Dean’s Beans founder to talk coffee, fair trade and careers

Author: Carol Elliott


Fifteen years ago, Dean Cycon formed the company Dean’s Beans as a model of how a commodity could be grown, processed, and sold in ways that are environmentally sensitive, economically fair and return a profit.

On March 21, Cycon will recount his journey from college to the coffeelands of the world, sharing his experiences and offering advice for others during a talk at the University of Notre Dame. “Making a Living Making a Difference: An Evening With Dean Cycon” will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Andrews Auditorium in Geddes Hall. A networking opportunity follows the talk at 7:30 p.m. in the Geddes Hall Coffee House.

The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Dean has more than 25 years of development work and activism in indigenous communities, including coffee villages, around the world. He is a co-founder of nonprofit development group Coffee Kids and of Cooperative Coffees, the world’s first fair-trade roaster’s cooperative. The company designs and funds people-centered development projects in the coffee lands in partnership with the growers, and returns a percentage of profits to the growers as a Social Equity Premium.

Making a Living Making a Difference is an annual event that explores career opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors. It is co-sponsored by The Career Center, Master of Nonprofit Administration Program at the Mendoza College of Business, Center for Social Concerns, Higgins Labor Studies Program, Kellogg Institute and the Notre Dame Law School.

For more information, contact Kimberly Brennan, program manager for the Master of Nonprofit Administration, at (574) 631-3639 or