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About Fair Trade USA

Who We Are

Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods are paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities. Fair Trade USA educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farmers with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople.

Senior Management

  • Paul Rice
    President & CEO
  • MaryBeth Fitzsimmons
    Chief Financial Officer
  • Sri Artham
    Vice President, Consumer Packaged Goods
  • Clay Brown
    VP Certification, Standards & Impact
  • Ben Corey-Moran
    Director of Coffee Supply
  • Hannah Freeman
    Business Development Director, Produce and Floral
  • Jennifer Gallegos
    Business Development Director, Coffee
  • Bob Hill
    Vice President and General Manager - Coffee
  • Catherine Sinclair
    Certification Director
  • Maya Spaull
    Senior Director of Apparel and Home Goods
  • Sandra Stumbaugh
    Vice President, Communications
Paul Rice
President & CEO

Paul opened our first "national headquarters” — a one-room office in a converted warehouse in downtown Oakland — in late 1998. Since launching the Fair Trade Certified label, Paul has pushed to mainstream the Fair Trade movement and expand its impact on farmers by innovating the model, partnering with over 800 U.S. companies and expanding certification across new product categories. This vision and leadership helped push U.S. retail sales of Fair Trade products to an estimated $1.5 billion in 2011, enabling millions of small farmers and workers to live better.

Paul came to Fair Trade by way of the mountainous Segovias region of northern Nicaragua, where he served for 11 years, organizing cooperatives and training farmers. While in Nicaragua, Paul founded and led PRODECOOP, the country's first Fair Trade, organic coffee export cooperative, which introduced him to the transformational power of Fair Trade. Subsequently, Paul served as strategy consultant and development advisor to 22 cooperative enterprises throughout Latin America and Asia, helping them become more competitive, democratic and self-reliant. Paul’s first-hand experience over the last 30 years in the areas of global supply chain transparency, social auditing, sustainable agriculture, and cooperative enterprise development is unique in the certification world.

Paul has received numerous honors and awards for his pioneering work as a social entrepreneur in the Fair Trade movement.  In 2000 he received the prestigious international Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship. In 2001 Paul was recognized by the AVINA Foundation for his "leadership for change.” Paul was honored by the Klaus Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the World Economic Forum as one of the world's top 40 Social Entrepreneurs in 2002.  Fast Company magazine named Paul “Social Capitalist of the Year” four years in a row (2005-08). Paul also received the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and has been honored by the Clinton Global Initiative for his leadership in Fair Trade.  Paul holds an Economics and Political Science degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. 

Watch Paul's speech from the 2011 TEDx AshokaU event

MaryBeth Fitzsimmons
Chief Financial Officer

MaryBeth joined Fair Trade USA as CFO in August, 2014, bringing with her 30 years of experience across several industries, including apparel, food & beverage, high technology, manufacturing, printing, and distribution fulfillment operations.

Prior to joining the Fair Trade USA team, she spent 6 years as an independent financial executive, serving as CFO, COO, VP Finance, or Project Manager, at consumer products and high tech companies of various equity structure and sizes. She also spent 7 years with Levi Strauss & CO, as CFO of U.S. Levi’s, VP Finance of Global Transformation Projects, and Director of Finance, Global Supply Chain.

MaryBeth’s early career was with KPMG, auditing and consulting for a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial driven start-ups and large, publicly traded companies. She then spent the next 10 years gaining experience as a finance, accounting, and operations leader inside big and small organizations, including venture backed start-ups, private equity owned middle market, and large, global public companies.

She has been on the Board of The Women’s Foundation of California since 2011, and currently serves on the Executive and Finance Committees. She also serves on the Board of the SF Bay Area chapter of Financial Executives International as VP Membership. MaryBeth graduated with a BS in Accounting from University of Washington in 1984, earning her CPA in 1987.

Sri Artham
Vice President, Consumer Packaged Goods

Sri Artham comes to Fair Trade USA after having spent several years burnishing his fair trade credentials as both a Pro Bono consultant and a contractor with Fair Trade USA advising on strategic, cross-functional issues.

Prior to joining Fair Trade USA full-time, Sri spent most of his career as a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting advising Fortune 500 companies on strategic issues such as finding new growth and working across international markets. Sri is a native of Canada having received his BASc in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo. In addition to North America, he has lived in Asia and Europe and has traveled extensively, including a year spent traveling the globe while earning his MBA at INSEAD and the Wharton School of Business.

