”

It took more than three years, but last year, Lindsay Gant, left, and Deidre Knight, two of the co-owners of Riverbank Brewing in Council Grove, opened the doors and the taps to thirsty fans of craft beer. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)
Among the kegged brews that co-owner Jesse Knight (center) kept flowing this spring at Riverbank Brewing were Thrill Hills Kolsch, Yeah Girl! blonde, Waves wheat, All In pale ale, Lavender Magic oatmeal stout and Legends Never Die porter. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)
Kara Hemmy likely doesn’t know an ale from a lager. (Nor should she; she’s only 3!) But the daughter of Rick and Morgan Hemmy of Council Grove is old enough to appreciate that the patio at Riverbank Brewing is a window on good times. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)

Gant is originally from Dodge City and moved to Council Grove when she and her husband got married. Watts moved to the area in 2004 when her husband’s job brought them there.

“We are really creating a life we all want to have here. We want cool stores, cool coffee shops, (a) cool brewery, cool buildings, cool event spaces,” Gant says. “We are all choosing to be here, so we are creating a life … “

“To be proud of,” Deidre Knight interjected.

“Yeah,” Gant agreed.

Alma’s downtown entrepreneurs include 32-year-old Morgan Holloman, who owns the Antique Emporium of Alma and Mill Creek Mercantile, and Wrenn Pacheco, 40, who runs Pacheco Beef, which sells high-quality beef from the cattle she and her husband raise on their ranch. Dylan Barber, 51, is the owner of the Pep Club Locker, which provides school spirit wear and other products.

Chart of Wabaunsee County statisticsFor Pacheco, the quality of Flint Hills grass is a key reason she and her husband are in Wabaunsee County. But there is more to it than that.

“I believe in what this community has,” she says. “I believe that there is stuff and things for people to come and see and get to experience what we have here, and what we get to experience every day.”

But even in places where entrepreneurs appear to be flourishing, it’s not always clear how much the path is being cleared for people of different backgrounds to pursue their dreams. Most of the business owners interviewed by The Journal reflect the demographic makeup of their communities, which are overwhelmingly white. And while it’s perhaps unwise to underestimate the risk of starting a business just about anywhere, it’s not uncommon for business owners in these communities to have a clearer path to accessing resources or other income streams to help them out.

Changing a mindset

Could that change over time?

When Henry talks to high school freshmen about BYOB, she is not encouraging underage drinking. Instead, she tells them that the acronym means “be your own boss.”

She delights in planting these seeds of entrepreneurism. To her, that is the ultimate form of economic development.

Henry grew up in Cambridge, Kansas, a town of fewer than 100 people about 60 miles southeast of Wichita. When she finished high school, her parents got her some luggage and sent her on her way. Don’t live the rest of your life in Cambridge, they told her. Go out and find something better.

That’s the mindset Henry is trying to change when working with students in Morris County. The message is: A four-year college degree and relocation to a city is not the only road to success.

Perhaps, she says, that message will resonate with the student who spends evenings tinkering with a motorcycle, dirt bike or mower. Maybe that student opens a small-engine repair shop.

“They are not going to employ 30 people,” Henry says. “That’s OK. They are providing a good job and a decent living for their family. They are going to stay there. They are going to raise their kids; they are going to go through the school system.”

And who knows? Henry says, they may need to bring on a second person, and maybe a third.

“It’s not an overnight success,” she says. “To me, that is economic development. To me, economic development is growing your own.”

Beth Watts opened Watts Coffee Co. in Council Grove in 2019 in space she rents in the Alexander ArtWorks building. And if online reviews are an accurate indicator, her shop is one of the perks of local living. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)

When conflicts emerge

Yet change doesn’t always come easily, even in communities that appear to be headed in the right direction. In choosing whether to embrace entrepreneurship, communities have to wrestle with competing values, squaring a desire for growth and progress with a willingness to deal with conflict and loyalty to friends and family, history and past successes.

Silver Tongued Devil is a Belgian tripel, and it’s a big seller for Scratchtown Brewing when it comes out each fall. The success of the beer is one way Pollard and his partners get the last laugh on opponents who made life difficult as the business moved toward its opening in 2013.

The name of the beer comes from the nickname brewery opponents gave Pollard when they complained in an online forum.

Pollard, 42, is still unsure what generated the vitriol and false accusations – including that his wife was running a brothel at the brewery. Crazy as it might sound, he thinks some of it came from cat lovers who were outraged by a feral cat ordinance under consideration when one of the Scratchtown Brewing partners was on the city council.

“Some people thought it was funny in town. Some people thought it was horrific. Some people didn’t care,” Pollard says of the backlash. “But for us it was a nightmare. It was a three- year nightmare.”

Pollard’s experience is an extreme case, but it illustrates that naysayers and skeptics can be a huge hurdle in rebuilding a community through entrepreneurism, especially in a tight-knit small town where conflict can feel up close and personal.

In Council Grove, entrepreneurs have crossed swords with residents who prefer selling the town’s history.

“I think there is a kind of a group of people here who want us to walk around in period costumes from the 1800s and be gunslingers, because that is what they think draws people to town,” Watts says.

MacGregor has encountered similar resistance in Wabaunsee County.

The geography and history of Wabaunsee County might explain the lack of vision, says MacGregor, a Virginia native who fell in love with the Flint Hills when he did tours at Forts Leavenworth and Riley during his career as an Army officer. He and his family settled outside Alma a few years ago after MacGregor retired from the service.

The majority of the county’s population is rural, MacGregor notes, and the remaining 40% live in seven very small towns. Alma is the biggest with about 800 residents.

The county, MacGregor notes, is part of three state Senate districts and is split among seven school districts.

Alta Vista on the west identifies heavily with Morris County because its kids are part of the Council Grove school district, and MacGregor says Harveyville to the east sometimes feels more like it is part of Shawnee or Osage counties than part of Wabaunsee County.

And then, he says, there is a historical religious divide between the northern half of the county, settled by German Catholics, and the southern half, settled by German Lutherans.

Listening to MacGregor’s descriptions of Wabaunsee County, it’s easy to see how they could apply in other parts of the state.

Wabaunsee County, he says, “has never been a county that has spent a lot of energy or money investing in the future potential of growth. There is very much a sense in some places that what we have works, that this is a great place and we don’t want it to change.”

Evidence of that attitude, MacGregor says, was apparent three decades ago when the county rejected a power plant that ultimately located in Pottawatomie County.

You can also see it today, he says, in some natives who have never traveled outside the county and in the Alma residents who disagreed with incentivizing the development of 16 residential lots in town. The incentives were ultimately approved by the city council with support from the local school board and the county commissioners.

The population trends in Wabaunsee County are actually more positive in recent years than the ones in Morris County. Alma’s home county lost fewer people than Council Grove’s home county from 2010 to 2020, and recent estimates suggest that Wabaunsee County climbed up toward its 2010 population mark in 2021 while Morris County saw a slight dip.

These are good people, MacGregor says, they just come at these issues from a different perspective “on what works and what the future might look like based upon their past experiences.”

Pacheco and other business owners in downtown Alma have more prosaic concerns, such as how to draw more foot traffic into their stores. They’d also like to see owners of the empty downtown buildings take responsibility for making them look presentable.

If there are whispers in town that they are crazy to make a go of it in Alma, they pay them no mind.

“We are grinding,” Holloman says. “We are making it work.”

Morgan Holloman, owner of the Antique Emporium of Alma and Mill Creek Mercantile, knows that rural locales are often seen as too rocky for entrepreneurial endeavors to put down roots. But she finds motivation in negativity. “We are grinding,” she says. “We are making it work.” (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)

Keeping it going

Even when progress is achieved, it’s not without challenges. Sustaining success is a problem that can creep up, especially if communities aren’t prepared for it.

Pollard’s experience in Ord tells him that community leaders in Council Grove, Alma and elsewhere need to be aware of burnout. Pollard moved to Ord with his wife and children 14 years ago to become head of the Valley County Economic Development Board. Eventually he tired of public service. But after a little time away, he is re-energized about becoming more civically involved.

Such ebbs and flows are natural, Pollard says, and need to be managed rather than avoided.

“Waxing and waning is really natural,” he says.” Volunteers will come and go, leaders will come and go, and that’s OK. Re-engaging is OK. That is the one thing. It is a lifelong commitment, and your role can evolve in the community over time.”

Proskocil, the co-owner of the body shop in Ord, is a native. It was a nice place to grow up, he says, with enough stuff for kids to do.

And he is excited to see Ord growing and prospering. When they started, they were the last business that people passed on the way out of town. Now, Proskocil can count a handful of new businesses and a motel for neighbors.

He remembers the early days of the rebound when the community approved the sales tax.

“It just seems like once things just finally started rolling, everybody was on board: ‘Let’s make Ord something great,’ and ‘Let’s try this; let’s do this.’”

More than a decade ago, Bob Alexander and his wife branched out from stained glass into custom metal items, and along
the way acquired a former furniture store in downtown Council Grove. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)
The Hays House Restaurant and Tavern was opened in 1857 by Seth Hays, considered the founder of Council Grove. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)
Christy Alexander dismisses any efforts to label her and her husband, who opened Alexander ArtWorks in Council Grove in 2008, as trailblazers. (Photo by Jeff Tuttle)

Back in Council Grove, the business owners say success is ultimately the best way to prove yourself to the community.

