The Justice League left for Costa Rica on Sunday, January 11 for their annual forum retreat. After an original plan to have the retreat in late February changed because of a schedule conflict, the Justice League had to move it to January and had less than four weeks to pull everything together. They chose an all-inclusive resort called Riu Palace Costa Rica in Guanacaste and spent four days on retreat. With the winter temperatures outside in New Jersey dipping into the single digits last week, there was certainly no complaints about the timing of the trip.
The Justice League has been spending significant time recently discussing topics from two books: Mike Michaelowitz’s “Profit First” and Chris McChensey’s “The 4 Disciplines of Execution.” When you add into the mix the League’s desire to build more accountability into their forum experience, this year’s retreat focused on setting up goals across three categories: individual, family and business.On the second day, Justice League left early in the morning in a van and traveled through farms, small village-like towns and dense jungle terrain to reach Diria Coffee Farm for a tour of their production facility. After a great cup of their best organic “Peaberry” coffee, the group was led through the facility to learn the production process.One of the biggest takeaways of the tour was learning how much attention the farmers pay to being a sustainable operation. In the context of Michaelowitz’s “Profit First,” it was readily apparent that they were operating on the “small plate” philosophy. That region of Costa Rica is very dry during the harvest season for coffee, and water is a precious resource. The farmers there go to great lengths to recycle all the water they use to wash and filter the coffee beans. They also use the skin of the coffee bean as a fuel in the furnaces that dry the beans before the roasting process begins. The farmers at Diria Coffee Farm have implemented some ingeniously simple solutions to consume as little as possible and minimize their costs – it’s their version of small plates. The result is a highly profitable operation that supports the lives of 150 local farmers and their families.
On Wednesday, January 14 the Justice League returned to the great state of New Jersey as a stronger forum, all tanned and fired up for a very successful 2015.
Justice League Members: Steven Kramer, Dan Wilson, Joe Infante, Terry Lyons, John Cioffi, Glenn Van Etten, Brian MacClaren
Photo 1: Justice League on the beach at Riu Palace Costa Rica
Photo 2: Local coffee farmer, Dennis, explaining the coffee bean washing process