Clay Brown
VP Certification, Standards & Impact

Clay comes to Fair Trade USA after almost ten years in the sustainable certification industry. He leads the organization’s work in developing Standards across all product categories, commodities and industries.  In addition, he and his team work to ensure that certification is an effective tool for managing risks in supply chains, while also delivering on the impact objectives of Fair Trade USA.  Finally, Clay oversees all Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact work, delivering solid and meaningful data for our commercial, supply chain and origin partners, while also constantly working to improve our internal systems and processes.  

Prior to joining the organization, Clay began his career at the Fairtrade Foundation in London, where he encouraged brand engagement with Fair Trade and saw the UK food sector adopt sustainability-oriented labelling systems. 

Clay later moved to the global certification company, FLO-CERT.  Working in various management capacities, including Associate Director of Certification, he pioneered numerous innovations into the FLO-CERT certification systems and oversaw all audits and certification decisions across 70 countries. He left FLO-CERT in 2013 to set up Adaptogether, which partners with supply chains and certification systems to develop more sustainable business practices. 

 

Ben Corey-Moran
Director of Coffee Supply

Ben joined Fair Trade USA in late 2012 to help strengthen Fair Trade’s role as a platform for sustainable supply chain management, in service of the needs of farmers and their buyers alike. As Director of Coffee Supply, Ben leads the organization’s investment in producer services, industry collaboration, and supply chain development.

Ben’s career in coffee began in 2003 when he joined Thanksgiving Coffee Company, a pioneering specialty roaster and early fair trade innovator. While at Thanksgiving, Ben managed coffee buying and supply chain development operations, working with farmers and cooperatives throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Continuing Thanksgiving’s long history of innovation, Ben led the Company’s efforts on cooperative development and climate change adaptation, for which his work was awarded the 2012 Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Ben also served as company President from 2009-2012. Ben is a former member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Sustainability Committee, Fair Trade USA’s Roaster Advisory Committee, and United Students for Fair Trade’s National Advisory Board. He holds a BA in International Affairs from Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Oregon.

Hannah Freeman
Business Development Director, Produce and Floral

Hannah joined Fair Trade USA in 2003 to pursue her passion of using business opportunities to transform the lives of farmers and farm-workers.

Before joining Fair Trade USA, Hannah led the corporate sales department of a natural bread company and got a taste for promoting products that support the health of consumers and of the entire supply chain. She recently completed her MBA at Portland State University and has a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Seattle Pacific University. Her favorite part of her job is traveling with US buyers to introduce them to the farmers and communities behind their fresh produce & flowers. When she's not working, she can be found gardening, biking and fly fishing.

Jennifer Gallegos
Business Development Director, Coffee

Jennifer comes to Fair Trade USA with 20 years sales and marketing experience and over 10 years of experience in the coffee industry.

Most recently, she served as Vice President of Sales with Coffee Bean International, which is headquartered in Portland. Her responsibilities included strategic sales planning and developing private brand business partnerships with national chains. She was heavily involved in product and program development, marketing, process improvement, outbound communication, category management, and financial assessments. Under Jennifer's sales leadership, Coffee Bean became one of the country's leading specialty coffee roasters, and the size of its business nearly quadrupled during her tenure. In this period, Coffee Bean also emerged as one of the nation's fastest-growing Fair Trade Certified™ licensees. Previously, she worked in channel management, account management, and brand management with PepsiCo and was involved in PepsiCo's joint venture teams with Lipton® and Starbucks®, the latter of which sparked her interest in coffee. Jennifer is also on the BOD and chair of the Strategic Alliances committee of the International Women's Coffee Alliance, as well as on the on the International Relations Council of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Gallegos is a graduate of Colorado State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications. She lives in Southern Colorado with her husband Brett and dogs Doka and Dehlila.

Bob Hill
Vice President and General Manager - Coffee

Bob Hill leads the coffee team at Fair Trade USA. Joining the organization in 2013, Bob and his team assist roaster and brand partners working to build sustainable coffee supply chains, as well as improve the capacity and livelihoods of Fair Trade farmers and farm workers across the globe. The Fair Trade USA coffee team is also focused on continually improving the value proposition of Fair Trade coffee, so that it remains a strong solution for producers, brand owners, and consumers.

