Cynthia Chang Ludviksen
Cynthia Chang Ludviksen was born in Keelung, Taiwan and raised in the Mid-West of the United States.
Her start in the coffee industry began with a position as a barista 1993, soon after, her fascination with the coffee industry grew into a passionate hobby and dedicated career. In 1998, she joined Counter Culture Coffee, where she further developed her interests and focus in sustainable coffee, business management, education, and specialty coffee promotion.
Cynthia has dedicated a number of volunteer hours on projects with the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), serving at times as an instructor and committee member. She became the Regional Coordinator of the Americas for the World Barista Championship (WBC) in 2005 and joined the organization’s board of directors in 2007. Cynthia was appointed as the Executive Director of the WBC in 2009, and later, Managing Director of World Coffee Events (WCE) in 2011.
Director of Business Development
Laura Lee was born and raised in Southern California, where she now resides with her husband and three girls.
She graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from UC Berkeley in 2006. She has since then been working in event planning and business development. Most recently, Laura worked as Director of Business Development for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). She is the primary contact for all sponsorship, advertising and event promotional materials.
Laura has never met a stranger and can talk about any number of subjects at great length. She enjoys a nice long marathon to pass the time and thrives on relationship building.
Events Creative Director
Amy Ball was born and raised in Southern California, where she now resides.
After graduating with a degree in English Literature from the University of Washington, Amy spent a year living in Hawaii, where she began her career in coffee. She returned to Los Angeles, and spent thirteen years with Starbucks, working her way up from barista to district manager. The last five years of that career were spent leading a district of twelve stores and developing store managers. She was the designated Community Lead and “Fun Boss” for the region.
She loves working for WCE, creating and managing all things events. Aside from events management and creative direction, Amy is also a writer. She has penned two films, two pilots, a novel, and performs at many spoken word events throughout Los Angeles.
She is an avid reader, traveler, and a lover of the outdoors. When she’s not reading or at a coffee event, you can find Amy climbing up a rock face, hiking up a mountain, or snowboarding.
Kyonghee is currently working for World Coffee Events as competition administrator and also a certified Q Grader & Q Assistant Instructor.
She started writing about specialty coffee as a freelance writer in 2008. Her articles based on her firsthand experience not only made them interesting to readers, but also led her to develop career in specialty coffee. She became a certified Q Grader in 2010. Later she became fascinated by coffee roasting when she interviewed Trish Rothgeb, the roastmaster of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters; that led her to be a quality control manager and roaster at the company.
She has been an active volunteer at SCAA and WCE events for many years as a judge, stage manager, committee member, and WCE Rep. In 2015, she joined WCE as Events Administrator and has been enjoying her jetsetting to the global coffee community.
Irene was born and raised in Milan, Italy. She studied P.R. and also earned a MSc in Marketing Management.
After working in marketing in Milan, Chicago, and Singapore she realized she wanted to focus on events. After experience with an espresso machine manufacturer she began an M.A. in International Events Management and relocated to London where she began to collaborate with WCE, first as volunteer coordinator and then as Events Coordinator.
Irene is curious by nature and enjoys reading and exploring the world.
Event Services Coordinator
James Draper was born in Hull, England. He holds an MSc in International Marine Environmental Consultancy and a BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology.
His first touch with coffee began in Paris, France, but it really took hold when he moved to Melbourne, Australia. He soon became Cafe Manager in Melbourne and has been obsessed with coffee ever since.
He was involved in a local start up coffee roastery and cafe in Newcastle, England, for 3 years and has recently moved to London. James enjoys travelling, eating, reading, science and nature.
Events Production Coordinator
Ingibjörg Ferrer was born in Strasbourg, France and at age 4 she moved with her parents and older brother to Iceland. For most of her life she lived in Reykjavík until moving to Aarhus, Denmark in 2013 to study at the Kaospilot, a creative leadership, project management, process, and business design school.
Ingibjörg’s coffee career started in 2007, working part time as a barista at a café in Reykjavík, called Kaffitár. Her passion grew as she got dragged by her co-workers to practices for the Icelandic barista competition in 2009. In 2010 she was the Icelandic Barista Champion and traveled to London for WCE’s events with her dad and brother – the Icelandic CIGS Champion and the Cupping Champion. She has competed in several other competitions, attended the Nordic Barista Cup in 2011 and was a technical judge that same year and in 2013. She has coached people for competitions and work in several countries and in 2016 she was on the Events team for the Barista and Brewers Competitions in Iceland.
Her graduation project at the Kaospilot, in 2016, was to revive the barista guild in Iceland by hosting events, and she was about to move back to Iceland, post graduation, when she fell in love with the city of Copenhagen, where she now lives.
She enjoys biking around the city while listening to music, and making everyone else biking near her turn around as she sings loudly to her favourite tunes.
International Re:co Symposium Director
In his early years Matt was heavily involved and influenced by the Punk DIY scene as a young musician; the spirit of collaboration and the ethical foundations of the scene continued to play a key role in Matt’s approach and accounts for the varied experience he brings to WCE.
This same spirit is prevalent in the specialty coffee community and has steered a coffee journey which started at Taylors of Harrogate (the UK’s brand leader for R&G), leading to building collaborative supply chains as Q Grader & Coffee Buyer for Falcon Coffees.
Matt spent some time away from coffee in the corporate world in a series of senior management roles―he refers to this time as the ‘lost years’, but they were fruitful and gave him a grounding in governance and process along with a project management qualification. Matt co-founded North Star Coffee Roasters in Leeds, his home city based in the North of England where he currently resides. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities, has travelled the world extensively, and for Matt it’s the people and the relationships he has made from these collaborations in coffee which drive his passion.
Irene lives and works in Dublin, Ireland and has worked with World Coffee Events Limited since 2011. A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland since 1985, having trained with Ernst & Young, Irene then worked with E&Y Toronto for 3 years.
Since returning to Dublin, in addition to working in Practice, Irene has worked with a number of private Irish companies including Marco Beverage Systems Limited.
As well as a B.A. in Economics and a Higher Diploma in Psychology from University College Dublin, Irene holds an M.Sc. in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from Trinity College Dublin.
Marketing & Communications
Falling into a cafe job kept Connor both caffeinated and a little distracted in the final days of his Bachelor of Commerce at University College Dublin. Spending the last number of years working in various speciality cafés in Dublin, Connor is excited to be embracing his love of a well organised calendar by joining the team at WCE.