Maria Cleaveland is a food & beverage and hospitality professional with business development, strategic planning, finance and operations expertise. A veteran of the early specialty coffee scene, she has built wholesale and licensing businesses at Starbucks, Peet’s & Equator Coffees. Notably, Cleaveland managed Starbucks’ initial expansion into airports in the US and brings an entrepreneurial spirit to every project. Currently she serves as North American Sales Director for Urnex Brands. In her role, she advances sales with technical acumen while advancing gender equity in her volunteer leadership positions. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the US Women in Coffee, a chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Association (IWCA) and serves on the Leadership Council of the Coffee Technicians Guild. Cleaveland earned her Bachelors of Science business degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University.