Helen Russell is Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Equator Coffees. From its small roots in a Marin County garage two decades ago to the nationwide business it is today, Equator continues to grow, thrive, and stay faithful to its values under Helen’s guidance. Their coffee is grown at Finca Sophia, their own coffee farm located in the highlands of Panama at an altitude of 2,100 meters, possibly the highest farm in Central America.
Along with her partner, Brooke McDonnell, they became the first-ever out gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender-owned business to be named “Small Business of the Year” for the United States and California by the US’s Small Business Administration. They were also finalists for the 2016 Good Food Awards. In addition to her focus on Equator’s success, Helen volunteers her time and business experience to local and international organizations supporting women and the environment including La Cocina Community Kitchen in San Francisco, the International Women in Coffee Alliance, and Brown Girl Surf.