Proudly Woman-Led: Meet Our New CEO
February 02, 22
By Alisha Whitley

Proudly Woman-Led: Meet Our New CEO

February 02, 22

We have an exciting announcement: Meet our new CEO, Patty Connor! As an impact-driven company, we believe in creating a world with more equitable opportunities — especially for girls and young women — and are proud to be woman-led. Patty and the inspiring women we work with are proof that girls can run the world. 

Read on to learn more about our new CEO and what Our Gorongosa (OG) means to her.

Q: Why is having high representation of women important to OG?

Being the mother of 2 daughters, it is particularly important to me that the company I work for leads by example. Having women in high representation on our leadership teams is integral to having diverse perspectives when we're building our business. In Mozambique, the project is removing barriers and supporting girls to have choices and opportunities. In North America, we're also building a more inclusive, diverse corporate culture. I'm thrilled that this will move the dial for when my girls are entering the workforce.

Q: What are you most excited for as Gorongosa grows?

Growing our coffee-drinking community and having more people join us on our journey! 

The Our Gorongosa story is a special one. For me, it cements the interconnectedness of people and the planet, regardless of geographical borders. We want to pave the way for new direct impact businesses and show how change can start as small as a cup of coffee, and conscientious buying decisions. Our growth means we are connecting people thousands of miles outside of Gorongosa to the change happening there, and that’s powerful.

Q: What are some of the challenges you've experienced as a startup?

Slim margins. One of our core values is maintaining equitable and sustainable practices along the supply chain over our bottom line. This means as a start-up, our margins are even slimmer. Sustainable responsible growth is a slow burn — and we’re committed to the long game. (Good thing we’re having fun along the way!)

And, fierce competition. Coffee is a saturated market place and standing out is never easy or cheap. In an age when impact-washing is as synonymous as green-washing, we want to strike a balance between transparency with our value chains and engaging our audience with storytelling from our team on the ground in Mozambique.

Q: How does OG "do coffee differently"?

Our core values are impact, integrity, community, quality, fun, and innovation — and these values shape every aspect of our business from bean to brew. 

We do coffee differently because these values are built into our company DNA. From the regenerative trade practices that happen at the farming level in Mozambique, to our B-Corp certified business model in North America, to our impact statement, where 100% of our profits go back to supporting the Gorongosa Project.

Q: What is your favorite way to enjoy OG coffee?

I love being thoroughly caffeinated, so having a coffee allowance is definitely an employment perk!

I like Elephants Never Forget first thing in the morning as a pour over. It’s a light roast, delicate, and a bit citrusy. It keeps me fueled (for a non-morning person!). My go-to throughout the day is Speak for the Trees in a french press with cream or oat milk. And in the summer, I discovered that Girls Run the World is my favorite for cold brew. 

Tune into the Girls Who Run the World: The Podcast to hear more from Patty and other inspiring women in business. Listen (and subscribe!) on on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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