“I take it personally when someone tells me I can’t do something, or I’m going to fail, or I’m doing it in a way that is stupid, not relevant, whatever they want to call it,” Jesse Knight says. “So you become numb to it after a while, and you just succeed, right? You build it, and pretty soon they are in here, and they are saying, ‘Oh wow, this is great.’”

Watts takes the approach of killing cynics with kindness, like she did with a curmudgeon who drives a senior bus in town.

Watts worked with the man when she was employed as a social worker at a nursing home. He was one of the people who told her she couldn’t succeed because others had failed in trying to open a coffee shop downtown, and there was no way he was going to pay coffeehouse prices.

When she would encounter him in town, she would continue to give him a cheery hello. And now, he is in the shop every Friday and Saturday buying her cinnamon rolls. He calls to make sure she holds them back for him.

And then, one day, he came in complaining about the way they were making the coffee at the gas station. You know, Watts said, you can get a cup of coffee here. He still wavered when she said, no, she didn’t carry Folgers. But when she told him how much it would cost, his reaction suggested it was not as expensive as he thought it would be.

Watts says she was going to offer him a free cup of coffee the next time he came in, maybe to get him hooked.

But starting a business can also be rewarding for entrepreneurs themselves even as they serve others, as indicated by Christy Alexander’s explanation for why the couple dove into Alexander ArtWorks.

“The reality is that my husband and I have both lost a lot of really important people in our lives,” she says, “and in the process of doing that, we realized you only live once, and we did not want to be sitting on our front porch when we are 80 with a million regrets. We were going to do everything we knew how to do to be happy.”

It’s through entrepreneurship that everyday people like the Alexanders get to live out such dreams. The question facing many communities such as Council Grove is how exactly they can welcome and encourage more innovators with the drive and skill not only to tap new markets but build sustainability and dynamism into their surroundings.

It’s certainly not an easy challenge to tackle. But it’s one that looms increasingly large as smaller communities look to secure their futures.

A version of this article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of The Journal, a publication of the Kansas Leadership Center. To learn more about KLC, visit http://kansasleadershipcenter.org. Order your copy of the magazine at the KLC Store or subscribe to the print edition.

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Stefan Richard – His Journey from the Ring to TV Host

By Danielle Vienneau

Photo credit: Roger Boyer

Stefan Richard, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation, has built his career in the media and entertainment industry, first as a professional wrestler, then a seasoned podcaster and now in radio broadcasting as the current morning show host for Now Country 104.7, a local Winnipeg radio station. He has also recently started work as the host of a TV series centered on learning different Indigenous cultures and languages. The series will air on APTN Lumi (APTN’s streaming service) later this summer.

I’ll never forget the first time I met Stefan. He was quiet and had a somewhat intimidating demeanour about him—I wondered if he was in the right place. You see, we met at a youth leadership conference over a decade ago; he was a youth delegate and I was the youth leadership program manager. The conference brought such a diverse group of young people together from all across Canada, youth who wanted to see positive change in the world and have a hand in creating that change through youth-led initiatives. Stefan was there for the same reason. When he smiled, the intimidation melted away, and I was surprised by his lighthearted temperament and sense of humour. He brought a unique perspective to the group as a First Nations youth from Winnipeg, and I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know him.

Fast forward 13+ years and our paths cross again, both of our lives looking much different now than they did when we first met. In my recent interview with Stefan, we reminisced about our younger days and talked about his time as a pro-wrestler and all the places he travelled to across Canada, the United States and Japan. What I learned was that, soon after I met Stefan, he began his struggle with addiction. A five-year struggle that nearly took his life. He’s been clean now for almost a decade, and although it was a challenging time in his life, he’s moved on. A father of two now, Stefan chooses to focus on the positives in his life and has set some lofty career goals.

So how does one go from being a pro-wrestler to broadcasting and then becoming a TV host? Well, it turns out Stefan was quite the showman and often played the villain role in his wrestling matches. He compared the appeal of pro-wrestling to that of watching a play or going to see a stand-up comedy show. “It’s a form of acting and entertainment with a little something for everyone,” he said. “There are ups and downs. There are tag-team matches, matches with dudes flying off the ropes, and then some are more care-free and comedic.” And like a good movie, almost every professional wrestling match has an antagonist and protagonist, and all the anticipated drama one could expect, especially when a championship belt is on the line.

“The one thing I was really good at with pro wrestling is the entertainment part, the talking and the interviews. Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold and The Rock are notorious for being good talkers. So I figured I could build on that in other areas of my life, because I knew I had that gift. I knew that there were certain fields that it would apply to really well—one of those being podcasting. So I started the Ever Sick podcast and I interviewed as many people as possible, like comedians, musicians, athletes, business people and sports executives.” Stefan interviewed everyone he could to see if he was cut out for broadcasting. It paid off because others started to notice his work, which led to hosting the Digital Drum podcast on APTN where he had the opportunity to interview artists from all over Turtle Island.

Photo credit: Blair Pacheco

Over the years, Stefan has interviewed many incredible people, but the two most memorable thus far are 1975 Stanley Cup winner Reggie Leach of the Philadelphia Flyers and rapper Drezus. “We were in this little makeshift studio at like 10 a.m. on a Monday morning, and there’s a Stanley Cup winner just sitting in the same room with me and we’re just shootin’ the breeze. And I’m like, ‘What is even going on? How did this happen?’” Stefan’s interview with Drezus was a pivotal moment in his career. “We got super personal and really connected on a different level. We talked about growing up with single moms and not being connected to our culture, and just really deep stuff that caught a lot of people’s eyes and ears.”

A natural transition from podcasting turned out to be radio broadcasting. Stefan was recruited to work at Native
Communications Inc. (NCI) radio station as the afternoon radio show host, which eventually led him to his solo gig as the morning show host, for Now Country 104.7. Stefan’s path into media and broadcasting was certainly not a linear one—he never imagined he would be where he is today. When asked what advice he has for young people interested in getting into broadcasting, he shared, “The thing I say, especially to Indigenous youth who ask me about getting into media, is to do it! Because the time is right now for us to tell our own stories, instead of having our stories told for us. Our stories are often told from a damaged narrative, but they don’t have to be. Focus on the story, the people and the great things being done in community. There is power in telling your own story.”

One of Stefan’s proudest moments in his career is co-hosting the Manitoba Country Music Awards (MCMA) with musician Don Amero last November. “Historically, country music has not exactly been left-wing—the 2021 event was the first time there has ever been two Indigenous hosts hosting the awards together. Don wore a big Winnipeg Jets Jersey that had the number 215 on it, and my beadwork and my Every Child Matters bracelet. It was a very proud moment for me.”

Stefan (center left) with the Canadian country music band The Wilkinsons.

So what’s next for Stefan? He plans to shoot for the stars, optimistic his experience as a radio personality, and a writer and host of the upcoming show on APTN Lumi will open more doors for him in media and television. At just 34 years old, he’s got a book deal in the pipeline and has a goal of one day being on the New York Times bestseller list. Stefan also looks forward to hosting more award shows. “I like to say the Manitoba Country Music Awards was my warm-up for the Oscars. So I’ve put that out in the universe and I’m hoping it comes true.”

“My journey has been very nonlinear. There was wrestling and then I had to overcome addiction and get my son back. Then I had to find something to fill the wrestling gap, and it ended up being podcasting and radio broadcasting,” said Stefan. “I’ve controlled none of it, but this is what I want to do. It’s all come naturally, like one after another, and that’s the only reason I say things like hosting the Oscars and being on the bestseller list. It’s because I feel like things have come so far that I can say something like that now and it has the potential to come true.”

After a seven-year hiatus, Stefan recently stepped in the ring for a special appearance in Fargo, North Dakota, but it wasn’t as easy as it once was. “It was okay. I’m in a little bit different shape now—a little bit heavier, a little bit
older. It was a big shock to the system, but I did it for fun.” Stefan’s not sure if he will hit the ropes one more time before hanging up his wrestling boots for good, but in the mean time we can catch him on APTN’s Face to Face and on APTN Lumi later this summer as he takes a fresh and lighthearted approach to learning Indigenous languages, interviewing Elders and Language Keepers, and helping people connect to their Indigenous cultures in Canada.

Danielle Vienneau, Editor-in-Chief with SAY Magazine, believes in the power of sharing stories to inspire greatness in others. To submit your story, email [email protected].

WSOP 2022 | Event # 43 – $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em – Final Day | PokerFirma

Chris Moorman musste sich David Perry beim $500 Freezeout No Limit Hold’em Event # 43 der World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2022 im Heads-up geschlagen geben.

Einige DACHs waren noch dabei, als es für 202 Spieler in den Finaltag ging. Doch Martin Frei (187/$1.744) und Andreas Bremer (182/$1.744) hatten bald Feierabend, auch Pavel Chalupka (94/$2.261), Christian Schneider (68/$3.572) und auch Harald Jäger (39/$6.111) mussten die Segel schon lange vor dem Final Table streichen.

