Shabnam Weber, a Toronto-based tea retailer and founder of The Academy of Tea, is the new president of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada (THAC).
Weber, who co-founded the Tea Emporium, a chain of specialty tea shops, serves as a member of the THAC board.
“I am hugely delighted, honored and excited – not necessarily in that order – to be the next president of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada,” said Weber. “The tea industry has been an enormous part of my life for almost two decades and I consider myself privileged to be a part of this world. ”
She replaces Louise Roberge who is retiring June 1.
Tea and Herbal Association of Canada chair Ron Sadler announced the decision, which follows an extensive search and selection process.
“You may know Shabnam as she has been serving on the board as director for a number of years representing the retailers, as the owner of the Tea Emporium,” he said.
“She was also the chair of the education committee, assisted in developing and authoring the Tea Sommelier Education program with THAC and more recently, through her company The Tea Academy, has been the third party provider of THAC’s Tea Sommelier Education program,” Sadler explained.
Sadler said that Weber will divest both her retail business and her interest in The Tea Academy to avoid any conflict of interest issues. She begins work May 22.
He offered his congratulations and thanks to the The Portage Group and members Michael Higgins, Sylvia Mcvey, Kathy Grant-Munoz and Peter Scandrett who comprised the selection committee. The group considered more than 15 candidates in making its recommendation.
Weber said that serving on the THAC Board for almost ten years “has given me a broader and richer insight into all aspects of the tea industry. My vision for THAC moving forward is to build on our strengths, but to also have an association that embraces all parts of the tea world. I was an independent specialty retailer when I started my involvement with THAC,” she said, adding, “I am a testament to this statement: nothing happens without engagement.”
The Canadian Tea Council was established in 1954 with a mission to promote tea consumption to Canadians. Sri Lanka and India were the initial producing country members. The group later became the Tea Association of Canada and more recently merged with the herbal association to become the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, a not-for-profit association representing the entire tea industry in Canada from the bush to the cup.