Meet the Board and Advisors of the US League of Tea Growers
Angela McDonald - USLTG President
Avid gardener, as well as tea lover Angela McDonald took on the role of Secretary for the League in April of 2018. In 2019, she was elected League President. She has owned Oregon Tea Traders in Eugene, Oregon since 2011, and currently teaches classes about growing and drinking tea across the country. She has traveled extensively across Asia and observed tea drinking techniques of various cultures. She holds a bachelors degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oregon. Aside from all things tea, she loves baking and spending time with her 2 children.
David Hathaway - USLTG Vice President
David is the proud owner of a small tea farm. At the 2018 Annual meeting, League members had the pleasure of visiting his tea plants and learning more about how to prune and grow tea. He was elected as the Vice President for the League in 2019.
Mark Adams - USLTG Secretary
Mark Adams is a long-time member USLTG serving as League Secretary from 2013 to 2017. In 2017, he was elected League President. In 2019, he was elected as League Secretary again. Mark is a 6th generation Texan and 4th generation retired pastor. Dr. Adams holds degrees and diplomas from various universities across the southwest and northeast. His business background includes retail sales, banking, operational management, and HR development. He has extensive executive committee experience in numerous organizations, is a former unit president for Lion Clubs International, United Methodist Men, and the Sons of the Republic of Texas. His is, also, a past District Commissioner and past District Committee Chair for the Boy Scouts of America. He is an avid urban tea grower and contributor to his family tea business in the Houston area. He is married to League member Janice Adams.
& Founding Members
Nigel Melican, a crop scientist by training, has clocked up 39 years’ hands-on practical experience in the tea industry, initially as a peripatetic field and factory technical trouble-shooter with Unilever Research and, since 1990, as owner of his tea technology consultancy company Teacraft, and his specialty tea e-commerce company Nothing But Tea.
Nigel has extensive experience in all facets of the industry, assisting tea producing clients in 31 countries – from green tea feasibility in Australia to tea extracts in Zimbabwe – and is proud to boast having manufactured black tea on six of the world’s seven continents.
He believes that the 5,000-year-old tea industry is now facing unprecedented changes and is fascinated by the opportunities they offer. With an eye on the future he now concentrates on helping to develop non-traditional tea growing origins – in USA and Europe in particular – and innovating to solve the novel challenges of growing fine specialty teas under some very marginal climatic conditions.
Nigel is co-founder of the US League of Tea Growers, co-founder and President of the recently formed European Tea Society, an International Advisor to the American Specialty Tea Alliance, and is the 2018 recipient of the John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his significant support to the tea industry's growth, innovation, and education.
Jason McDonaldJason McDonald is the founder of The Great Mississippi Tea Company, which produced 4 top award winning teas in the 2015 Tea of the United States Awards. He won a Silver Medal in the Global Tea Championship for his 'Mississippi Queen' green tea. He also recently won a Silver Medal in the Global Tea Championship in 2018 for his 'Delta Oolong.'
Jason’s teas are featured at The Rare Tea Counter and The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason Picadilly location in London and The Cultured Cup in Dallas. His teas are quickly becoming the “gold standard” for US tea quality and production.
Jason is a founding member of the Hawaii Medicinal Tea & Herb Cooperative and a co-founder of The United States League of Tea Growers.
He has been an industry collaborator with multiple grants for tea research from the USDA in conjunction with research universities.
He has traveled extensively to tea growing regions to gain hands-on experience in order to distill information from various tea producing regions into a working model for US production.
Over the course of the last 6 years, Jason has imported over 500,000 tea seeds into the US for various growers, has planted over 75,000 tea plants in multiple states, and has raised nearly 150,000 tea plants in a nursery. Jason currently has 15 acres of planted tea under his management and is continuing to plant more each year.
He, along with his husband Timothy Gipson, splits his year equally between Mississippi and Hawaii experimenting with tea growing methods, researching tea growing in various conditions, and developing sustainable business models for tea production on a larger scale for the US.