Für ein Massenevent waren relativ viele bekannte Spieler im Finale dabei. Auch der Final Table hatte eine prominente Besetzung zu bieten.  David Perry war der Chipleader, aber Chris Moorman räumte gleich mal kräftig auf und stürmte an die Spitze. Mit den Assen eliminierte er Daniel Marcus mit Nines, reichte gegen von Henry Reyes und mit und der auf dem River bescherte er auch Elven Espinar mit das Turnieraus.

Mit Pocket 4s gewann Moorman den Flip gegen von Phong Than Nguyen und er war deutlich in Führung, doch David Perry nahm ihm einen großen Pot ab und damit auch den Chiplead. Josh Prager  verabschiedete den letzten Franzosen Sebastien Guidez mit gegen   . Die Chips behielt Prager aber nicht lange, mit dem Set Jacks verdoppelte Chris Moorman gegen ihn, der Rest ging an Daniel Eichhorn.

Doch das Pech blieb an den Chips haften, Daniel Eichhorn verabschiedete sich gleich mit gegen von Chris Moorman, der nun als knapper Chipleader ins Heads-up gegen David Perry ging. Schnell hatte Perry die Führung und gab sie auch nicht mehr her Als auf dem Flop Chris Moorman mit all-in ging, callte Perry mit . Der Turn war entscheidend, River und David Perry jubelte über sein erste Bracelet, während sich Chris Moorman mit $149.405 für Rang 2 trösten musste.

Event #43: $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-in: $500
Entries: 4.786
Preisgeld: $2.010.120

