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Community Coffee chairman visits Tech

June 29, 2017

 

Matt Saurage, chairman of the board for Community Coffee, speaking to Tech students and faculty about the company. – Photo by Jonathan Shaul

Jonathan Shaul
Staff Reporter | jds103@latech.edu

 

Coffee is a large business in the United States and helps people, such as college students, stay awake when they need to.

 

One coffee company’s chairman of the board was able to come speak to Louisiana Tech students and faculty April 12. Matt Saurage from Community Coffee spoke about the values and branding of the company’s coffee business.

 

“As management, my expectation of Community Coffee is that we stick to our values and what we do, and pay attention to who we are and particularly our name,” Saurage said.

 

He said the company has to do two things, make and sell great tasting coffee and understand how to participate in the community. He said they can’t forget where they came from.

 

“My great-grandfather started the business and named it community because of his friends and neighbors,” he said. “They are the ones who helped him be successful as an entrepreneur.”

 

He said he wants to ensure the company is doing everything possible to help the community as a whole not just his home town. He said he wants the company to reach out as far as possible into communities around the world.

 

“We define our philanthropy, our giving, on three pillars: education, the military and sustainability,” Saurage said. “When you have made a decision as a leader of a company to do something, you can’t stand for everything; you have to be very specific.”

 

He said, with the military, his company supports soldiers in peace and wartime. Saurage said the company gives a soldier double of what their families ordered to send them while overseas.

 

“They’re homesick and I know what it’s like to be away from my home,” he said. “We aren’t for or against any kind of conflict, but we support our military, both veterans and active.”

 

He said a company’s philanthropies can both motivate and attract employees to a company.  He said it defines the brand because selling a product is not the only thing that matters, it’s necessary to draw a connection to your community.

 

Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business, said one of the reasons Saurage was invited is because he is a Tech alumnus.

 

“We want to showcase those alumi who have been successful at this particular level of business,” Martin said. “This series is called Inside the C-Suite, which focuses on anyone at a level with a ‘C’ in front of it.”

 

He said Saurage was a great candidate for the series because students got to hear his perspective and see how the company works.

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