Our Team

Jeff Abella, Co-Founder

Specialty coffee, craft chocolate, family and empowered communities are key motivations for Jeff. Jeff has been working on international development initiatives since 2007. His passion for social entrepreneurship has led him to establish humanitarian projects in West Africa, North India, Central Mexico and to founding Moka Origins in Pennsylvania. Jeff currently serves as the Director of Global Humanitarian Projects for the Himalayan Institute, and the Executive Director of Himalayan Institute Cameroon. Jeff serves as Chairman of the Sacred Link Foundation, and founded JobLink Cameroon. As CEO of Moka Origins, Jeff manages marketing and brand strategy, while also overseeing relationship and impact at origin.

Ishan Tigunait, Co-Founder

For over a decade, Ishan has led a range of agricultural and emerging market social ventures. He jumped into the world of international development in 2005, when he began working in the emerging field of energy farming. Ishan has a led numerous international development and humanitarian projects across the world, including in Mexico, India, and the Tibetan refugee communities. He is Chairman and a founding director of Himalayan Institute Cameroon, a leading humanitarian NGO in northwest Cameroon, and serves as CEO of Himalayan Institute International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA.

Shu Quiniva, Cameroon Business Manager

A recent addition to our team, Quiniva works to strengthen business administration and project reporting of our operations in Cameroon. As our mission becomes more defined and our impact grows, Quiniva brings her local knowledge, business skills and young entrepreneurial sprit to the team. Quiniva is one of 7, born in Bafut Village of NW Cameroon and grew up loving singing, gymnastics and the idea of pursing accounting and financial management. We’re thankful to welcome all of these skills and passions to the Moka family.

Edwin Ngong, Cameroon Project Manager

Even before Edwin was officially on staff with Moka, he served as a valuable resource to our project by offering guidance, honest feedback, and demonstrating unbiased leadership qualities. Edwin was born in Meluf Village in NW Cameroon and is one of 8 siblings. After graduating with a degree in Life Sciences, Edwin directed his focus towards sustainable agriculture as a means of community upliftment. Edwin helps Moka deploy agriculture partnerships in some of Cameroon most vulnerable communities.

Faraji Starks, Marketing Associate

Faraji has a passion for technology and coffee. He enjoys sipping coffee while re-building laptops and creating websites. Following an offer to grow a start-up company called Moka Origins, Faraji now manages the Moka website, subscription data base, weekend tours, and order fulfillment. If you order a bar, Faraji will make sure it gets to you!

Chris Gill, Sales Coordinator

With over 10 years of experience in the coffee industry, Chris came on board knowing that growing coffee and chocolate sales through Moka Origins would create jobs in Africa and contribute towards sustainable agriculture. Our lovable and friendly sales coordinator will melt your heart and can complement any situation he finds himself in with lyrics from a Phish song.

Joe Kennedy, Production Lead and Chocolate Maker

Joe graduated with a degree in business management and found his way to warehouse operations and production roles. He continues to study graphic design and has a passion for art, coffee, and chocolate. Joe greatly enjoys the team environment and being apart of a team that finds purpose behind their work, along with the creativity involved in growing a small company. He now expresses his artistry by pouring bean-to-bar chocolate and leads chocolate production at Moka Origins.

Tyler Storms, Roaster & Production Assistant

Tyler showed up with a guitar in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. During the day, our in-house rock-star can always be caught blasting tunes while he fine tuning his roasting profiles to match our single-origin coffee and cocoa beans. By night, he rips off his hair net and fine tunes his Fender Strat, ready to bust out tasty blues licks on stage.

Mark Lason, Operations Manager

Mark has been interested in Humanitarian work ever since traveling to Cameroon in 2010 where he helped Moka Origins Founder Jeff Abella with his health and public library initiatives. Following his sweet tooth and a passion for uplifting communities, Mark joined Moka Origins and is now managing their purchasing, certifications, and production operations.

Steven Odnoha, Technical Engineering

Steven has been a part of the Himalayan Institute and Moka team since 2010. He is involved with all things technical, from teaching electrical training courses to lab setup and solar power installations. Steven received his professional education from Central Texas College and the U.S. Army. He also worked for the semiconductor giant Intel for over 10 years as a maintenance technician, where he learned to apply attention to detail in all facets of his work.

Marko Sciarriano, Production Assistant

Marko recently joined Moka and dove headfirst into chocolate making, from bean, to bar. However, food and coffee are nothing new to him. While growing up in a family of restaurateurs, Marko discovered how much hard work is required to succeed in a small, food-based business. We use Marko’s positive work ethic as a benchmark example at Moka and love his passion for product innovation and process improvement.

Chelsea Abella, Brand Aesthetics

For the past 10 years Chelsea has utilized her talents of interior design while also spearheading social humanitarian projects across the globe. Initially, Chelsea established her design skills in Madison WI after graduating with a Bachelors degree in Interior Design from the University Of Wisconsin. Since graduating from UW, Chelsea has lead both commercial and residential design projects in the USA, India, Mexico and Cameroon. In addition to interior design, Chelsea’s awareness for cohesive ascetic and contemporary style gives her the ability to guide brands towards a consistent look and feel. This makes her an invaluable member of the Moka team.