Berichte: Tag 1 – Tag 2

Rang Name Preisgeld aus aus aus
1 David Perry $241.729 Las Vegas NV United States
2 Chris Moorman $149.405 Benfleet United Kingdom
3 Daniel Eichhorn $111.341 Henderson NV United States
4 Josh Prager $83.623 Yuba City CA United States
5 Sebastien Guidez $63.302 Thun Leveoul France
6 Phong Than Nguyen $48.299 Bristow VA United States
7 Elven Espinar $37.148 Belleville NJ United States
8 Henry Reyes $28.802 Las Vegas NV United States
9 Daniel Marcus $22.512 Memphis TN United States
10 Robert Pettit $17.741 Woods Cross UT United States
11 Jonathan Dimmig $17.741 Amherst NY United States
12 Luis Pauyac-Martinez $14.097 Azusa CA United States
13 Mason Hinkle $14.097 Kansas City MO United States
14 Luke Iorio $11.295 Westfield NJ United States
15 Nikolaos Karfakis $11.295 Los Angeles CA United States
16 James White $11.295 Las Vegas NV United States
17 Alan Gendelman $11.295 Fairfax VA United States
18 David McGowan $9.126 Chicago IL United States
19 Grant Ellis $9.126 Whitby Canada
20 Dennis Stevermer $9.126 Saint Paul MN United States
21 Christopher Barton $9.126 Elmira NY United States
22 James Ramirez $9.126 Fresno CA United States
23 Khanh Truong $9.126 New Port Richey FL United States
24 Lorenzo Negri $9.126 Parma Italy
25 Nissar Quraishi $9.126 Woodland Hills CA United States
26 Connor Daynard $9.126 Whitby ON Canada
27 John Perry $7.436 Highett Australia
28 Carol Filipski $7.436 Daytona Beach FL United States
29 Andrew Kalvelage $7.436 Cincinnati OH United States
30 Daniel Pickering $7.436 Portland ME United States
31 Aaron Bell $7.436 Howell MI United States
32 Manelic Minaya $7.436 Tampa FL United States
33 Alexander Burton $7.436 Muir Of Ord United Kingdom
34 Mitchell Gottlieb $7.436 Mint Hill NC United States
35 Robert Covert $7.436 Everett WA United States
36 Liping Zhong $6.111 Arcadia CA United States
37 DJ MacKinnon $6.111 East Amherst NY United States
38 Angel Modica $6.111 Astoria NY United States
39 Harald Jaeger $6.111 Burgsinn Germany
40 Anthony Ribeiro $6.111 Oshawa ON Canada
41 Jimmy Li $6.111 San Francisco CA United States
42 Michael Suggs $6.111 Carmel IN United States
43 Daniel Davies $6.111 Sunland CA United States
44 David Luong $6.111 Australia
45 Philip Roarke $5.065 Onl Signup-No City TX United States
46 Chakib Bennani $5.065 Casablanca Morocco
47 Alexander Charron $5.065 Malden MA United States
48 Daniel Navarrete $5.065 Caracas Venezuela
49 Brian Paiso $5.065 Fairfield CA United States
50 Katsura Iwami $5.065 Shiga Japan
51 James Long $5.065 Lyndonville VT United States
52 Alexander Zeligman $5.065 Surrey United Kingdom
53 Matthew Biafore $5.065 Houston TX United States
54 Phong Truong $4.235 Edmonton Canada
55 Nathan Cummings $4.235 League City TX United States
56 Andrew Hulme $4.235 Stamford United Kingdom
57 Joseph Walters $4.235 Lee’s Summit MO United States
58 Stephane Genet $4.235 Vn Nettli France
59 Cameron Crawford $4.235 Brenham TX United States
60 Erwann Pecheux $4.235 France
61 Kenneth Hernandez $4.235 San Antonio TX United States
62 Arash Sarraf $4.235 Beverly Hills CA United States
63 Angelo Martelli $3.572 Corona NY United States
64 Mark Nahama $3.572 Hillsboro Beach FL United States
65 Jongwook Lee $3.572 South Korea
66 Alexander Basford $3.572 Lymm Ireland
67 Brendan Hooper $3.572 Airdrie AB Canada
68 Christian Schneider $3.572 Eilfield Germany
69 Kazuki Maeda $3.572 Tokyo Japan
70 Michael Forca $3.572 Babylon NY United States
71 Christopher Collins $3.572 Columbus OH United States
72 Fabrizio Petroni $3.040 Las Vegas NV United States
73 Jackson White $3.040 Houston TX United States
74 Vince Mulhause $3.040 Bakersfield CA United States
75 Denver Combs $3.040 Henderson NV United States
76 Peter Schneider $3.040 Piedmont CA United States
77 Richard Reed $3.040 Spanaway WA United States
78 Steven Watts $3.040 London United Kingdom
79 Michael Mcdowell $3.040 Marlbank ON Canada
80 Brandon Powers $3.040 New Castle IN United States
81 Samuel Pierce $2.610 Chattanooga TN United States
82 Jared Ward $2.610 Owasso OK United States
83 Takashi Ogura $2.610 Tokyo Japan
84 Bruce Rodriguez $2.610 San Diego CA United States
85 Lindsay Kido $2.610 Honolulu HI United States
86 Kenneth Millender $2.610 Durham NC United States
87 Adriano Scagnetti $2.610 North Las Vegas NV United States
88 Hobart Roberts $2.610 Charlotte NC United States
89 Darryl Ronconi $2.610 Naperville IL United States
90 Kurt Nielson $2.261 Sun City CA United States
91 Ray Fishman $2.261 New York NY United States
92 Jiaxuan Liu $2.261 Chicago IL United States
93 Michael Woodworth $2.261 Los Angeles CA United States
94 Pavel Chalupka $2.261 Vienna Austria
95 Liam Murray $2.261 Salisbury Australia
96 Daryl Black $2.261 Voorhees NJ United States
97 Elisha Greenwood $2.261 Philadelphia PA United States
98 Danny Britt $2.261 Bells TN United States
99 Jeremy Meacham $1.976 Oak Bluffs MA United States
100 Jeffrey Tugwell $1.976 Redding CA United States
101 Randall Campbell $1.976 Long Beach CA United States
102 Seungik Shin $1.976 Los Angeles CA United States
103 Mitchell Hecht $1.976 North York ON Canada
104 Tytus Kalberer $1.976 Punta Gorda FL United States
105 Charles Kahrs $1.976 Palm Harbor FL United States
106 Blain Rasmussen $1.976 Mapleton UT United States
107 James Thompson $1.976 Houston TX United States
108 Ping Yang $1.976 Pasadena CA United States
109 Thomas Matacale $1.976 Hornell NY United States
110 Victoria Livschitz $1.976 Whitefish MT United States
111 Corbin Avery $1.976 Claremont NH United States
112 Jamshid Lotfi $1.976 Lutherville Timonium MD United States
113 Gabriel Wood $1.976 Lutz FL United States
114 Todd Barney $1.976 Colorado Springs CO United States
115 Maria Ho $1.976 Arcadia CA United States
116 Alok Arora $1.976 Wilmington DE United States
117 David Wang $1.976 Onl Signup-No City CA United States
118 Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang $1.976 Island Harbourview Hong Kong
119 Anthony Shelby $1.976 Seattle WA United States
120 Willy Tan $1.976 Willowbrook IL United States
121 Michael Cavanaugh $1.976 Covington KY United States
122 Joshua Robertson $1.976 San Antonio TX United States
123 John Chadwick $1.976 Kemmerer WY United States
124 Andrew Flaherty $1.976 Overland Park KS United States
125 Casey Fleck $1.976 Shoreline WA United States
126 Jinpyo An $1.976 New York NY United States
127 Alexios Halebian $1.976 Las Vegas NV United States
128 Sebastiaan Dejonge $1.976 Netherlands
129 Curtis Warren $1.976 Carolina Beach NC United States
130 Jaeheum Yu $1.976 Las Vegas NV United States
131 Jeff Weingard $1.976 Ladera Ranch CA United States
132 Arkadi Bruchis $1.976 Israel
133 Evan Avery $1.976 Simi Valley CA United States
134 Shivaji Dharam $1.976 London United Kingdom
135 Colby Oconnell $1.976 Bozeman MT United States
136 Daniel Hughes $1.976 Fair Oaks CA United States
137 Curtis Knight $1.976 Onl Signup-No City Canada
138 Jacky Wong $1.976 Canada
139 David Tucker $1.976 Cottage Hills IL United States
140 Patrick Lacey $1.976 Mundelein IL United States
141 Sampson Rousseau $1.976 Maplewood MN United States
142 Jason Vanstrom $1.976 Colorado Springs CO United States
143 Ezra Mutnick $1.976 Bronx NY United States
144 Barry Skaggs $1.744 El Segundo CA United States
145 John Henry Gordon $1.744 Northville MI United States
146 Jason Turner $1.744 Conyers GA United States
147 Jake Kofoed $1.744 West Jordan UT United States
148 Yuka Asaka $1.744 Tokyo Japan
149 Jim Collopy $1.744 Washington MD United States
150 Andrew Huebner $1.744 Richmond TX United States
151 Jeremy Power $1.744 Lancaster CA United States
152 Marcus Stein $1.744 Pembroke Pines FL United States
153 Daniel Samson $1.744 Edgware United Kingdom
154 Yousuke Nakazawa $1.744 Chiba Japan
155 Gregory Poprocki $1.744 Vermilion OH United States
156 David Ivers $1.744 Holiday FL United States
157 Mauricio Solano $1.744 El Paso TX United States
158 Everton Taylor $1.744 Brooklyn NY United States
159 Ajay Bhadresa $1.744 Manchester United Kingdom
160 Eluterio Rodriguez $1.744 Alamo TX United States
161 Ryan Belz $1.744 Elkridge MD United States
162 Bin Weng $1.744 Philadelphia PA United States
163 Randy Hitchens $1.744 CA United States
164 Dietrich Kuhlmann $1.744 Buffalo NY United States
165 Nelio Gatta $1.744 Italy
166 Arin Youssefian $1.744 Granada Hills CA United States
167 Xiao Huang $1.744 Las Vegas NV United States
168 Luciano Angarolla $1.744 Rosario Argentina
169 Jason Clarke $1.744 Brampton ON Canada
170 Mark Mazza $1.744 United States
171 Cameron Tung $1.744 New York NY United States
172 Joshua Payton $1.744 Mesa AZ United States
173 Thomas Madrid $1.744 Onl Signup-No City NV United States
174 Yoon Kim $1.744 Caledonia WI United States
175 Carlos Matos-Erarte $1.744 Bronx NY United States
176 Yoni Elbaz $1.744 France
177 Eric Rivera $1.744 Marietta GA United States
178 Takuro Yamashiki $1.744 Laazac Japan
179 Ha Diep $1.744 Huntington Beach CA United States
180 Michael Cribier $1.744 Carlsbad CA United States
181 David Butler $1.744 Saint Petersburg FL United States
182 Andreas Bremer $1.744 Jaspers Germany
183 William Firebaugh $1.744 Indianapolis IN United States
184 Huy Nguyen $1.744 Westminster CA United States
185 Marco Bognanni $1.744 Sliema Italy
186 Jesse King $1.744 Tucson AZ United States
187 Martin Frei $1.744 Flawil Switzerland
188 Yukimi Hikichi $1.744 Onl Signup-No City Japan
189 Alcibiades Felix $1.552 North Las Vegas NV United States
190 Gerald Ravotti $1.552 Sunbury OH United States
191 Matthew Snook $1.552 Camden Point MO United States
192 James Aman $1.552 Sarasota FL United States
193 Adam Geyer $1.552 Austin TX United States
194 Anthony Rosa $1.552 Corona CA United States
195 Jeffrey Jones $1.552 Forney TX United States
196 Wesley Ho $1.552 Los Angeles CA United States
197 Jaime Guerrero $1.552 Chino CA United States
198 Jose Jaraiz $1.552 Spain
199 Samantha Howell $1.552 Palm Coast FL United States
200 Zachary Vuong $1.552 Houston TX United States
201 Chris Solomon $1.552 Las Vegas NV United States
202 Prashant Trivedi $1.552 Onl Signup-No City CA United States
203 Amelita Acain $1.552 Las Vegas NV United States
204 Joseph Brand $1.552 Fair Lawn NJ United States
205 Robert Dukes $1.552 Marietta GA United States
206 Dorothy Wakamiya $1.552 Cerritos CA United States
207 Kustin Harris $1.552 Fort Irwin CA United States
208 Matt Davenport $1.552 Cheshire GB United Kingdom
209 Siddharth Karia $1.552 Memnegar India
210 Jed Dyrek $1.552 Lake Charles LA United States
211 Karol Bogusz $1.552 Poland Portugal
212 Jeffrey Stellwagon $1.552 Mohrsville PA United States
213 Christopher Clark $1.552 Myrtle Beach SC United States
214 Basil Leung $1.552 Onl Signup-No City FL United States
215 John Major $1.552 Bishop GA United States
216 Luis Vargas $1.552 San Antonio TX United States
217 Jorge Rodriguez $1.552 Stony Point NY United States
218 Andre Celho $1.552 London United Kingdom
219 Kenny Hoang $1.552 San Leandro CA United States
220 Nathan Russler $1.552 Jackson MI United States
221 Anthony Mccurdy $1.552 Las Vegas NV United States
222 Mira Felice $1.552 Glendale AZ United States
223 Michael Esquivel $1.552 Clarendon Hills IL United States
224 Michael Young $1.552 Hudson MA United States
225 Vontray Gardner $1.552 Bellflower CA United States
226 Adam Alleman $1.552 Denver CO United States
227 Jason Golani $1.552 Tarzana CA United States
228 Ben Yu $1.552 Las Vegas NV United States
229 Alexandre Johannes $1.552 Carrollton TX United States
230 Brian Manalang $1.552 Long Beach CA United States
231 Nicholas Burris $1.552 Lees Summit MO United States
232 Gary Lovell $1.552 Houlton ME United States
233 Tzu Huang $1.552 Surrey Canada
234 David Simon $1.395 Kilauea HI United States
