Company

Employee Bios

  • Joseph Apuzzo Jr

    CEO

  • Joseph Apuzzo III

    EVP

  • Alan Macek

    VP Finance

  • John Randall

    VP Trading

  • Al Celestino

    Traffic Director

  • Dominick Plati

    Controller

  • David Joelson

    Trading Manager

  • Janis Cutler

    Traffic Manager

  • Joseph Coniglio

    Trader

  • John Coyne

    Trader

  • Mark Kestenbaum

    Operations

  • Izwandi Rusli

    Lab Manager

  • Joseph Apuzzo Jr

    CEO

    Mr. Apuzzo Jr. is the CEO and owner of Armenia Coffee Corporation.  He is a 40 year veteran of the coffee industry serving as Chairman and Director of the boards of both the National and Green Coffee Associations for many years.  His adherence to strict quality standards and strong ethics has made him a well-respected figure in the industry.  His father was a coffee icon and was involved in the formation of the company 60 years ago.  Family tradition has been deeply engrained in the first two Apuzzo generations and this culture is proudly being carried on by Joseph Apuzzo III.

  • Joseph Apuzzo III

    EVP

    Joseph Apuzzo III started working full-time in the industry right out of college in 2015 but has lived in this business for his entire life.  He has brought an element of freshness to the company in the form of innovative ideas and high energy.  As a third-generation coffee “professional,” Joe enjoys the benefit of having the Apuzzo name, which carries a lot of respect in the industry but he constantly seeks to make his own mark by looking into different opportunities in the business.  Whether it is a new coffee filter, a different way to brew, or a focus on directing the company toward specialty/exotic coffee – if the idea is new and different, he is interested.

  • Alan Macek

    VP Finance

    Mr. Macek is one of the oldest members of the company having joined in 1985 after a couple of years on the marine insurance & claims desk at Gill & Duffus Inc.  A graduate of Seton Hall University’s business school, he joined Armenia when the coffee market was much more volume driven than it is today.  Steering the company financially through many changes in the economic climate, he is proud to be with an organization which has endured.  Activity is the key to success both mentally and physically, and nothing keeps you more active than a good cup of coffee.  Mr. Macek prefers the African origins like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

  • John Randall

    VP Trading

    John has been a member of the coffee trade since February 1978 and has sat at the desk of just about every job you can have in the coffee import trade.  He’s been building relationships all around the world ever since, it’s what he calls the best part of his job.  John was an apprentice early on, learning from seasoned professionals about coffee and what makes it special.  In the 80’s when a movement started to identify special coffees and build a trade association, John was on the steering committee which lead to the creation of the Specialty Coffee Association of America and was recognized in 1991 with an award for Outstanding Contributions to the Association.

    Professionals sharing their passions and knowledge for coffee is what started John along his path, and what motivates him even today.  He joined Armenia Coffee Corp on July 11, 1994 as a green coffee trader (remembering why that date is important to coffee, check out this NY Times article)

    It’s been every bit that interesting a ride ever since.  John fancies himself a bit of a geek as his 4 phones, 2 tablets and multiple computers will attest, and believes technology and coffee go well together.  He believes that working together makes the end result better than the sum of the parts and to that end loves to blend Yirgacheffee, Mandheling and a nice Colombian believing this is as heavenly a blend as there ever was.

  • Al Celestino

    Traffic Director

    Al began his path in the coffee trade in 1980 with the Nestle Foods Coffee Division in the Green Coffee Quality Lab. Here, he was trained in cupping, a skill that he still enjoys today. Additionally, he assisted the Traffic Department, and eventually progressed to the position of Traffic Logistics Manager.

    In September of 1990, Al joined Armenia Coffee Corporation as the Traffic Manager. In this role, he is responsible for the coordination of all coffee movements, import documentation, claims, invoices, freight payments, negotiations of steamship contracts, and the creation and monitoring of import cost spreadsheets. He also prepares documentation for US customs, and ensures FDA and CTPAT compliance. Additionally, Al interfaces with the trading, finance, and accounting departments within Armenia, and develops and maintains good relationships by working closely with the company’s customers.

    Al is an avid sports fan and enjoys keeping up with the latest electronic devices. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, and sharing his knowledge of coffee and the field with those around him. His favorite cup of coffee is a full-bodied acidic blend, like an Ethiopian Yirgacheffee or Kenya AA.

  • Dominick Plati

    Controller

    Mr. Plati was hired by Armenia Coffee Corporation as a Controller in 1992. He had spent 15 years prior at Nestle USA where he acquired the knowledge needed to succeed in the industry. At Nestle, Mr. Plati learned various aspects of the business as he served as an accountant, financial analyst, division manager and eventually the division controller for the two major divisions at Nestle – Chocolate and Coffee. He has since brought his expertise to the experienced staff at Armenia and looks forward to the challenges that face this ever-changing industry. Though admittedly a sugar and cream kind of guy, Mr. Plati finds it hard to resist a fresh cup of Costa Rican coffee whenever it is made available.

