E.V.P. of Corporate Relations & PR
ITO EN (North America) INC.
A tea industry connoisseur with a refined approach to the U.S., Japanese culture and innovative marketing, Rona Tison currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations at ITO EN (North America) INC., Japan’s #1 green tea brand and the world’s leading purveyor of award-winning, premium and sustainably-grown green tea. Tison is responsible for maintaining and developing the company’s corporate image through branding, public relations and promotional events.
In addition to her role at ITO EN, Tison serves on the Tea & Health Committee of the U.S. Tea Council, and is a member of the U.S. Tea Association, the Specialty Tea Institute, the U.S.-Japan Council and Japan Society. Her tea industry prowess has led her to speak at the World Tea Expo, San Francisco, Los Angeles & Northwest Tea Festivals, Shizuoka World Tea Festival, James Beard House and Smithsonian Lecture Series.
Founder & President
Queen Mary Inc
Mary C. Greengo is the founder and President of Queen Mary Inc. While growing up, she always enjoyed a cup of tea while baking in the comfort of the kitchen with her mom. Mary knew at a very young age that she wanted to be in charge and work for herself. A love of tea and a desire for independence created the blueprint for Queen Mary Inc. that encompasses the world-famous Queen Mary Tea Room & Restaurant, a signature line of branded loose-leaf teas sold at her own retail store and a flourishing online business. Additionally, Mary has developed a robust and burgeoning direct selling business through independent tea consultants that are sharing the Queen Mary brand all across the country.
East Indies Coffee and Tea Company
My interest in the world of food and beverage began at an early age because my family was in the hospitality business and encouraged me to experiment in all phases of food and beverage.
Feeling frustrated with corporate life, I decided to jump in the car and travel throughout the United States.
After traveling for 5 months in all regions of the U.S.
and Canada, I was enthralled with the tastes, sights and sounds encountered on this wonderful journey.
Realizing there was life beyond the U.S., I traveled to Europe visiting coffeehouse and tea salons to better understand the culture of tea.
This trip then lead to spending time with Julia Child and Simone Beck in southern France.
Their influence imbued the love of food and preparing food with fresh ingredients and integrity.
This journey also sparked ideas of using tea as an ingredient in cooking.
After experimenting, tasting and developing recipes it continues to be a delightful experience.
Today, I am president of East Indies Coffee and Tea Company, specializing in the tea division of our company. Thanks to my husband’s belief that evolved women have a naturally developed palate, he has become the “wind beneath my wings”. Tea is a great connector to many peoples throughout the world. In today’s world, tea calms and lifts the spirit as well.