235 Rafael Perez $1.395 Aguas Buenas PR United States
236 Seth Bobet $1.395 Orlando FL United States
237 Chan Saechao $1.395 San Jose CA United States
238 Carlos Chang $1.395 Taipei Taiwan
239 Julian Bonorris $1.395 Carnelian Bay CA United States
240 Jack Dunn $1.395 Bradenton FL United States
241 Sergio Torrez $1.395 Stephens City VA United States
242 Paraskevas Tsokaridis $1.395 Greece
243 Jameson Painter $1.395 Las Vegas NV United States
244 Jason Mirza $1.395 Fitchburg WI United States
245 Matthew Phillips $1.395 San Bruno CA United States
246 Eric Martin $1.395 Laval QC Canada
247 Dan Shak $1.395 Las Vegas NV United States
248 Augusto Hagen $1.395 Balcore Argentina
249 Jordan Hufty $1.395 Southgate MI United States
250 Tomer Lidor $1.395 Ramat Gan Israel
251 Wei Hsia $1.395 Soumagne Bangladesh
252 Edouard Mignot $1.395 Paris France
253 Joseph Hebert $1.395 Metairie LA United States
254 Richard Bevins $1.395 South Burlington VT United States
255 Samuel Rotar $1.395 Greer SC United States
256 Junichi Nakanowatari $1.395 Tokyo Japan
257 Christian Sabio $1.395 Columbus OH United States
258 Smith Collins $1.395 Gainesville FL United States
259 Timur Margolin $1.395 Ramla Israel
260 Zackery Whitney $1.395 Canon City CO United States
261 Michael Lin $1.395 Las Vegas NV United States
262 Jordan Gojcaj $1.395 Troy MI United States
263 Mark Manges $1.395 Ft Collins CO United States
264 Emil Eriksson $1.395 Sweden
265 Bruno Zaccheddu $1.395 Basse Han France
266 Tristan Wade $1.395 Boynton Beach FL United States
267 Dyke Largent $1.395 Crawfordsville IN United States
268 Danny Grogan $1.395 Lancashire Guatemala
269 Antonio Lievano $1.395 Los Angeles CA United States
270 Robert Steinmetz $1.395 Eagan MN United States
271 William Hickey $1.395 Philadelphia PA United States
272 Jeff Tseng $1.395 Temple City CA United States
273 Antoine Meseguer $1.395 Republica Dominicaba France
274 Vinicius Godinho $1.395 Mountain View CA United States
275 Parmod Soni $1.395 Burr Ridge IL United States
276 Andre Vandenbuckle $1.395 Florensac France
277 William Lahti $1.395 Hutto TX United States
278 Adam Lit $1.395 Freehold NJ United States
279 Paul Dewald $1.266 Littleton CO United States
280 Michael Lippe $1.266 Las Vegas NV United States
281 Raj Patel $1.266 Voorhees NJ United States
282 George Raymundi $1.266 Las Vegas NV United States
283 Rodrigo Saito $1.266 Sao Paulo Brazil
284 James Callanan $1.266 Boulder CO United States
285 Alexandra Panelli $1.266 Springfield MO United States
286 John Blackman $1.266 Elmira Hgts NY United States
287 Tom Grein $1.266 West Linn OR United States
288 Richard Dawson $1.266 Walton On Thames United Kingdom
289 Tsuihan Hsiao $1.266 Tajikistan
290 Ramin Hajiyev $1.266 Baku Azerbaijan
291 Hans Erlandsson $1.266 Taby Sweden
292 Arnold Cho $1.266 Diamond Bar CA United States
293 Ricardo Lara $1.266 Detroit MI United States
294 Kevin Gill $1.266 West Seneca NY United States
295 Troy Clogston $1.266 Cumming GA United States
296 Bryan Piccioli $1.266 Allegany NY United States
297 Clevio Viana Da Costa $1.266 Brazil
298 Daniel Yoo $1.266 Palisades Park NJ United States
299 Chino Rheem $1.266 Los Angeles CA United States
300 Sean Legendre $1.266 Metairie LA United States
301 Kenny “SuperTuan” Nguyen $1.266 Deland FL United States
302 David West $1.266 St Johns FL United States
303 Tomas Brown $1.266 Littleton CO United States
304 Robin Layne $1.266 Burnaby BC Canada
305 William Ogden $1.266 N. Las Vegas NV United States
307 Derek Warriner $1.266 Brandon MS United States
308 Joon Park $1.266 Katy TX United States
309 Michael Shindorf $1.266 Las Vegas NV United States
310 Ethan Bennett $1.266 Brooklyn NY United States
311 Jeffrey Raibick $1.266 Plano TX United States
312 Asher Conniff $1.266 Brooklyn NY United States
313 Jonathan Prince $1.266 Calabasas CA United States
314 Michael Carney $1.266 Sevenoaks United Kingdom
315 Nicolas Leblanc $1.266 Terrebonne QC Canada
316 Richard Bolden $1.266 Christiana TN United States
317 Gregory Margers $1.266 Wichita KS United States
318 Claudio Lorenzi $1.266 Mirassol Brazil
319 Chungyung Yen $1.266 Coquitlam BC Canada
320 Anthony Nowalany $1.266 Las Vegas NV United States
321 Neill Moroney $1.266 Onl Signup-No City CO United States
322 Matthew Closs $1.266 Ottawa ON Canada
323 Austin Kohnle $1.266 Aubrey TX United States
324 Laura Green $1.159 Woodstock GA United States
325 Jonathan Fhima $1.159 Paris France
326 Kevin Webb $1.159 Kennewick WA United States
327 Jorge Mendez $1.159 Bronx NY United States
328 Christopher Calvert $1.159 Liverpool United Kingdom
329 David Ritter $1.159 Austin TX United States
330 Liran Betito $1.159 Nazareth Illit Israel
331 Adriano Wise $1.159 San Jose CA United States
332 Aaron Le $1.159 Stanton CA United States
333 Tony Najjar $1.159 Whitehall PA United States
334 Asaf Levi $1.159 Israel
335 Kunal Shah $1.159 Baltimore MD United States
336 Edwin Lee $1.159 Los Angeles CA United States
337 Wesley Gelowitz $1.159 Regina SK Canada
338 William Benson $1.159 Mobile AL United States
339 Edgardo Rosario $1.159 Orocovis Puerto Rico
340 Blaise Bourgeois $1.159 Rochester NY United States
341 Joshua Greenberg $1.159 Las Vegas NV United States
342 Jeffrey Slaytonjr $1.159 Ocala FL United States
343 Chi Chan $1.159 Vancouver BC Canada
344 Alexis Gilbard $1.159 Agoura Hills CA United States
345 Karim Musani $1.159 Richmond TX United States
346 Ludovic Periaux $1.159 France
347 Steven Wolansky $1.159 Cooper City FL United States
348 Sulaman Al-Hail $1.159 Miami FL United States
349 John Zentner $1.159 Las Vegas NV United States
350 Chen Chen $1.159 Nashville TN United States
351 Avraham Kadosh $1.159 Pasadena CA United States
352 Jerome Dumayet $1.159 Saint-Mande France
353 Kenju Wata $1.159 Apo AE United States
354 Stephen Austin $1.159 Palm Desert CA United States
355 Scott Brewis $1.159 Gainesville FL United States
356 Jody Entwistle $1.159 Tuttle OK United States
357 Arvhin Malinab $1.159 Vancouver BC Canada
358 Greg Frank $1.159 Brookfield WI United States
359 Idris Drief $1.159 Barnet United Kingdom
360 Hilario Yuriar $1.159 West Covina CA United States
361 Maurice Chaplin $1.159 Marshall MN United States
362 Jason Schanbacher $1.159 Wexford PA United States
363 Jack Oliver $1.159 Markyate United Kingdom
364 Richard Gress $1.159 Plantation FL United States
365 Michael Foglia $1.159 Cranberry Twp PA United States
366 Jeoffry Yanzick $1.159 Boulder MT United States
367 Chia-Hui Tu $1.159 China
368 Matthew Brown $1.159 Surrey BC Canada
369 Matthew Blackwell $1.072 Ozark MO United States
370 Jaki Knelsen $1.072 Steinbach MB Canada
371 Stephen Fraser $1.072 Jacksonville Beach FL United States
372 Sara Watts $1.072 White Bear Lake MN United States
373 Enrico Mosca $1.072 Rivoli Italy
374 Brian Podl $1.072 Tustin CA United States
375 John Fagg $1.072 Evansville IN United States
376 Barry Shulman $1.072 Las Vegas NV United States
377 Quentin Scaglia $1.072 Villenueve France
378 Harsha Wijesuriya $1.072 Albany NY United States
379 Moshe Herskovits $1.072 Monroe NY United States
380 Tomasz Trelski $1.072 Middletown CT United States
381 Kenneth Mason $1.072 La Vergne TN United States
382 James Gibson $1.072 Winnipeg MB Canada
383 Michael Williams $1.072 Lebanon KY United States
384 Kenneth Kim $1.072 Gardena CA United States
385 Glenn Miller $1.072 Mukilteo WA United States
386 Sang Kim $1.072 South Korea
387 Nathan Tuthill $1.072 Fredericksbrg VA United States
388 Hsu Huang $1.072 Taipei Taiwn Liako China
389 Jeffrey Aranas $1.072 Kirkland WA United States
390 Jerry Wong $1.072 Davie FL United States
391 Benjamin Margolis $1.072 Weston FL United States
392 Carl Oman $1.072 Ridgefield WA United States
393 Frank Goulard $1.072 Lake Oswego OR United States
394 Sione Tuiono $1.072 South Penrith Australia
395 Joseph Linville $1.072 Cincinnati OH United States
396 Stephen Ma $1.072 Iowa City IA United States
397 Daniel Mitchell $1.072 Sherwood Park AB Canada
398 Jason Greenwald $1.072 Pickerington OH United States
399 Kim Ung $1.072 Las Vegas NV United States
400 Timothy Weimer $1.072 Modesto CA United States
401 Xin Qi $1.072 Sydney Australia
402 Albert Gil $1.072 Israel CA United States
403 Bryan Reyes $1.072 Midlothian VA United States
404 James Poper $1.072 Pottstown PA United States
405 Alfarouk Obe $1.072 Barking United Kingdom
406 Tavish Margers $1.072 Santee CA United States
407 Andrew Cardon $1.072 Peoria AZ United States
408 Laurent Montagne $1.072 Bondy France
409 Noureddine El Moghrabi $1.072 Weslaco TX United States
410 Martin Gavascinapoletano $1.072 Argentina
411 David Dunlap $1.072 Nitro WV United States
412 Ian Steinman $1.072 Carson City NV United States
413 Steven Filipovic $1.072 Cambridge ON Canada
414 Renhao Zhang $1.072 Vancouver BC Canada
415 Matthew Pierce $1.072 Braintree MA United States
416 Cornel Cimpan $1.072 League City TX United States
417 Lisa Krout $1.072 Aurora CO United States
418 Steven Kingsley $1.072 New Carlisle OH United States
419 David Day $1.072 Helotes TX United States
420 Raymond Singson $1.072 San Francisco CA United States
421 Pete Males $1.072 Canton MI United States
422 Divyesh Patel $1.072 Franklin WI United States
423 Evan Post $1.001 Calgary AB Canada
424 Samuel Johnson $1.001 Tecumseh MI United States
425 Cristian Linse $1.001 Lewisville TX United States
426 Altynai Fung $1.001 Hacienda Heights CA United States
427 Armando Then $1.001 New York NY United States
428 Garabed Uluhogian $1.001 Canton MI United States
429 Eider Cruz $1.001 Porto Alegre Brazil
430 Jeffery Hollar $1.001 Syracuse IN United States
431 Howard Smith $1.001 Bedford United Kingdom
432 David Bradford $1.001 Southlake TX United States
433 Brandon Navarrete $1.001 Miami Springs FL United States
434 Clint Mooney $1.001 Pasadena CA United States
435 Noah Burnell $1.001 Oroville WA United States
436 Kevin Greene $1.001 Seattle WA United States
437 Kyung Lee $1.001 Los Angeles CA United States
438 Lester Wee $1.001 Onl Signup-No City Senegal
439 Young Choi $1.001 Bucheon-Si South Korea
440 Aaron Siems $1.001 Greenwood IN United States
441 Michael Mckinzie $1.001 Tulare CA United States
442 Luke Boynton $1.001 Birmingham United Kingdom
443 Robert Simmons $1.001 Dallas TX United States
444 Cyndi Graflund $1.001 Las Vegas NV United States
445 David Leguizamon $1.001 Cuba
446 Mark Lizano $1.001 West Covina CA United States
447 Robert King $1.001 Bridgeport WV United States
448 David Jones $1.001 Sterling AK United States
449 Nikolay Kolev $1.001 Las Vegas NV United States
450 Markus Loidl $1.001 Ebensee Austria
451 Michael Medlin $1.001 Ontario CA United States
452 Mahendra Mandavyapuram $1.001 Jacksonville FL United States
453 Nan Chen $1.001 San Diego CA United States
454 Nidal Echaust $1.001 Munich Germany
455 Hiroki Yokoyama $1.001 Tashimaka Japan
456 Fabrizio Disanto $1.001 Los Angeles CA United States
457 Roy Taylor $1.001 England United Kingdom
458 Sebastian Yanicelli $1.001 San Miguel De Tucuma Argentina
459 Daniel Nutt $1.001 Amherst OH United States
460 Marco Ramirez $1.001 Brooklyn NY United States
461 Frank Valdes $1.001 Bedford TX United States
462 Yannick Durand $1.001 Mognet Missan France
463 Harrison Gimbel $1.001 Jupiter FL United States
464 Sandeep Pulusani $1.001 Los Angeles CA United States
465 Eduardo Maldonado $1.001 North Las Vegas NV United States
466 Jason Stern $1.001 San Jose CA United States
467 Harold Payne $1.001 Hillsboro MO United States
468 Constantinos Maniatis $1.001 Carrollton TX United States
469 Oscar Gutierrez $1.001 Tracy CA United States
470 Thomas Coan $1.001 Hauppauge NY United States
471 Daniel Mizrachi $1.001 Hollywood FL United States
472 Ivan Uzunov $1.001 Plevem Bulgaria
