The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Welcomes New CFO and VP



The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the oldest and largest privately’held specialty premium coffee and tea retailer in the United States, is pleased to announce two new appointments to its executive team: Karen Cate as Chief Financial Officer and Jeff Schroeder as Vice President of Operations.

Ms. Cate is responsible for all accounting, finance, treasury, and IT functions at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Her teams are focused on delivering value-added business successes that drive superior financial performance for the company. Prior to joining The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Ms. Cate was the Vice President, Controller of Trader Joe’s Company, where she was responsible for the integrity of financial processes and reporting for the retail grocery store, warehouses, and distribution operations. She has also held financial management positions for Sun Microsystems, Inc., Nestle USA, and Avery Dennison Corporation.

As Vice President of Operations, Mr. Schroeder is responsible for the company’s domestic store operations, including company-owned and franchise store support; customer relations; operations services and training. Mr. Schroeder brings more than 30 years of experience with large multi-unit operations in the restaurant industry. He has been involved in the rapid expansion of major restaurant organizations; most recently, Mr. Schroeder served as Vice President, Brewery Restaurants for Karl Strauss Brewing Company. He also worked with Jack in the Box as Division Vice President and held operational management roles at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Arby’s.

In September 2013, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf announced that Advent International, CDIB Capital, and Mirae Asset Private Equity joined together to acquire a significant equity position in the company. Dawson was appointed President and CEO of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as of Jan. 1. His background includes leadership positions at Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.-where he held various positions over the past eight years, most recently serving as the global development officer of Dunkin’ Donuts-as well as Vice President of Worldwide Restaurant Development at McDonald’s Corporation. Recently, Bill Robards joined the company as Vice President of Store Development and Cori Connell was appointed as Vice President of Legal Services.

Posted by Erica Schmucker
May 15, 2014

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