Prior to Fair Trade USA, Bob was a strategy consultant for various consumer driven companies. He began his career with Clorox, Quaker Oats, and Nestle. Bob, a California native, has an MBA in Marketing and Strategy from Northwestern University.

Catherine Sinclair
Certification Director

Catherine joined Fair Trade USA in January 2008 with a dedication to social justice and an interest in sustainable agriculture. With a solutions-based approach that enables business partners to participate in Fair Trade and ensures the necessary foundation & credibility of our organizational programs, she leads the certification team with a focus in Produce, Consumer Packaged Goods and New Categories across the supply chain.

Catherine explored the Andes and began her career in disaster response and community services with the American Red Cross in Boston before migrating west to sunny California. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the University of Michigan.

Maya Spaull
Senior Director of Apparel and Home Goods

Maya Spaull, Senior Director of Apparel and Home Goods at Fair Trade USA, spearheads the strategic development of the Fair Trade manufacturing program. In this role, she oversees all aspects of bringing Fair Trade apparel and home goods products to market, connecting stakeholders in the sector and building Fair Trade supply chains with leading global brands and factories. Maya's commitment to economic sustainability for global communities and her deep belief in positive systems change is grounded in her early work as an ethnobotanist. Maya has worked at Fair Trade USA since 2004, managing a multitude of products including tea, honey, wine, cosmetics and developed FT USA’s Seafood program. Maya is an experienced ambassador for Fair Trade USA, often visiting with Fair Trade producer groups and representing the organization at global industry events. Prior to joining Fair Trade USA, Maya worked in the gemstone industry on sourcing and sales. She also developed and sold her own line of jewelry. Maya is a mother, avid gardener, dancer, music enthusiast, and works locally in the Bay Area on sustainable food issues.

Sandra Stumbaugh
Vice President, Communications

Joining Fair Trade USA in 2013, Sandra leads an integrated communications team tasked with generating consumer awareness, understanding, and ultimately purchase of Fair Trade Certified products. Her work--which incorporates PR, marketing, design, social media and digital strategy—also supports more than 800 brands looking for creative ways to tell their Fair Trade stories and connect with their customers.   

Prior to Fair Trade USA, Sandra held numerous positions as a senior marketing executive and brand strategist across multiple industries, including consumer packaged goods, clean technology and the arts. This includes a blend of Fortune 500 companies, such as Nestlé, as well as start-ups and non-profits, like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School. 

Board of Directors

  • Helmy Abouleish
    CEO, SEKEM Holding
  • Ron D. Cordes
    Chairman of the Board, Co-Founder, Cordes Foundation
  • Pierre Ferrari
    President and CEO, Heifer International
  • Chris Himes
    Managing Director, Bristlecone Capital
  • Mary Ellen Iskenderian
    President and CEO Women’s World Banking
  • Erik Nicholson
    National Vice President, United Farm Workers of America (UFW)
  • Paul Rice
    President & CEO, Fair Trade USA
  • Larry Ruff
    Board Director, Strategic Advisor and Consultant
  • Robert P. Stiller
    Founder, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
Helmy Abouleish
CEO, SEKEM Holding
Helmy Abouleish, CEO of the SEKEM Group of Companies, leads one of the largest networks of Organic and Fair Trade food, textile and phytopharmaceutical producers in Africa. Helmy and his father, Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish, who founded SEKEM in 1977 as an initiative to promote sustainable development in Egypt, helped hundreds of farmers in Egypt to shift from conventional to Organic, Biodynamic and Fair Trade farming methods. Helmy Abouleish and SEKEM received numerous international awards and accolades for its commitment to sustainable development, especially sustainable agriculture on former desert lands. Among others, SEKEM holds the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Price) and recently received the Land for Life Award by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Under Helmy’s leadership, SEKEM has grown to encompass approx. 500 farms, many of which are Fair Trade certified. SEKEM empowers its 1500 employees and the contracted farmers through training workshops, health care, education and infrastructural improvement projects, as well as steady jobs and salaries. Helmy previously held leadership positions at a number of organizations devoted to social entrepreneurship and urban development, including the Industrial Modernization Centre (IMC), the biggest development fund in Egypt; the Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC); and the Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB). Among others, he is cofounder of the International Association of Partnership (IAP), Centre of Organic Agriculture in Egypt (COAE) or the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA). Helmy holds degrees in Business Administration and Marketing and is very engaged to finding solutions for the challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, water scarcity, food security or proper waste management.
Ron D. Cordes
Chairman of the Board, Co-Founder, Cordes Foundation

Ron Cordes has been involved in the investment industry for 25+ years, having founded and sold over this period three companies involved in the real estate investment /management, mutual fund and investment advisory businesses.  Most recently, he sold AssetMark Investment Services to Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) in 2006, and currently serves as Co-chair of Genworth Financial Wealth Management, which is responsible for over $ 20 bb of assets under management for individual and institutional clients.