473 Fawz Bennis $1.001 Las Vegas NV United States
474 Paul Nguyen $1.001 Las Vegas NV United States
475 Pablo Joaquin Melogno $1.001 Punta Del Este Uruguay
476 Jeffrey Hong $1.001 Flemington NJ United States
477 Macus Schilling $876 South Korea
478 Tinkhac Nguyen $876 West Newbury VT United States
479 Elizabeth Cahill $876 Norton MA United States
480 Yu Yang $876 Beijing China
481 John Cantu $876 Machesney Park IL United States
482 Stefan Nigg $876 Horw China
483 Athanasios Polychronopoulos $876 Delray Beach FL United States
484 Jeff Gehrman $876 Greeley CO United States
485 Scott Weinstein $876 Forest Hills NY United States
486 Nicholas Surges $876 Shorewood IL United States
487 Brent Wheeler $876 Mayfield Heights OH United States
488 Debra Fouts $876 Mercer Island WA United States
489 Steve Yea $876 Seoul South Korea
490 Steve McKoy $876 Birmingham AL United States
491 Timothy Chung $876 United Kingdom
492 James Farrington $876 Anchorage AK United States
493 Luz Interrante $876 Quartz Hill CA United States
494 Yossi Krispin $876 Cupertino CA United States
495 Shachar Haran $876 Innshruck United States
496 Haile Kuo $876 Montreal QC Canada
497 Chi Ng $876 London United Kingdom
498 Jari Hurri $876 Varkaus Finland
499 Deaitra Virden-Burks $876 Amarillo TX United States
500 Daniyal Gheba $876 Las Vegas NV United States
501 David Lu $876 New York NY United States
502 Aimal Malik $876 Fairfax VA United States
503 Emmanuel Marianakis $876 West Hollywood CA United States
504 Patrick Popowski $876 Israel
505 Mario Arribas $876 Lake Orion MI United States
506 Tiffany Michelle $876 Newhall CA United States
507 Mauricio Aruanno Parodi $876 Neuquen Argentina
508 Nitish Swarup $876 Las Vegas NV United States
509 Timothy Louwers $876 Fishersville VA United States
510 Justin Son $876 Riverside CA United States
511 Jason Egle $876 Battle Ground WA United States
512 Daniel Leary $876 Onl Signup-No City CA United States
513 Richard Carlson $876 Willmington IL United States
514 Sandro Gridelli $876 Stein Am Rhein SH China
515 Richard Kim $876 Sherman Oaks CA United States
516 Matthew Speranza $876 Castaic CA United States
517 Joe Farb $876 Lecompton KS United States
518 William Martin $876 Joliet IL United States
519 An Lin $876 China
520 David Shotton $876 England Ireland
521 Christopher Czabaranek $876 Sacramento CA United States
522 Nethanel Montrose $876 Chicago IL United States
523 Michael Savino $876 Valhalla NY United States
524 Michael Lane $876 South Lyon MI United States
525 Michael Phillips $876 Fond Du Lac WI United States
526 Oliver Biles $876 Christchurch United Kingdom
527 Christina Gollins $876 Henderson NV United States
529 Thiago Kayo $876 Steep Falls ME United States
530 Patrick Hall $876 Hendersonville TN United States
531 Cecil Casimir $876 Burien WA United States
532 Ethan Yau $876 Quincy MA United States
533 Bryan Hawkins $876 District Heights MD United States
534 Robert Gardner $876 Monticello IL United States
535 Scott Berenstein $876 Upper Marlboro MD United States
536 Zeping Lu $876 Champaign Illinois United States
537 Wen Wong $876 Kang Crescent Senegal
538 Ryan Brown $876 Onl Signup-No City KY United States
539 Ricky Wall $876 Wyoming MI United States
540 Tanner Bibat $876 Dunwoody GA United States
541 Adam Maislen $876 Brookline MA United States
542 Jonathan Borenstein $876 Teaneck NJ United States
543 Henry Wilken $876 Oviedo FL United States
544 Joel Long $876 Windsor CO United States
545 James Freitag $876 Hermosa Beach CA United States
546 Jiaze Li $876 London United Kingdom
547 Luiz Ferreira $876 Rio De Janeiro Brazil
548 Francisco De La Rosa $876 Miami FL United States
549 Moody Denney $876 Madera CA United States
550 Michael Nomura $876 Buena Park CA United States
551 Dean Poff $876 Kansas City MO United States
552 Ryan Awwad $876 Ann Arbor MI United States
553 Scott Robertson $876 Jenks OK United States
554 William Hall $876 Winnipeg MB Canada
555 Joshua Herschlip $876 Marysville WA United States
556 Kang Ahn $876 Lafayette CO United States
557 Francisco Pinho Correia $876 Salvador-Br Brazil
558 Jonathan Poletick $876 Palm Beach Gardens FL United States
559 Renato Jordao $876 Campinas Brazil
560 Zachary Mankin $876 Port Orange FL United States
561 Pablo Gallegogonzalez $876 Spain
562 Michael Kenna $876 Lindenwold NJ United States
563 Luiz Duarte $876 Rio De Janeiro Brazil
564 Ian Tang $876 Toronto ON Canada
565 Dian Jin $876 China
566 Jui Weng $876 Las Vegas NV United States
567 Michael Taliaferro $876 Topeka KS United States
568 David Goshgarian $876 San Francisco CA United States
569 Yahav Benyosef $876 Tel Aviv Israel
570 Samuel Uhlmann $876 Bozeman MT United States
571 Robert Oreilly $876 Neath United Kingdom
572 Kevin Slattery $876 Madison WI United States
573 Zsolt Tamas $876 Las Vegas NV United States
574 Carlos Loving $876 Tampa FL United States
575 Mark Jarema $876 Vestavia AL United States
576 Jian Huang $876 Warrensburg MO United States
577 Jeffrey Charles $876 Port Washington NY United States
578 Iraklis Manikaros $876 Greece
579 Matthew Radmilovic $876 Kailua Kona HI United States
580 Sebastien Ollivier $876 Chauve France
581 Robert Lucero $876 Parker CO United States
582 Timothy Willard $876 Onl Signup-No City PA United States
583 Massimo Dirienzo $876 Atlanta GA United States
584 Michel Bouskila $876 Sydney Australia
585 Debra Kleeman $876 Buffalo Grove IL United States
586 Milagros Peterson $876 Houston TX United States
587 Rui Pinto Campos $876 Portugal
588 Tom Bona $876 Fort Mcmurray AB Canada
589 John Thornton $876 St Peters MO United States
590 Jeremy Schwartzberg $876 Phoenix AZ United States
591 John Stokes $876 Kitchener ON Canada
592 Robert Scholz $876 Largo FL United States
593 Nicholas Velentzas $876 Villa Park IL United States
594 Justin Slater $876 Moline IL United States
595 Tarun Goyal $876 Bathind India
596 Victor Kim $876 Lawrence KS United States
597 Donald Pultz $876 Port Orange FL United States
598 Casey Greenwood $801 Coquitlam BC Canada
599 Benjamine Pacheco $801 North Ogden UT United States
600 Ray St Jacques $801 Trujillo Alto PR United States
601 Jarod Einsohn $801 Plano TX United States
602 Ionut Voinea $801 Liverpool United Kingdom
603 Thomas Fahy $801 Blaine MN United States
604 Josiel Dacruz $801 Rio Veane Brazil
605 Jason Atherley $801 Lantana FL United States
606 Jaime Torres $801 Canton TX United States
607 Joseph Zaik $801 Fraserwood MB Canada
608 Jess Lefkowitz $801 East Greenwich RI United States
609 Gregory Guagnini $801 France
610 Brittanie Romine $801 Chino Valley AZ United States
611 Omer Gabay $801 Apo AE United States
612 Matthew Colvin $801 Dallas TX United States
613 Tony Huang $801 San Leandro CA United States
614 Louis Russo $801 Brooklyn NY United States
615 Daniel Jordan $801 Albany NY United States
616 Kyle Runnings $801 Pioneer CA United States
617 Francis Anderson $801 Poughkeepsie NY United States
618 David Van Reyk $801 Datchet United Kingdom
619 Nikan Javadzadeh $801 Orange CA United States
620 Christian Delacombaz $801 Vuippens Switzerland
621 Ray Benavidez $801 Onl Signup-No City CA United States
622 Richard Santillan $801 Indio CA United States
623 Walter Atwood $801 Huntington Beach CA United States
624 Chad Nieland $801 New London MN United States
625 Bronwyn Hartner $801 Thornton CO United States
626 Gediminas Uselis $801 Lithuania
627 Leon Brenneman $801 Warsaw IN United States
628 Yarom Limor $801 Beverly Hills CA United States
629 Brian Arbaugh $801 Akron OH United States
630 Suk Min Yoon $801 Onl Signup-No City ON Canada
631 James Sileo $801 Burbank CA United States
632 Sebastien Clot $801 Pechbonnieu France
633 Sean Walker $801 Washington DC United States
634 Olivia Smith $801 Paradise Valley AZ United States
635 David Johnson $801 Grande Prairie AB Canada
636 Taylor Howard $801 Oskaloosa IA United States
637 Todd Duplantis $801 Vancouver BC Canada
638 Sergei Petrushevskii $801 Russia Russian Federation
639 Adam Kharman $801 South Weymouth MA United States
640 David Kazanjian $801 Croydon PA United States
641 Lakhdar Benamara $801 Bessancourt France
642 Teddy Bonnard $801 Paris France
643 Larry Ramsey $801 Mc Kinney TX United States
644 Kaleb Dunn $801 Parkville MO United States
645 Colin Radford $801 Onl Signup-No City MA United States
646 Jennifer Assu $801 Langley BC Canada
647 Ido Aboudi $801 Ramut Gah Israel
648 David Sanbonmatsu $801 Park City UT United States
649 Nicholas Napolitano $801 Revere MA United States
650 Adam Laskey $801 Fargo ND United States
651 Bradley Blumert $801 Simi Valley CA United States
652 Philip Jackson $801 Austin TX United States
653 Joshua Suyat $801 Kahului HI United States
654 Valentin Frunze $801 Las Vegas NV United States
655 Jason Patton $801 Summit NJ United States
656 David Greenwood $801 Gallatin TN United States
657 Camille Brown $801 Riverside CA United States
659 Rafael Rovirasoler $801 Guaynabo PR United States
660 Anthony Hice $801 Garden City MI United States
661 Scott Herrmann $801 Las Vegas NV United States
662 Matthew Brenn $801 Cuyahoga Falls OH United States
663 Andrew Dunstan $801 Camborne Guatemala
664 Hector Alvarez $801 Anaheim CA United States
665 John Riordan $801 Tampa FL United States
666 Brian Thouvenot $801 St. Louis MO United States
667 Travis Newberry $801 Canton GA United States
668 James Morris $801 London United Kingdom
669 Jessy Manuel $801 Santa Cruz CA United States
670 Martin Mathis $801 Tallahassee FL United States
671 Himmat Singh $801 India
672 Karim Ghozlani $801 Chicopee MA United States
673 Justin Barnum $801 Fargo ND United States
674 Chrishan Sivasundaram $801 Markham ON Canada
675 Jason Jang $801 West Lafayette IN United States
676 Ron Thiery $801 Auburn WA United States
677 Michael Gibson $801 Las Vegas NV United States
678 Daniel Gloss $801 Hendersonville NC United States
679 Hyunseung Lee $801 Jeju South Korea
680 Myles Johns $801 Vestavia AL United States
681 Mike Heshmati $801 Morgan Hill CA United States
682 Petri Nikkinen $801 Espoo Finland
683 Phillip Dematteo $801 Miramar FL United States
684 Adam Murphy $801 Aurora CO United States
685 Derek Peyrot $801 Los Angeles CA United States
686 Gerardo Escobar $801 Kerman CA United States
687 Scott Fawcett $801 Orlando FL United States
688 Michael Cole $801 Gilbert AZ United States
689 Larry Fuqua $801 Hesston KS United States
690 John Bousfield $801 United Kingdom United Kingdom
691 Lenny Proskurovsky $801 Brooklyn NY United States
692 Pascal Mailly $801 Bry Sur Marne France
693 Nicholas Toralba $801 Pineville LA United States
694 Matt Kramer $801 Rancho Cordova CA United States
695 Jonas Garstick $801 Sweden
696 Paul Cogliano $801 Alexandria VA United States
697 Bolivar Palacios $801 Santiago Panama
698 Gustavo Kamei $801 Dracena Brazil
699 Matthew Gray $801 United Kingdom
700 Fred Messika $801 France France
701 Jason Ford $801 North Wales PA United States
702 Claudie Holland $801 Fayetteville NC United States
703 George Kyrtsis $801 Melbourne Australia
704 Michael Cordes $801 Crofton MD United States
705 Nan Min $801 Bayside Hills NY United States
706 Robin Dinicolantonio $801 Marietta GA United States
707 Houston Howie $801 Huntsville AL United States
708 Stephen Coleman $801 Chesapeake VA United States
709 Victor Dermendjian $801 Sao Paulo Brazil
710 Itzhak Ashkenazi $801 Netanya Israel
711 Ryusuke Tanaka $801 Tokyo Japan
712 Frank Curcio $801 Maple ON Canada
713 Anthony Mender $801 Las Vegas NV United States
714 Jon Gisler $801 Irvine CA United States
715 Liron Altman $801 Rishon Le Zion Israel
716 Fang Tian $801 Sunnyvale CA United States
717 Daniel Sepiol $801 Bloomington IN United States
718 Joe Kuether $801 Elm Grove WI United States

