About Our CEO

Jack Karuletwa the Founder and CEO's Story:

As a young man, Jack witnessed many Rwandans, almost always Tutsi, on the move and unsettled, the results of political unrest and the impending genocide. His family was among those on the move.

Jack's father sensed trouble in Rwanda as early as the 1960s and made a quick decision to move the family out of the country. As a result, Jack and his siblings spent most of their lives as Tutsi refugees from Rwanda unable to live in their own country simply because of the ethnic group from which they came. They moved consistently, changed their names, or even pretend not to be Rwandan. During this time, his mother shielded her children from the danger with her strong faith and maternal instincts.

Jack knew when he moved to the United States in the mid 1990s that his father was saving him from ever having to go back to Rwanda where there seemed no hope of escaping intense scrutiny, discrimination and hostility. He attended Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, where he studied physics and discovered his aptitude for basketball, which lead to a three-month travel tour with the Harlem Globe Trotters and a place on the NBA practice team. He also worked as an actor on nationally syndicated television shows and commercials, and co-starred in a Disney feature film. With every opportunity he promised himself that one day he would return to Rwanda from a position of strength and hope.

The timing could not have been better than now! With new leadership, Rwanda is now prepared and poised to promote reconciliation, regeneration and a new vision for the country! Jack will be a part of that vision by introducing Rwanda as one of the best producers of coffee and tea in the world.

Named for the endangered Silverback Gorilla whose natural habitat is Rwanda and neighboring Uganda, Jack's vision and mission for Silverback Coffee of Rwanda is very straightforward - help the poorest coffee farmers realize their value, empower the human resources that make it possible for every Rwandan to become a part of a global economy, and celebrate the power of the human spirit everyday - with a cup of coffee in hand!
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