Our People

Our company is full of people looking to make a difference in countless lives around the world. We consider everyone who touches Westrock Coffee – from crop to cup – to be an equal contributor in our mission to produce great coffee and improve the industry as a whole.

Scott Ford, CEO & Co-founder
Scott Ford, Co-founder of Westrock Coffee Company, serves as Chief Executive Officer. When Scott started Westrock Coffee, the goal was to give back in a way that led to economic change in the lives of the people of Rwanda. Evidence ten years later is a vertically integrated coffee company that impacts over one million members of smallholder farming households in more than 20 different coffee growing countries worldwide.  

    In addition to Westrock Coffee, Scott serves as Chief Executive Officer of Westrock Group, LLC, the parent company of Westrock Coffee and Westrock Asset Management. Prior to forming the Westrock family of companies, Scott served as President and CEO of Alltel Corporation.

    He began his professional career as an investment banker and subsequently served as the Assistant to the Chairman at Stephens Group where his work involved traditional investment banking services, equity portfolio management, venture capital investing, and acquisitions in the media industry. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of AT&T Inc.

    Joe Ford, Co-founder & Chairman

    Joe Ford co-founded Westrock Coffee Company with his son, Scott, with the goal of creating a positive impact in the lives of people throughout the coffee supply chain and providing the very best customer service. Joe has played a key role in the development of Westrock as a vertically integrated coffee company that now supports over one million members of smallholder farming households. 

    Joe also serves as Chairman of Westrock Group, LLC. He began his career in telecommunications at Allied Telephone Company in Little Rock, becoming Allied’s President in 1977 and subsequently the Chairman of Alltel Corporation - a provider of wireless voice and data communications services. Joe serves on the Board of Directors of Westrock Coffee Company and Westrock Asset Management. He previously served on the Board of Directors for the Dial Corporation, Duke Energy Company, Eltek, ASA, Beverly Enterprises Company, En Pro Industries, Textron Inc., and the United States Chamber of Commerce.


    Chris Pledger, Chief Financial Officer

    Chris Pledger serves as Chief Financial Officer at Westrock Coffee Company, overseeing all finance, accounting, tax, and corporate develop functions for the company worldwide.  He also leads the global expansion of the company’s trading and export operations. 

    Prior to joining Westrock Coffee in 2013, Chris served as the company’s outside legal counsel as a partner at Kutak Rock LLP.  He has also served as a legal, international business, and finance executive at Hunt Oil Company.  Chris began his career as a corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions attorney at Thompson & Knight LLP and Vinson & Elkins LLP.  Chris serves on the Board of Directors of Falcon Coffees Limited and Rwanda Trading Company. 

    Will Ford, Group President of Operations

    Will Ford serves as Group President of Operations at Westrock Coffee Company. Since a family trip to Rwanda in 2005 that spawned the initial ideas of building a business there, Will has served in several of Westrock's entities around the world focusing on the many facets of the coffee trade. Working alongside his father and grandfather has allowed him a unique perspective into the inner workings of building a startup business from the ground up. 

    Will oversees production operations and distribution logistics for Westrock Coffee and therefore, has a key seat in working with customers to ensure quality with every delivery. Will earned a master's degree in Coffee Economics and Science from Illy Universtatá del Caffé in Trieste, Italy. He received his B.A. in Communications from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

    C.J. Duvall, Jr., Executive Vice President of Human Resources

    C.J. Duvall, Jr. serves as the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Westrock Coffee Company.  C.J. has long been associated with serving community efforts across a wide spectrum of interests, from local community gardening in support of teaching students in the field of biological sciences to creating scholarship endowments to prepare students to be teachers, scientists, business leaders, and humanitarian leaders all with a focus of giving back to their community.

    Prior to joining Westrock Coffee, he served as a human capital business consultant to CEOs in different industries.  C.J.'s corporate background includes more than 25-years human resource management for companies such as software services company, Systematics, Inc., Alltel Information Services, Inc., and Alltel Corporation. 

    Elizabeth McLaughlin, Retail Channel Lead

    Elizabeth McLaughlin serves as the Retail Channel Lead at Westrock Coffee Company. Elizabeth’s first cup of coffee was in Rwanda in 2013 where she immediately went to visit upon joining Westrock Coffee. This is where Elizabeth fell in love with coffee, the families who cultivate this beautiful, delicious crop and the mission to build strong, ethical supply chains.

    Prior to joining Westrock Coffee, Elizabeth owned and served as Chief Operating Officer of SIR Research, a consumer marketing research firm in Richmond, Virginia. She previously worked as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at PBM Products, a private label consumer products company. She began her career at Alltel Corporation with a role in investor relations, corporate communications, and regional marketing in Virginia and the Carolinas.

    Scott Ford

    CEO & Co-founder

    Joe Ford

    Co-founder & Chairman

    Chris Pledger

    Chief Financial Officer

    Will Ford

    Group President of Operations

    C.J. Duvall, Jr.

    Executive Vice President of Human Resources

    Elizabeth McLaughlin

    Retail Channel Lead

    Questions about our coffee? Send an email to info@westrockcoffee.com