Will Wells: The Sprudge Twenty Interview

Welcome to The Sprudge Twenty Interviews presented by Pacific Barista Series. For a complete list of 2022 Sprudge Twenty honorees please visit sprudge.com/twenty.

Will is my amazing boss and owner of The Artery Community Roasters located in Ottawa. He employs people with disabilities and believes in making sure we are paid a fair wage.

He combined his passion for roasting and his love of helping people to create an amazing small business that is making difference in the lives of his employees, farmers, and the community. Will has made it his mission to educate and bring awareness to disabilities and accessibility, and push for inclusion and get other businesses on board.

Nominated by Erin Saari

Do you have a coffee-making ritual?

Too many probably. Outside of cupping our roasts for quality control, I don’t think anything beats a pour-over. Don’t force me to chose a pour-over setup though, as I truly like them all. But just the process of forcing myself to put my phone away and focus on a single cup of coffee, and nothing else, for five minutes is probably the single most peaceful moment of my day (and luckily I get to do it about 3-4 times a day!).

What is the quality you like best about coffee?

Before we get into what coffee represents in terms of community and ethics further in the interview, from a purely sensory aspect, I simply love the process of tasting and experiencing coffee. I try and be mindful of every sip, which I find makes such a difference to simply drinking it down like Coca-Cola. Now I’m not advocating that people start loudly slurping their cups while sitting in a cafe, or taking copious notes while enjoying their coffee. (I get enough eye-rolls from my wife for doing those very things.) But just taking some mental notes of how a coffee makes you feel, what memories it invokes, what does it taste like and what texture does it have, is just fun. And also the more you get lost down the rabbit hole of it, it also becomes a challenge. Drinking coffee is such a ridiculously simple thing to do, but you can really get lost in analyzing (and over-analyzing) a single cup if that’s your bag, and it certainly is mine.

