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Helen Russell is the co-founder of Equator Coffees, a specialty roaster founded in 1995. Under her leadership  Equator has grown from a small roaster and wholesale supplier into a brand known for its values-driven approach, award-winning coffee, and impactful action along the entire supply line.  Helen led Equator to become California’s first Certified B Corporation coffee roaster. Equator has an industry-wide reputation as an early champion Fair Trade practices and pioneered direct relationships with coffee farmers.  In 2016 Equator became the first LGBT Certified business to win the SBA national Small Business of the Year. Helen’s constant innovation and Equator’s focus on quality and culinary complexity has attracted the partnership of prominent chefs and bakers including Suzanne Goin, Dominique Crenn, Thomas Keller, Traci Des Jardins, and Tyler Florence. In addition to Helen’s focus on Equator’s success, she has volunteered her time and business experience to local and international organizations supporting women and the environment including La Cocina Community Kitchen, the International Women in Coffee Alliance, World Bicycle Relief, and Challenged Athletes Foundation.