Last week, Roasters named Tri-Cities native Derek Tonn as president and CEO of the 14-location coffee chain.
Tonn will take the helm at Roasters after a successful 15-year career at Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) where he served in various roles, most recently as a financial specialist. Tonn received both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and his Master of Business Administration from Washington State University.
Tonn replaces founder Wes Heyden in leading Roasters. Heyden announced earlier this month that he was stepping down from his role as CEO and has transferred daily operations to Tonn and his holdings to a management trust operated by Aaron Hovivian at Collaborative Team Management. Heyden will no longer play a role in Roasters.
“I am honored to lead such a well-loved, iconic local brand,” Tonn said. “I have been a customer for years, and two of my children have worked at Roasters, so I’ve had a front-row seat to witness Roasters customer-centric approach. I look forward to contributing to the company’s future growth.”
Roasters, founded in 2009, has three stores in Richland, with others in Pasco, Kennewick, West Richland, and Walla Walla.
According to Tonn, he was planning to join the organization as CFO when Heyden made the decision to move away from the company. “We had a series of in-depth discussions about what was best for Roasters, and we decided that having me step into the role of president and CEO is in the best interests for our team members and customers.”
Tonn noted that Roasters continues to serve customers at all its locations, following the directions of local health departments in maintaining a safe environment for staff and customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve met with a good many of our team members, and plan to meet with each one, but I can say that those I’ve spent time with are fantastic examples of why Roasters is so beloved,” Tonn added. “The enthusiasm for coffee, and their focus on the customer experience is what sets Roasters apart.”