Willard “Dub” Hay
Chairman of the Board
Dub Hay is considered one of the world’s most prescient coffee experts, whose successful career spans more than 30 years in the industry. Globally recognized as an expert in the coffee industry, Dub has traveled to the far reaches of coffee growing regions, such as Sulawesi, Rwanda and Papua New Guinea, building deep relationships with generations of farmers.
As Chairman of the Board, Dub will be responsible for developing demand and ensuring best-practices to meet specifications of large corporate customers of Kona Hills. He will also insure best talent is engaged to oversee the farm development plan, planting scheme and varietal selection.
Dub is the former senior vice president, Global Coffee Authority for Starbucks, where he led the team responsible for championing the Starbucks coffee experience and ensuring a single, global voice of coffee in Starbucks stores around the world. As the company’s chief coffee advocate, Dub oversaw internal programs to further demonstrate Starbucks passion, quality and leadership in all things coffee.
Dub started with Starbucks in November 2002 and retired in December 2012. During his career with Starbucks, he was responsible for the buying, blending, and supplier relations for all coffee and tea acquired globally. Dub also led the development of C.A.F.E Practices – Starbucks socially responsible coffee buying guidelines – as well as global development of Farmer Support Centers to improve coffee quality and farmer livelihoods.
Prior to joining Starbucks, Dub’s career in coffee included executive roles at Proctor & Gamble Co. (Folgers) and Nestlé USA. Following a six-year tenure as the group’s Chairman of Government Affairs, Dub served as Chairman of the Board of the National Coffee Association (NCA) for a two-year term, including during its Centennial celebration. Additionally, he served as President and CEO of the 107-year-old NCA while conducting a search for the group’s new CEO. He served on the Board of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, and Foodie Tout, the consummate food industry advisory firm for restaurants, food processors and high-end culinary products.
Dub is currently Chairman of the Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley. He has also served on the board of directors for Earthwatch Institute, the New York Board of Trade (formerly the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange), and is a past Chairman of the Pacific Coast Coffee Association.