Andrea Illy graduated in chemistry at Trieste University and received his Master Executive at the SDA Bocconi in Milan. He is the CEO and President of illycaffè. His first working experience dates back to 1983, in the research and development department at Nestlé. In 1990 he joined illycaffè as supervisor in the quality control department, where he set up a programme of total quality control. In 1999 he took over the chair of the Association for Science and Information on Coffee (ASIC) and organized the 19th Colloque International sur la Science du Café in Trieste. He has been a member of the governing board of the Italian Association of high end industries since 1999 and a member of the advisory board at the SDA Bocconi since 2003.
Rinantonio Viani graduated in chemistry at the University of Pisa, and then studied at the CalTech in Pasadena, California, and at the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. From 1963 to 1974 he was a research chemist in the research laboratories at Nestlé in Vevey and in Orbe. From 1975 till he retired in 1998, he was a technical and scientific advisor on energy drinks at the Nestlé headquarters. Once retired, he worked as a UNIDO and FAO (United Nations agencies) consultant on projects related to coffee in coffee growing countries.