Ron is a co-author of “The Art of Investing & Portfolio Management,” published in 2004 by McGraw Hill, and was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005.   He holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Ron Cordes co-founded AssetMark Investment Services and is currently Executive Co-chairman of AssetMark with more than $25 billion of assets under management. Cordes is co-author of "The Art of Investing & Portfolio Management" and was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005. Cordes co-founded the Cordes Foundation with his wife, Marty, with the goal of advancing market-based solutions that address the world’s most challenging problems. Cordes speaks extensively on impact investing and achieving meaning and purpose in an encore career, and has been profiled in multiple publications including Fast Company, Forbes, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning and Private Wealth Management. Cordes chairs the Executive Committee for ImpactAssets, a nonprofit financial services company launched in 2010, and is also co-chair of the Opportunity Collaboration. In addition, Cordes also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Clinton Global Initiative, and as a board member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Fair Trade USA, MicroVest Holdings, and is Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Center for Social Impact Learning at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA.

Pierre Ferrari
President and CEO, Heifer International

Pierre Ferrari is a marketer, entrepreneur and, more recently, a social developer, with over 40 years of business experience. He has worked with a variety of organizations ranging from consumer package goods companies such as Coca-Cola USA to socially-oriented organizations like CARE, the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund and Heifer International.

Ferrari worked for many years with Coca-Cola USA before joining CARE in 1995, where he worked as special assistant to the president.  In this capacity he led the first comprehensive strategic plan based upon performance measures, participated in a feasibility mission for a hospital in Zaire and reviewed financial programs in Niger. In 2010, he became the Chief Executive Officer of Heifer International.

Ferrari is a current board member of the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund, InterAction, Global Impact and Ben and Jerry’s. He holds a master's degree in Economics from The University of Cambridge and a MBA from Harvard Business School. 

Chris Himes
Managing Director, Bristlecone Capital

Chris Himes is Managing Director of Bristlecone Capital, which makes a broad range of investments in social enterprises, technology startups, and commercial real estate. He is an active advisor to a handful of organizations, including: The Trust for Public Land, which has completed more than 5,000 conservation projects since 1972; Classy, a peer-to-peer fundraising startup that has raised over $200 million for nonprofits in its first five years; and Superlative Films, a fund focused on delivering quality independent documentaries and fiction features.

Previously, Chris was an executive at salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), which grew tenfold in his six year tenure, as enterprise cloud computing went from niche to industry standard. He led global Sales Strategy before moving to the M&A team, where he led a dozen equity investments in the U.S. and Japan and co-led the company's first few nine-figure acquisitions. One of those acquired companies was Radian6, a social marketing company that continued to operate independently with Chris serving as Chief Operating Officer.

His career began by serving the nascent Fair Trade movement, then focused mostly on coffee. He was an early leader of Fair Trade USA's Certification department, and later established the organization's Global Producer Services initiative, which raised funds from international aid agencies and corporations for direct investments in producers. Chris helped to expand the product portfolio by working with brands like Whole Foods and by chairing Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International's Certification Committee. Chris also led the Finance, Development, and HR functions as Chief Financial Officer.

Chris holds Masters degrees from Columbia University and University of Oregon. He is an avid skier and diver, living in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and sons.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian
President and CEO Women’s World Banking

Mary Ellen Iskenderian is President and CEO of Women’s World Banking, the global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources they require to achieve security and prosperity. Ms. Iskenderian joined Women’s World Banking in 2006 and leads the Women’s World Banking global team, based in New York.

