I have received multiple emails today from friends in the Chicago area who have informed me that a young barista and fellow Barista Exchange member, Liza Whitacre, died last night in a bicycle accident. Emails from Michael Phillips and Tony Dreyfuss explain how she was loved by so many people, and was an extremely talented, ambitious and wonderful person. She was only 21 years old, and had so many goals and was so passionate about coffee and the people in this great industry. She was planning to compete in the future and was a true community builder and friend to so many.

My heart goes out to her friends and family and the pain that goes with losing a friend or relative. I wanted to create this post so that people who were close to Liza could maybe leave a story or comment about her as it may help the grieving process. Liza, you will be greatly missed, thank you for your passion and inspiration, we all can learn from those who live life to the fullest and with a smile.

- Matt

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she looks really pretty and her personality magical (i can tell just from looking at her pics).... again my condolences.
Tragic. My heart goes out to her and her family and friends. Deepest condolences.

-Amanda Medina
2010 and Liza is still with us.

We were honored to have known her and to have become friends. She, Tony and Trey from Metropolis were tremendously helpful in our launch and our staff still talks about Liza EVERYDAY! She would be so proud of them and how far they've come.

We miss you Liza and remain dedicated to the values you instilled. Words cannot express how thankful we are for what you did for us and for all of your help.

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