“This is amazing. We’re in the center of where it all began for Starbucks,” said Jen Clayton from Ontario, Canada. “This is inspirational and invigorating.”
2,100 Starbucks district managers from around the world are coming together in the company’s home city of Seattle for a series of meetings to build upon past successes and lead the brand to new heights in the years to come.
Each Starbucks district manager leads a multi-unit, multi-million dollar enterprise. They are accountable for 10-12 company-owned stores or 18 and 20 Starbucks licensed stores. In all, Starbucks has 20,863 retail stores in 65 countries with about 300,000 partners (employees).
The average age of a Starbucks district manager is 42. He or she has generally spent 10 years with the company which includes five years as a district leader.
Over the next two days, managers will reconnect with Starbucks coffee heritage and interact with company executives including Howard Schultz – Starbucks chairman, president and ceo.
“I want to meet as many people as possible and absorb the Starbucks culture so I can take it back to my peers,” said Tammy Foss, from Calgary in Alberta, Canada
“This event gives us such a unique and personal view of Starbucks leaders,” said Pete Loibner from Little Rock, Arkansas. “It’s surreal to be standing in the first Starbucks a few feet away from Howard Schultz. This is a special experience.”
After Monday evening’s welcome event at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, managers will attend meetings at the Washington State Convention Center, Bell Harbor Conference Center and the Experience Music Project. The conference is expected to generate an estimated $3.7 million in economic impact for the City of Seattle, with attendees staying in five hotels and visiting 17 local restaurants.
They’ll also drink coffee. A lot of coffee.
Starbucks estimates each attendee will sample or drink up to 4.5 cups per day, or about 18,900 cups during the conference.