Prior to Women’s World Banking, Ms. Iskenderian worked for 17 years at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. Before, she worked for the investment bank Lehman Brothers. Ms. Iskenderian is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a member of the Women’s Forum of New York, serves as an Advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative and is a judge for the annual Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards. Ms. Iskenderian holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Erik Nicholson
National Vice President, United Farm Workers of America (UFW)

For over 20 years, Erik Nicholson has been an activist for human rights and farm worker justice, serving as an organizer, trainer and advocate for farm workers at both the local and national levels. Currently, he is the National Vice President of UFW and a member of UFW’s National Executive Board, the largest farm workers union presently active in 10 states.  In this role, Erik oversees the development of UFW’s international infrastructure, improving advocacy on behalf of farm workers and creating meaningful change in workers’ lives, including fair wages, health coverage, retirement security and more.

Erik has extensive experience in areas relating to pesticide use, child labor, consumer outreach and education, and legislative issues. Most recently, Erik conducted field assessments of best practices on large Fair Trade Certified flower estates in Latin America. He is now helping Fair Trade USA to develop new farm worker training programs as they expand their model to empower and support farm worker communities in coffee and other commodities.    

Prior to joining the UFW, Erik worked for 12 years with Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United (PCUN), a farm worker union based in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. At PCUN he negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement covering farm workers in the history of Oregon agriculture. He has also served as one of two national farm worker representatives to the Environmental Protection Agency’s national pesticide advisory committee, the Pesticide Program Dialog Committee.  In addition, he has served on the Board of the Washington State ADRS Agricultural Employment Mediation Program, Washington State Farmworker Housing Trust, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Stakeholder Advisory Committee on the Cholinesterase Monitoring Rule. Furthermore, Erik was an appointed member of the Governor's Industrial Safety & Health Conference.

In the late 1980s, he worked for two years in Central America documenting human rights abuses. Nicholson has a B.A. from Duke University.

Paul Rice
President & CEO, Fair Trade USA

Paul opened our first "national headquarters” — a one-room office in a converted warehouse in downtown Oakland — in late 1998. Since launching the Fair Trade Certified label, Paul has pushed to mainstream the Fair Trade movement and expand its impact on farmers by innovating the model, partnering with over 800 U.S. companies and expanding certification across new product categories. This vision and leadership helped push U.S. retail sales of Fair Trade products to an estimated $1.5 billion in 2011, enabling millions of small farmers and workers to live better.

Paul came to Fair Trade by way of the mountainous Segovias region of northern Nicaragua, where he served for 11 years, organizing cooperatives and training farmers. While in Nicaragua, Paul founded and led PRODECOOP, the country's first Fair Trade, organic coffee export cooperative, which introduced him to the transformational power of Fair Trade. Subsequently, Paul served as strategy consultant and development advisor to 22 cooperative enterprises throughout Latin America and Asia, helping them become more competitive, democratic and self-reliant. Paul’s first-hand experience over the last 30 years in the areas of global supply chain transparency, social auditing, sustainable agriculture, and cooperative enterprise development is unique in the certification world.

Paul has received numerous honors and awards for his pioneering work as a social entrepreneur in the Fair Trade movement.  In 2000 he received the prestigious international Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship. In 2001 Paul was recognized by the AVINA Foundation for his "leadership for change.” Paul was honored by the Klaus Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the World Economic Forum as one of the world's top 40 Social Entrepreneurs in 2002.  Fast Company magazine named Paul “Social Capitalist of the Year” four years in a row (2005-08). Paul also received the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and has been honored by the Clinton Global Initiative for his leadership in Fair Trade.  Paul holds an Economics and Political Science degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. 

Watch Paul's speech from the 2011 TEDx AshokaU event

Larry Ruff
Board Director, Strategic Advisor and Consultant

Larry Ruff is an independent Board Director, Strategic Advisor and Consultant focused on the areas of growth strategy, global brand management, modern marketing, CSR, digital transformation & omni-channel retail. Clients include small, medium and large corporations, global brands, higher education and financial and investment institutions.

Larry is an Advisor to World 50, Inc. World 50 provides C-level executives from global organizations a private, trusted peer forum for knowledge exchange and exploration of issues senior-most executives find critical to their businesses. World 50 peer communities include Marketing 50 (CMOs), Chief Executive 50 (CEOs), Human Resources 50, Supply Chain 50, Strategy 50, Sustainability 50 and other similar.

Larry has over 30 years experience working with world-class, consumer-focused brands. Larry worked for Levi Strauss & Company for many years holding a variety of leadership positions in marketing, strategy and general management. In his role as Chief Strategy Officer, Larry led development of the Company’s growth and brand portfolio strategy. He also served as Levi Strauss & Company’s Global Marketing Officer.

