Team

Founder, CEO

Emily McIntyre

Serial entrepreneur Emily McIntyre has been building coffee businesses since 2008, including Crema.co and Catalyst Coffee Consulting. She created the world’s first Coffee Marketing System, and has consulted in nearly every aspect of the coffee supply chain. A licensed Q Arabica Grader and ex-pro journalist, she is also a martial artist, writes speculative fiction, and bakes a killer pie.

Zelalem Girma Bayou
Founder, Relationships & Processing Director

Zelalem Girma Bayou

Zelalem Girma Bayou has an encyclopedic grasp of the ins and outs of Ethiopian coffee and puts it all to use as he leads the Ethiopian supply chain for Catalyst Trade. He spends months on the road in Ethiopia training and processing. Dedicated to working in coffee since 2008, Zelalem was previously an accountant. He’s a licensed Q Arabica Grader, a massive soccer fan (go, Arsenal!), and fluent in Amharic and English.

Founder, Sourcing & QC Director

Michael McIntyre

Creator of OQC (Obsessive Quality Control) and green coffee expert Michael McIntyre is a serial coffee entrepreneur and consultant. A passionate coffee professional since 2004, he’s an award-winning roaster and experienced coffee buyer who’s specialized in Ethiopian coffee since 2013. He’s a cofounder of Catalyst Coffee Consulting, a licensed Q Arabica Grader, and a guitarist and bassist.

Operations Manager

Leslie Wyatt

Every duckling in our lineup has a dotted bowtie thanks to Leslie Wyatt, whose decades of experience as a professional nonfiction and Middle-Grade fiction writer show as she wrangles details, leads day-to-day operations at Catalyst, and translates vision into the nitty-gritty reality. Outside of coffee, she’s a martial artist, talented painter, and career storyteller.

Aaron Fesaha
Processing Specialist

Aron Fesaha

Many years leading tours throughout the landscape of Ethiopia make Aaron a wealth of information and have given him absolute recall of every road he’s ever driven as well as conversational abilities in English and Oromifa. His years of experience at washing stations and export processing facilities also make him invaluable as he assists Zelalem in overseeing processing in the field.

Colin Rackelman
Lab Manager - Portland

Colin Rackelman

Endless creativity, rigorous skill, and attention to detail combine in Colin Rackelman, who’s been working in coffee since 2010. His background is as a coffee roaster, cafe manager, and espresso tech. He’s a remarkably accurate cupper and outside of coffee is an avid rockhound and multi-faceted creative with a collaborative jewelry brand, Unearthed Minerals.

Lead Account Manager

Troy Ramsey

An experienced coffee roaster and green buyer who has worked in specialty coffee since 2011, Troy Ramsey supports his customers with absolute focus. Whether that means sharing the basics of purchase forecasting or brainstorming ideas for roast profiles, he draws on his background in data science and socioeconomics. He’s a licensed Q Arabica Grader and an ex-pro touring musician.

Lab Assistant - Addis Ababa

Tirunesh Ketema

After spending years working as a house mother for orphans in Ethiopia, Tirunesh joined Catalyst Trade and immediately found her place. She beautifully supports cupping, sample roasting, and other QC tasks in our Addis Ababa lab.

Account Manager

Chris Casassa

NorCal boy Chris Casassa isn’t just a die-hard coffee pro who led training for high-profile cafes and roasting companies in the Bay Area and Portland—he combines a rare mix of analysis and intuition to support his customers. He’s a national coffee competitor and absolute brewing geek since 2009. In addition, he leads a mean D&D campaign and knows way too much about natural wine.

Executive Assistant to Emily McIntyre

Morgan Meister

Magic in the details: Nebraska native Morgan Meister brings a diverse background to their role as CEO Emily McIntyre's Executive Assistant! They have a degree in dance and spent years managing retail businesses in Portland; prior to their current role, they were Catalyst Trade's Administrative Assistant and helped create many of the systems which make everything move smoothly. Outside of coffee, Morgan is involved in local theatrical productions, among many other creative outlets.

Kenya Coordinator

Dennis Shamala

Catalyst's first Kenyan employee, Dennis Shamala has held a variety of roles in the Kenyan coffee industry, ranging from finance and risk management to agronomy and producer support. Now he's on the ground working to help create and implement the strategy for Catalyst Trade to bring a new way of working to this storied origin. Outside Catalyst, he is an avid learner of all things, has a large family, and follows soccer—go Manchester!

Lab Assistant - Portland

Emalee Wilson

Lifetime coffee professional since 1999, art school graduate, and mom of one, Emalee Wilson has a talent for creating warm professional spaces and keeps the Portland HQ in great shape. If you get a sample of Catalyst's coffee, it likely was packed by her! She has a nuanced palate and can get more coffee samples into a single cabinet than any other human alive, we're convinced. Outside Catalyst you may find them on a float trip or making vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Processing Specialist

Argata (Ashenafi) Binbesa

A Sidama native, Ashenafi has spent years working in both field and export processing in Ethiopian coffee. He has significant experience managing warehouses and processes for clients all over the world and personally oversees much of Catalyst Trade's beautiful coffee. Outside of coffee, he's finishing a degree in Business Accounting and is a bodybuilder.

Account Manager

Charley Austin

After years in roasting and green coffee buying, Charley made the leap to Catalyst and brings his stalwart work ethic, passion, and experience to every interaction. In his capacity as Coffee Director of a Portland roasting company he visited Ethiopia with us in 2017—now he's come full circle! Outside coffee he plays music most nights of the week and enjoys gardening and grilling with friends.

Administrative Assistant

Sara Hernandez

Admin Assistant extraordinaire, Sara ensures customers get exactly the support they need, with a smile! She's spent years working in coffee as a barista and in other roles from marketing to production. Outside Catalyst she enjoys spending time with her friends and wilderness expeditions.