Dave Brauer: Robert Morris University Dave Brauer | Robert Morris University

Changing Lives

DAVE_BRAUER See Recent Update!

And then it hit me. Why not start a new kind of company? “What? A company that always reaches out to the community, that’s always giving back, are you nuts?

“No, not nuts. Coffee beans. I knew I could make it work. I knew it because of my engaged learning experience at RMU while I was doing my graduate work. My advisor suggested I get involved in what was a five year sustainability study, and it literally changed my direction.

Today, my company, Beecher’s Coffee, roasts fair trade and organic coffees, we use cellulose packaging and 100-percent recycled paper, and a major share of sales goes to the Glad Run Foundation.

My next goal is a doctorate in sustainable

  Oh, I might write another children’s book based on
sustainability, I’ve just published my first one,
dedicated to my son.

No kidding, you never know where engaged learning
will take you. Like the rest of your life, for instance.”

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Besides managing the daily business of Beecher's Coffee & Premium Tea, Dave is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development from Durham University in England. It's a split program with Fudan University in Shanghai, that requires Dave to travel to China every eight weeks. Currently he's ranked number one in his class and is president of his academic class. He expects to graduate in early 2014.

   In addition to that, he's also actively involved in
   helping the poor of Haiti by working to reestablish
   the country's once thriving coffee industry. Recently
   he was asked to join the board of directors of the
   Friends of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (friendsofhas.org),
   which supports projects in collaboration with the
   hospital's mission to improve the health and
   well-being of the people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley.
   Now he's working with the hospital to launch an
   exclusive, $100/pound Haitian coffee known as
   the "Pearl of the Antillies", the sales of which will help support the Haiti Timber Reintroduction Project.