Earlier in his career, Larry held a variety of positions in brand management with Procter & Gamble and in production planning with Maidenform, Inc.

Larry serves on the Board of Directors for Fair Trade USA and the Kinnybrook Mutual Water Company. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for SmartStory™ Technologies.

Larry received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Rutgers College and a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Larry lives in San Francisco, CA.

Robert P. Stiller
Founder, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

Robert Stiller, long time entrepreneur and Fair Trade enthusiast, brings with him over 40 years of business, fundraising, and coffee industry experience to the Fair Trade USA Board of Directors. After making his first fortune as the Co-founder of E-Z Wider doublewide rolling papers, Robert entered the coffee business by founding Green Mountain Coffee Roaster (GMCR) in Vermont in 1981, taking it public in 1993. He served as its Chairman, President, and CEO from 1981-2007, when he hired his successor and remained Chairman until 2012. He later retired and was made Chairman Emeritus.

Over the years, Robert Stiller led a number of key initiatives with a very inclusive, innovative culture that helped propel the growth of GMCR. For example, he spearheaded investment in Keurig in 1998, and purchased it outright in 2006 to transform the company from a regionally recognized specialty coffee roaster to a leader in the emerging single-serve beverage category in North America. GMCR became Keurig Green Mountain in 2014.

Under his leadership, the company also received numerous international accolades for its environmentally and socially responsible business practices. Since 2010, Fair Trade USA has recognized GMCR as the world’s largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee. It was one of the first national brands to bring Fair Trade coffee to mainstream U.S. consumers in 2000. It also donates 5% of its operating income on charitable causes, and offsets 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions. Today Robert serves on the Board of the Norton Museum and is Chairman of the Board of AgNovos, a medical device company. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Forbes in 2001 and helped establish the Stiller School of Business at Champlain College to include many of the management techniques that made GMCR so successful.

Advisory Council

  • Michael Perman
    C’EST WHAT?; Futures Forecast and Innovation; Strategy Formerly Dean of Innovation, Gap Inc.
  • Olivia Herbert
    Executive Director of University Development, University of California, San Francisco
  • Michael Besancon
    Former Senior Executive, Whole Foods Market
  • Kenneth J. Beeby
    Attorney (Consultant) Retired Vice President General Counsel of Ocean Spray Cranberries
  • Thomas Bullock
    Former President and CEO of Ocean Spray Cranberries
  • Susan Clare
    Business Consultant
  • Andrew J. Ferren, Esq.
    Partner, Goulston & Storrs
  • Sean Foote
    Co=Creation=Capital; Cosmopolitan Capital
  • Todd Gentzel
    Chief Strategist, Yaffe Deutser
  • Carlos Alberto Vargas Leitón
    Financial Manager, CoopeTarrazu R.L. Costa Rica
  • William B. Rosenzweig
    Managing Partner, Physic Ventures
  • Kim Samuel-Johnson
    Director of The Samuel Group of Companies
  • George Scharffenberger
    Program Director, Master of Development Practice Program, University of California, Berkeley
  • David Sherman
    Co-Founder, Cooperative Advantage Collaborative
  • Frank Tsai
    Partner, FLG Partners
  • Jennifer Walske
    Program Director, Conscious Leadership & Social Innovation, and Social Impact Fellow, Berkeley-Haas
  • Johann Zueblin
    Member of the Board of Directors, Prime-Agri Ltd. Myanmar
Michael Perman
C’EST WHAT?; Futures Forecast and Innovation; Strategy Formerly Dean of Innovation, Gap Inc.
Olivia Herbert
Executive Director of University Development, University of California, San Francisco
Michael Besancon
Former Senior Executive, Whole Foods Market
Kenneth J. Beeby
Attorney (Consultant) Retired Vice President General Counsel of Ocean Spray Cranberries
Thomas Bullock
Former President and CEO of Ocean Spray Cranberries

Tom Bullock, the President and CEO of Ocean Spray Cranberries from 1997 until 2000, brings a unique background and set of skills to the task of corporate governance. He is an executive with years of packaged goods marketing experience, a well as an in-depth knowledge of the food and beverage industry. He has served on two corporate boards, the Avedis Zildjian Company (1992-1999), the world-leading maker of cymbals and drumsticks, and Mac-Gray Company, where he currently serves as the chairman of the board. Mac-Gray is a New York Stock Exchange company which offers laundry, copier and other services, many using smart-card technology.

