So, this is a blogpost I don’t even know where to start with. Friday marks the last day at Batdorf & Bronson Coffee for Heather Ringwood, and I’m an absolute wreck inside. She’s was with Batdorf & Bronson for the past 16 years, and started when she was just a kid. But, she’s not a kid anymore, she’s become one of the most treasured and respected women in coffee. She’s invested the past 16 years of her life into making Batdorf & Bronson one of the most respected coffee roasters out there. She is moving on in her career to Espresso Parts, where not only does her boyfriend Dave White work, but her brother also works. I can’t imagine the impact she’ll have there, but I know what impact she’s had on me.
I have never worked under the leadership of someone who’s impacted me the way she has. I thought I’d write about all the things she’s taught me, but I have to be honest, there’s no way I could even write down all the things. She’s made me a better person in every way. She’s been by biggest supporter with Batdorf, she’s encouraged me to spread my wings and fly, and she’s supported me in every way. She’s kicked my butt when I needed it, and she’s shown her appreciation when I’ve done great things. She’s been there for me every step of the way, never stifling my creativity, and challenging things if she didn’t understand them. She’s given me every tool I’ve ever needed to do my job, and to move my own professional development forward.
When I decided I was going to resign as Chair of the BGA, she was the second person I talked to about it behind my wife, and her advice was crucial in my decision. And that’s just it, she’s not only been my manager, but she’s been a well-respected friend I’ve always known I could gain incredible insight and advice from, objective advice that has always been on point. Even before I joined the Batdorf team, she was someone I respected, and someone I’ve looked up to in so many ways. And I still do. She always knows the right answer, and in that sense, I can imagine she’s ready to hang her cape up and let someone else be SuperWoman. She’s been SuperWoman for so many people, both in our company, and outside of it.
I can’t imagine where I’d be professionally or personally had I not had the opportunity to work under Heather. I can tell you that she has made me a better coffee professional, and a better friend to others. The way she’s made me laugh, the way she’s now making me cry goes to show how much I’ve loved every minute of it. I think of the times she’s made me take time off when I’ve almost overworked myself, for the sole reason that she cares about me as a person AND an employee. She has always made me feel like a valuable part of the team, and she’s done it for all in our company. Batdorf & Bronson is a very close-knit family of coffee people, and losing her as a teammate is one of the hardest things for me to deal with, but change is inevitable, and it’s the only consistent thing in life.
So, I take with me all the lessons, all the laughs, all the support, and all the joy she’s brought to my life, and I’ll use it to continue to make me a better coffee professional and friend. I’ll root for her in her new job, and in her cider-making endeavors with my man Dave White. And I’ll try to store all her words to me in a corner of my mind that won’t get lost. For what she’s given me is priceless. Priceless, and eternal. She’s a special soul, and it was an absolute honor and privilege to work under her for the past two years. Here’s to one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met, worked with, and known, and here’s to her next chapter. Here’s to you, Heather Ringwood.