Rona Tison, executive vice president of corporate relations for Ito En North America Inc. will receive The John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award at World Tea Expo in Las Vegas.
As the 2017 John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Tison will be recognized for her significant support of the tea industry's growth, innovation and education. She will receive the honor during the World Tea Awards (#TeaAwards) program at World Tea Expo from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on June 14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
With extensive experience in the tea and beverage industry, Tison is highly regarded as a tea expert with a refined approach to U.S.-Japan culture and innovative marketing. A well-respected voice in the tea industry, she serves on the World Tea Expo Advisory Board and the Tea & Health Committee of the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Her tea industry prowess has led her to speak at World Tea Expo, Smithsonian Lecture Series, the Shizuoka World Tea Festival, the San Francisco and Los Angeles Tea Festivals, the Northwest Tea Festival, Carnegie Mellon Business Series, Columbia University and the prestigious James Beard Foundation, among others.
Tison has been with Ito En since its inception in 2002 in the United States as Ito En North America Inc. In 2016, ITO EN ranked No. 18 as one of Fortune's "50 Companies Changing the World." At the company, Tison is responsible for maintaining and developing the corporate image through branding, public relations and promotional events, while educating both the public and businesses about tea.
Samantha Hammer Mitchell, the World Tea Expo event director and World Tea brand leader, said, "We're thrilled to present The John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award to Rona Tison, to celebrate her tireless support of the tea community and efforts to educate both consumers and businesses about premium, high-quality specialty tea. Tison is highly deserving of this award, and we thank her for all that's she's done to help tea grow in the marketplace."
James Norwood Pratt, a well-known tea industry author and authority, said, "Nobody in tea could be better loved or more highly regarded, and very few indeed can claim comparable accomplishments or greater success.”
Pratt will present the award to Tison at the World Tea Awards, along with Mike Spillane, president of The G.S. Haly Co. Both Pratt and Spillane are past recipients of the award.