As one Juan Valdez wanders into the sunset, another is poised to arrive with a new image to maintain for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia.Carlos Sanchez is stepping out of the role at 71 after 37 years under the sombrero. Playing the part of Valdez came naturally to Sanchez, who remains a coffee grower as well as a silkscreen artist. Sanchez was the second Juan Valdez after Jose Duval filled the role created by the agency then known as Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1959. The next Juan will have steeper mountains to climb as the coffee growers roll out a chain of Juan Valdez Cafes that are expected to number up to 300 worldwide by 2007. According to The Los Angeles Times, the successor to Sanchez will be chosen from 10 finalists who will display environmental senstiviity and have already survived close psychological screening. Apparently, the stress of carrying Columbia’s coffee image can prove a heavy burden in the thin mountain air. "We are looking for someone who is emotionally stable and can absorb fame without destroying himself and his family," says Luis Samper, director of intellectual property of the coffee federation, in The Times’ story.
—Posted by Richard Williamson