Executive Committee

Our Executive Committee is tasked with advancing the goals of the US League of Tea Growers – to provide value to the greater group of US Growers, and to spread awareness and valuable information about US Tea.

Please contact the respective Committee Members for any specific questions or concerns, or email USLTG President Tygh Walters at tygh@piedmonttea.com for general inquiries.

Tygh Walters – President

Tygh Walters is an advocate for wellness and sustainability. He is in the process of starting an organic tea farm, Piedmont Tea, in the Georgia Piedmont near Athens, GA.

Tygh earned a M.S. in kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a B.S. in exercise physiology from Ripon College. Currently, Tygh is a sales associate at Goodness Grows, a nursery specializing in container-grown perennials. He is inspired by the idea that agriculture can be used to improve health, conserve natural resources, and strengthen communities.

Mark Adams – Secretary

Mark Adams is an avid urban tea grower and contributor to his family tea business, Adams Tea Shop, in the Houston, TX area. He is a 4th generation pastor, now retired, and a 5th generation Texan.

Mark joined the USLTG in 2013 and has been the USLTG’s Secretary since 2014. Dr. Adams holds degrees from various universities across the Southwest and Northeast. His business background includes retail sales, banking, operational management, and HR development. Mark has extensive executive committee experience in numerous organizations, including Lion Clubs International, the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and the Boy Scouts of America. He is married to League member and current Treasurer Janice Adams.

Janice Adams – Treasurer

Janice Adams is founder and President of Adams Tea Shop in Houston, TX. She is an enthusiastic urban tea grower, and has been the USLTG’s Treasurer since she joined in 2013.

She holds a BBA in Accounting and a MBA in Management. Janice is the President and Co-owner of Chemico International, Inc, a company that focuses on safer industrial water treatment. Janice is a member of various other organizations, including Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Alumni, Womens Business Enterprise Alliance, UT Pan Am Alumni, Dartmouth-Tucks School of Business Alumni, and CEO Roundtable.  She is married to League member and current Secretary Mark Adams.

Naomi RosenNaomi Rosen – West Coast Representative

Naomi Rosen is the owner of Joy’s Teaspoon in Las Vegas, NV, and has been a proud member of the League since its inception in 2013. Naomi previously served as its Media Coordinator.

She has been a speaker at the World Tea Expo and has served multiple times as a panelist on its Tea Blogger’s Roundtable. She also coordinates the Vegas Tea & Coffee Fest, and runs the Vegas Tea Meetup. Naomi enjoys a good roasted oolong, old-fashioned donuts, and an epic game of Uno with her kids. She also loves talking tea!

Debbie Odom ProfileDebbie Odom – East Coast Representative

Debbie Odom is one of the owners of Tsubaki Camellias Inc in Savannah, GA, where she develops, grows, and sells camellias – including the tea plant, Camellia sinensis – to wholesale growers.

She is also the owner and operator of Gene’s Nursery, CamelliaShop, and TeaPlantsToGo, which provide various camellias to retail gardeners throughout the USA. Growing camellias not just a job for Debbie, but a passion. She has over 25 years of experience as a horticulturist and plant breeder, with a focus on the genus Camellia. Debbie is looking forward to the future of Camellia sinensis in the USA, especially with how this edible species can improve gardens and health through foodscaping.

IMG_0607Bob Sims – Gulf Coast Representative

Bob Sims is the owner of Andalusia Tea in South-Central Alabama, and is a lifelong learner and avid hobbyist of tea. He has experiences in a wide variety of enterprises including private, not-for-profit and public, and earned a B.A. Degree from Auburn University in 1970.

Bob discovered tea in the 1980s through Norwood Pratt’s books, and found that drinking tea eliminated a problem with his arrhythmia. Since the 1990s, he has assisted in the family business, The Tea Embassy, and established the Andalusia Tea farm after researching why his home state’s flower, the Camellia, was not yet common or produced on a sustainable commercial level there in Alabama.

Prospero090415-2933SBRie Tulali – Media Coordinator

Rie Tulali is the General Manager of Tealet Wholesale in Las Vegas, NV. Her work is to connect tea people around the world, particularly growers in Asia, Africa, and the United States with specialty buyers around the world.

Her belief is that farm-to-cup knowledge of tea is essential for an ethical tea industry. Her goal is to bring greater awareness and appreciation for growers in the United States by sharing their stories and challenges. Rie is currently an undergraduate of Communication Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

image001Victoria Gonzales – Membership Coordinator

Victoria Gonzalez is the sole owner and CEO of VictoriAnna’s Teas in Lakewood, OH. Victoria has nearly 25 years of customer service, and specializes in retail packaging of consumer goods.

Her passion for tea stems from childhood memories of her grandfather’s herbal farm in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. After founding VictoriAnna’s Teas in 2005, Victoria has also founded The Traveling Tea Shoppe-Boutique, displaying her goods at various communities and event fundraisers throughout the Cuyahoga County region in Ohio. Victoria’s other passions are in writing and business start-ups.


Please contact the respective Committee Members for any specific questions or concerns, or email USLTG President Tygh Walters at tygh@piedmonttea.com for general inquiries.


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