Join Helen Russell for this live, 60-minute online class, and discover the Five Things She’s Learned about leading her business and her employees through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Join Helen Russell, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Equator Coffees for a live, candid conversation about the challenges that she and her management team have faced — and have overcome — since the outbreak of COVID-19 just over a year ago.
From its small roots in a Marin County garage two decades ago to the nationwide business it is today, Equator Coffees is a rightly celebrated high-impact coffee company focused on quality, sustainability and social responsibility. Equator’s strong relationships throughout the coffee community allow them to source distinctive coffees directly from similarly committed producers. Their commitment to sustainability ensures that they pay fair prices for their coffee and offer robust benefits to every Equator employee.
But the COVID-19 pandemic immediately threatened all that Helen and her team had established, forcing the Equator leadership team to develop in response new strategies for conserving, managing, and deploying resources; for leveraging technologies in new ways that would keep them connected with customers and with their business partners; and for pursuing omni-channel growth that extended beyond their temporarily shuttered retail locations. These aims required additional focus on the company’s internal and network communications; and demanded even more from Equator’s leadership team.
Helen will share these once-in-a-lifetime struggles, the COVID-19 challenges that proved most difficult for Equator’s leadership team, and the remarkable way she and her employees are already emerging from the pandemic stronger and more poised for success than ever before.
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.