What’s your favorite song to brew coffee to at the moment?

We are strong advocates of vinyl at the roastery, and our roaster in training Jim has the greatest taste in music. Between the two of us we have a decent collection (just doing our part to proudly live up to the yuppie/hipstery vibe that seems to par for the roaster world). Right now we’ve been going back to the classics and have been roasting to Blockhead’s Music by Cavelight (an incredible album for those who aren’t familiar). Though we should also admit that the majority of our coffees have been roasted while I watch/listen to reruns of Curb Your Enthusiasm on my headphones.

Do you have a favorite item of clothing to make coffee in?

I wish I was cool enough to say yes. I don’g think I’ve worn real pants since the pandemic began. And it seems that the longer I run this business, the more my clothing gets replaced with our Artery merch (which I guess is about as hip as wearing a band’s t-shirt to their concert, which is to say it’s not haha).

What was the last cup of coffee you enjoyed?

Since it’s new crop season for us, it was a fresh crop of our first natural anaerobic processed coffee! Most of the producers we work with are still mostly doing washed coffees, but our incredible partners at Baho Coffee have been making some sparkling Red Bourbons in southern Rwanda, and we have been blown away by the progress they have made in adopting new processes. They are also really trendsetters in Rwanda when it comes to caring for staff and pushing the boundaries of existing processing possibilities in Rwanda. The future is bright (just like their coffees!).

What is your idea of coffee happiness?

It’s drinking a cup of coffee we have roasted, grown by a producer we admire and call a friend, and just being so thrilled by what they have accomplished, and that we get to enjoy it and then get the privilege of sharing the coffee and the producer’s story with others. It just feel so rewarding to drink something that you have played a small part of in making and coming to life! I honestly can’t believe we get to this professionally, as it’s just such a rewarding experience, in so many different ways.

What issue in coffee do you care about most?

Accessibility, and I’d like to use that idea in two different ways. The first being accessibility when it comes to people with disabilities in taking part, and leading, in the coffee industry. The specialty coffee scene has made some tremendous strides in terms of creating a more diverse representation of who is working in the industry (especially in coffee shops and at roasters), but I feel for many with disabilities there remains many barriers to entry. So for me, coffee is the conduit that allows me to fulfill my dream of finding as many jobs for people with disabilities as I can, and trying to inspire and help other businesses to do the same (whether they are in the coffee industry or not). And the second point I’d like to make about accessibility is doing our part as roasters to work directly with the same small-lot farmers we work with every year, so they have greater access to higher farmgates and more speciality coffee markets. While we of course are still a small fish in a big pond, we believe in the ethos that coffee should be sourced via genuine relationships and not simply jumping from one producer to the next in the search of the highest cup score.

What cause or element in coffee drives you?

I may repeat myself a bit form the previous answer, but The Artery Community Roasters exists to hire as many people with disabilities as we can, and to help inspire other businesses to do the same. And we also try to work with producers who themselves may have disabilities, so that our central mission exists throughout the value chain and helps drive everything we do. We also really believe in working with the same producers every year, paying them high farmgates regardless of cup scores year to year, and also investing in microfinance programs so that farmers have some extra funds to work with throughout the year. We know our business would not exist if not for the extreme efforts of the producers (who seem to struggle more and more every year due to climate change and rising costs), and as a business owner, I know my business would not exist if not for my incredible staff and the mission we are collectively trying to accomplish. So maybe that’s two answers woven into one, but in a broad sense, I want to run a business as ethically and inclusively as possible, and show others we can do it in a positive, profitable and sustainable way. I’m really lucky that my privilege has put me in a place to play a very small part in trying to bring some light and action to such causes.

What issue in coffee do you think is critically overlooked?

More accessible and inclusive work environments. Which is also true of any industry. We really can’t wait till we can open our first coffee shop, that is accessible not just for patrons, but for the staff as well. Think about your average coffee shop, and how difficult the setup can be for any barista. Then add to that a barista with a disability and you can imagine the added barriers that exist to do the job effectively, or at all! But that doesn’t mean a space can’t be retrofitted to be more accessible and inclusive. It takes commitment and investments, but think about some of the larger chains who open a new shop every month, who surely can afford to create a space that is more accessible for all employees. At our roastery we also still have a lot of work to do to make the space more and more accessible. But we are at least very aware of every decision we make to the space in order to make it more accessible. Like our fire hydrants for example, and PPE, are all at placed at a level where our employees in wheelchairs can access them. And we are designing a coffee bar for a future shop that is adjustable so that the height of the bar isn’t excluding some prospective staff from the position of barista.

Did you experience a “god shot” or life-changing moment of coffee revelation early in your life?

Totally, and I think about this all the time (and shudder at thinking what coffees I’d be drinking if not for this one moment). A friend of mine from Ethiopia told me you could roast green beans in a frying pan, and told me step by step his mother’s process. I found a very sweet hook up on some Yirgacheffe from this tiny Ethiopian bakery and started roasting. I quickly outgrew the frying pan and the charcoal roasts it was producing and slowly started upgrading roasting rigs over the years in the pursuit of more consistent light roasts. And for as many years as I’d been roasting, I wanted to open a social enterprise roastery/coffee shop that employed people with disabilities, and would tell a lot of people in my network about the idea. And then one day, one of those people offered me a space to do it, and I dove right in.

If you could have any job in the coffee industry, what would it be and why?

I can’t really think of any other job I’d rather have than this one. I get to roast some amazing coffees (and drink way too much of them). I get to hire the best team and help provide opportunities for them to lead. I get to schmooze and befriend our retail partners and customers! I get to help spread some disability rights activism through out very active social media channels. I just really love our little shop, our team and the community love we get, and heading to work is truly a joy and a happy place. Now I wouldn’t say no to a roaster that could roast more than 10 pounds a batch, but we’ll get there!

Who are your coffee heroes?

Every single coffee producer we have the honor of working with. I mean to me, it’s like getting to work and talk with rockstar composers. Producers work so hard, and face so many obstacles (especially some of the producers we work with), and just are so routinely forgotten about or unkown in the greater coffee world. People know the brand and all that, but they rarely get to know the farmer behind it. So we really try and spread the message to our consumers that the producers we work with do all the work and make us look good. The coffee is delicious and righteous because of their efforts and ethics. They are some of the most incredible, resilient and empathetic people and it’s just a trip to be talking with them and sharing stories of our families. So if I could, I’d love to shoutout: Esnaider Ortega (a name to watch and the best dude), Augusto Ortega and Marleny Imbachi, Emmanuel Rusatira of Baho Coffee and the Ikizere Women Producers, Pastor Ordonez, Miguel Rodriguez, Randolfo Pacheco and all the members of the Cafe Colis Resistencia movement. Each one of these producers is a hero in every sense of the word.

If you could drink coffee with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

If you’ll permit me to get sentimental for a moment, I’d have to say my dad, who passed away when I was in high school. Through the work he did, he always showed me that businesses could do good, and be profitable. And I’ve always taken that to heart and want to show people that social enterprises are not charities, selling inferior products. They are for-profit businesses, that just have chosen ethics and giving back as part of their business plan. So I would love to have a cup of our Artery coffee with my dad, as this business and its mission wouldn’t exist if not for those lessons he taught me.

Do you have any coffee mentors?

He’s going to cringe at me calling him a mentor, but this business would not exist in its current form if not for Brendan Adams of Semilla Coffee. He’s more than a my coffee importer, he truly has shown me the path to sourcing coffee the right way and has allowed me to build relationships with the producers I get to work with. And when I opened this business I hadn’t been a barista in well over a decade, and was simply roasting coffee in my garage for friends and charity events. So on top of helping me source the best and most ethical coffee, Brendan also caught me to speed on where the industry was at. I can’t thank him enough and still lean on him to this day (too much probably ha).

What do you wish someone would’ve told you when you were first starting out in coffee?

Actually someone told me exactly what I needed to hear when I set out on this business. In those early days when I was STRESSING about the roast profiles and making sure they were perfect. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very data driven and keen on consistent and well-developed roasts but also believe roasting coffee should be fun. And in those early days, I was fortunate enough to exchange some message with Stacey Lynden, a well-known and respected roaster and coffee rockstar in Canada. And she told me some very simple advice that I think about every day I’m in the roastery/lab. She said “Does it taste good? Did you have fun roasting it? That’s what matters”. And I’ve lived by that since (though with a healthy dose of data and attention to detail ha).

Where do you see yourself in 2042?

Doing the exact same thing, just on a larger scale (and maybe a little less fulfilling orders). I believe that what we are doing is important and that the community is behind us, so do believe 20 years from now, we will have a many more employees, all of whom are well paid and enjoy full benefits, and perhaps most importantly, are leaders. That the employees that are with us now, and the ones who will join us, will be the ones running this business. I don’t believe in tokenism, I believe in hiring people, finding their strengths and interests, and supporting them so they can be the leaders that I know they can be.

Thank you!

The Sprudge Twenty Interviews are presented by Pacific Barista Series. For a complete list of 2022 Sprudge Twenty honorees please visit sprudge.com/twenty.

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