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Java Queen

Coffee lover Michelle Gass spends her days figuring out what others like about coffee.

She got a chemical engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and now is president of Seattle’s Best Coffee, a brand owned by the Starbucks Corp. Earlier in her career she launched the Caramel Frappuccino, and it was her idea to have a caramel drizzle instead of a little squirt. She also wanted domed lids and green straws instead of red ones to give the slush a more appealing look.

Gass finds out what customers want by talking to them and taking her team to Starbucks shops around the world. The trips help them understand other cultures and spark new coffee ideas.

Photo by Patrick O’Connor

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