Cynthia Chang Ludviksen
Managing Director
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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.

Business Development

Laura Lee
Sales Director
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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.

Veronica Chou 周詩盈
Sales Manager
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Amy Ball
Community Events Officer
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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.

Irene Beretta
World Competition Events Director
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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.

James Draper
World Competition Events Manager
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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.

Kayla Doughty
World Competition Events Coordinator
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Kayla Doughty is from Portland, Maine. She started in coffee when she was 19 years old, which led her to Le Cordon Bleu, and to Chicago, where she lived for 7 years cooking, making pastry, and bread. She moved on to managing a Tiki-themed specialty coffee shop in Palm Springs. When not working you can find her in vinyl shops searching for her next prized album.


Irene Dennehy
Financial Controller
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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

Alex BernsonAlex Bernson
Event Marketing Director
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Alex Bernson grew up immersed in coffee in Seattle, Washington, getting his first cafe job in highschool.
He has gone on to study coffee & society at Wesleyan University; work bar, train, and manage at cafes in Seattle, Portland and New York, and write and speak about coffee globally.
He lives in Brooklyn, NY where he spends too much time exploring the city’s many culinary delights.

Connor ClarkeConnor
Event Marketing Manager
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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.