  • David Joelson

    Trading Manager

    Dave joined Armenia in 2018 upon the acquisition of Amcafe and is working to integrate the two companies while servicing customers and sourcing coffees. Like so many coffee industry people, his path to the coffee business was, well, accidental.  “I had a perfectly good corporate career when my employer — a company called General Foods — transferred me to their plant in San Leandro, California to be plant controller.  Yes, I was a bean-counter in a coffee roasting facility…living the dream.”  Shortly after that, a local green coffee legend, the late Peter McLaughlin, invited him to his coffee trading operation to learn about the strange ritual known has “cupping,” and Dave was hooked.  Dave later became the director of the company’s North American green-coffee buying operation, and his bean-counting days were over for good.  After a detour into the world of commodity software, he returned to coffee in 2015 as General Manager of Amcafé and its parent company, Finagra USA before the Armenia acquisition.

    When he is not hard at work, Dave kicks back with his classic rock band “Willfull Misconduct” playing keyboards and horns and serving up his favorite coffee, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, to his band-mates at rehearsals. Dave lives in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife Sharon.

  • Janis Cutler

    Traffic Manager

    Janis’ entry into the world of coffee began with Saks International Inc. That large commercial coffee-trading operation afforded her the opportunity to learn all aspects of the coffee business. When Saks closed, Janis joined Mike Glenister who was just opening a new Specialty Coffee Trading company, Amcafé.  It was the dawn, or perhaps mid-morning, of the Specialty Coffee era, and an exciting time to be introducing rare and wonderful coffees to US Roasters.

    Now part of the Armenia team, Janis brings to every task an intimate knowledge of coffee, gained through years of experience. “Coffee is my passion — I’m all about the bean,” she says.  “That’s the way it’s been for years. What I love most is that not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new about the world of coffee.”  If you ask Janis what she did this weekend, she will inevitably tell you that she was exploring New York City and its coffee shops.  Her favorite coffee comes from the western highlands of Papua New Guinea – Sigri Plantation AA.  If you never tried it, give her a call!

  • Joseph Coniglio

    Trader

    Although Mr. Coniglio is new to Armenia and the Coffee industry, he has extensive business and sales experience. He graduated from Iona Preparatory and decided to follow his entrepreneurial spirit rather than the typical college path. He was an equity broker and series 7 & 63 license holder. He has consulted and advised multiple business ventures. Most recently, Mr. Coniglio was working with BMW in an advisor roll. With his attention to detail and passion he quickly exceled into a management capacity. Mr. Coniglio is excited to learn a new industry and grow a new segment of Armenia Coffee Corporation organically. His energy and outside the box analyses are a great addition to the company. Mr. Coniglio is embracing the coffee world and learning all aspects from sourcing to roasting to cupping. He enjoys sports and is a keen automotive enthusiast. In his spare time, he loves to travel and spend time with family and friends. His current preference is a superb 100% Colombian.

  • John Coyne

    Trader

    John was part of the Amcafe team that joined Armenia in 2018. His path to the world of coffee came via the world of Wall Street, where he traded currencies and other instruments. However, he found that industry to be lacking in something larger and he heard an irresistibly siren song of a coffee company that he passed twice each day on his commute to and from “The Street.” At first, he thought, “Hmmm…maybe one of these coffee companies needs help with their hedging or something,” but when he finally made the big move and joined the industry (to the puzzlement of his former Wall Street colleagues, we might add), something unexpected happened: He became totally engrossed and fascinated by the intricacies of cupping specialty coffee. And the fullness of the industry — from the global relationships, to working with brick & mortar customers, from responsible sourcing to supply chain management — was so much more than he could ever envision getting from currency trading.

    Ten years later, John is a licensed Q Cupper and is depended upon by his customers to find for them the right coffees at the right price. And yes, he can handle the hedging when called upon.

    John was raised in Vermont, and as they say, you can take the boy out of the country, but the reverse is not necessarily true. In his free time, he enjoys the great Vermont outdoors — he is an avid skier — but has also been known for less strenuous activities such as curling up with a good book and a great cup of Kenyan coffee.

  • Mark Kestenbaum

    Operations

    Mark is an experienced operations associate with a global outlook having entered the coffee industry in London servicing European markets. Mark joined Armenia Coffee Corporation after moving across the pond to New York.  Mark looks forward to continuing to develop strong relationships and providing first class operational support at Armenia Coffee Corporation.

    When Mark is not knee deep in coffee, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing tennis, traveling, and watching soccer games.

    Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in business and Finance from BPP University School of Business and Technology (London, UK).

  • Izwandi Rusli

    Lab Manager

    Born in Sumatra in the heart of Mandheling country, Izwandi first became involved in the business of coffee in 1994 as an employee of the Indonesian Government Marketing office in New York.  He was responsible for marketing a variety of Indonesian products in the United States, not the least of which was green coffee, as well as cocoa, tea, palm oil, and rubber.  When the government office was closed in the wake of the Asian coffee crisis, Izwandi continued to represent the major government-owned coffee producer PTP Nusantara XII in North America.

    Izwandi’s association with Amcafé began in 2001 as a consultant and quality manager for Indonesian coffees, but his knack for cupping soon led to a full-time position as quality manager.  His colleagues get a kick out of watching his face while cupping, as he is unable to contain his reactions, and all of us at Amcafé urge Izwandi to never take up the game of poker.

    With over 20 years promoting Indonesian products in the U.S., Izwandi is truly coffee’s “Mr. Indonesia” and serves today on various Indonesian government and private offices, including Indonesia’s Embassy, Consulate, ITPC (Indonesian Trade and Promotion Center), Bank Indonesia (Central Bank), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), and the American-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce.