Meet Derek Neilson, Coffee Cup Collectives newest member and Chief Operating Officer. As COO Derek does a little bit of everything, but ultimately, he looks for ways to grow and strengthen CCC by defining and refining the way the company works. He says, "It’s great
because I get to interact with our subscribers as well as our cafe and corporate partners. Plus, much of my day is spent drinking or talking about coffee."
Derek spent most of the last two decades at McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting company. He started in the mailroom and worked his way through several roles before finding his bliss in food & agriculture research. Some years later, he helped to co-found McKinsey’s agribusiness practice as basically the “nerd-in-residence.” That’s where he learned of the importance of sustainability, not just agricultural and environmental, but economic and social as well. He has also worked in a private dining club, a pizza shop and at the pool in his hometown, though he thinks people are most surprised by the fact that he worked as an office coordinator for Seton Hall’s priest community, as the only way he is similar to a priest is that he's a dude that tends to wear a lot of black.
Initially, Derek decided to join CCC as an advisor about a year ago after a discussion with our CEO Alison. He said, "I was inspired by her vision of a less wasteful society and her
passion to actually do something about it. I also loved the concept of replacing the disposable coffee cup. I hate to say it, but I was throwing away at least 2 paper cups a day. I wanted to be more mindful of my waste, but carrying a cup seemed cumbersome. This concept did away with that, as in practice, it is just like a disposable cup except the cup doesn’t end up in a landfill or worse, bouncing down the street in the wind tunnel we call the Back Bay. To paraphrase Busta Rhymes in Pass the Courvoisier, I didn’t wanna talk about it, I wanna be about it."
Now as part of the growing team, Derek believes and knows CCC provides an opportunity to do something tangible and important toward increasing sustainability and keeping Boston beautiful. As an added bonus, his caffeination leads to conservation, which is important to him as we enter iced coffee season...as if that isn’t year round here in Boston.
Fun fact about Derek is he is a native Masshole, and the chocolate chip cookie was invented in his hometown of Whitman. (You’re welcome, world!) He has also lived in India, Hungary and Costa Rica. Beszélek egy kicsit magyarul y habló español un pocito but his Hindi only consists of swear words. He is Cape Verdean and Swedish, but speaks neither of those...yet. And he loves finding street art and underground music scenes when he travels anywhere. Lastly, he say "I plead the 5th on everything else, just in case I decide to run for political office one day."
We are so excited to have Derek on our team as we help Boston, and beyond, conquer the goal of zero waste.