As the CEO of Ocean Spray, he introduced twenty new products and executed an overhaul of operations intended to improve customer satisfaction, speed-to-market and operations efficiencies with significant savings. Recognizing the healthy qualities of the cranberry, he initiated research into its medical benefits with Harvard Medical School. The research set industry standards and initial results proved the efficacy of the cranberry as a curative and preventative of urinary tract infections. The research continues on many other health and medical benefits of the cranberry, placing Ocean Spray as an industry-leading agriceutical company. Bullock directed the entire Ocean Spray Marketing and Sales effort from 1983 to 1994 through the period of tremendous growth and prosperity. During that time the company grew from $450 million to $1.4 billion.

Susan Clare
Business Consultant
Andrew J. Ferren, Esq.
Partner, Goulston & Storrs
Sean Foote
Co=Creation=Capital; Cosmopolitan Capital
Todd Gentzel
Chief Strategist, Yaffe Deutser
Carlos Alberto Vargas Leitón
Financial Manager, CoopeTarrazu R.L. Costa Rica

Carlos Vargas began his work with cooperatives in 1979 with CoopeSanta Elena R.L. in Monteverde where he was the general manager for 18 years. From 1997 to 2004 he worked as general manager of COOCAFE based in San Jose, Costa Rica. Carlos was responsible for the marketing and coffee sales of nine COOCAFE affiliated cooperatives. Aside from his management experience, he has supervised other developmental and financial projects with Tostadora de Café, and worked on evaluations of production and industrialized coffee. He received a Bachelor degree in Finances Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the Universidad Interamericana in 2002, and is completing his Masters degree in General Management. His educational background includes studies of Cooperatives and Rural Development in Israel (1989), and Leadership Management in Cost Rica (1997). Actually he works as CFO of CoopeTarrazu R.L., one of the largest coffee cooperatives in Costa Rica.

William B. Rosenzweig
Managing Partner, Physic Ventures

William B. Rosenzweig has spent more than twenty years integrating the practices and perspectives of an entrepreneur, venture investor and educator. Will is co-founder and Managing Director of Physic Ventures, LP, the first venture capital firm dedicated to investing in keeping people healthy by providing capital and expertise to science based, consumerdriven health and sustainable living companies. Based in San Francisco, the firm’s strategy is to capitalize on major economic, social and political trends shaping the rapidly evolving landscape of personal and planetary health. As an entrepreneur, Will has been involved as a founder and executive of more than a dozen earlystage ventures. Will was founding CEO (and Minister of Progress) of The Republic of Tea, an award-winning specialty tea company that is credited with creating the premium tea category in the United States. He has played key leadership roles at Nakamichi, the TED Conference, Odwalla, Leapfrog Toys, Brand New Brands, Hambrecht Vineyards and Wineries, Kingdom of Herbs, and Winetasting.com.

At Physic Ventures, Will leads the firm’s venture origination activities and supports portfolio companies in the areas of entrepreneurial leadership, business design, brand strategy and consumer marketing. Will serves as a member of the board of directors of GoodGuide, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Attune Foods, EnergyHub, and Own.

From 1999-2008, Will served on the faculty of the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley, where he taught the MBA courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Venture Development. He continues to serve as advisor to the Global Social Venture Competition and has been a visiting faculty member at London Business School. He has been a Price Kauffman fellow and has served as a mentor in the Kauffman Fellows program. From 2000-2004, Will was also a team member for the Rockefeller Foundation's ProVenEx Fund, an investment vehicle seeking "double bottom line returns" in for-profit businesses. He was the coproject director and co-author of Rockefeller Foundation sponsored research on Impact Assessment. Will co-authored the bestselling book The Republic of Tea: How an Idea Becomes a Business (Doubleday 1992, 1994), which was recently named one of the 100 best business books of all time.

Kim Samuel-Johnson
Director of The Samuel Group of Companies
George Scharffenberger
Program Director, Master of Development Practice Program, University of California, Berkeley
David Sherman
Co-Founder, Cooperative Advantage Collaborative
Frank Tsai
Partner, FLG Partners
Jennifer Walske
Program Director, Conscious Leadership & Social Innovation, and Social Impact Fellow, Berkeley-Haas
Johann Zueblin
Member of the Board of Directors, Prime-Agri Ltd. Myanmar