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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
  • Ken Redding
    Chief Commercial Officer
  • Steve Sellers
    Chief Operations Officer
  • Katherine Bostick
    Director, Standards
  • Clay Brown
    VP Certification, Standards & Impact
  • Ben Corey-Moran
    Director of Coffee Supply
  • Ruskin Hartley
    Vice President, Resource Development
  • Darryl Knudsen
    Director of Impact
  • Julie Kuchepatov
    Director of Seafood
  • Catherine Williams
    Certification Director
  • Maya Spaull
    Senior Director of Apparel and Home Goods
  • Bennett Wetch
    Director of Technology
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 1000 U.S. companies and expanding certification across new product categories.

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

Ken Redding
Chief Commercial Officer

Ken Redding is a seasoned general manager who has held executive positions in a wide range of industries including CPG (Nestle & Nabisco), consumer retailing (Starbucks), technology startup (Outerwall & Prolitec), and currently social enterprise (Fair Trade USA). Ken has a consistent track record of success in all businesses best measured by topline and bottom line growth delivered during his tenure at each company.

Steve Sellers
Chief Operations Officer

Steve Sellers has worked for over 20 years as a business consultant, executive manager, and serial entrepreneur. His clients have included companies and organizations in a variety of business verticals, including socially responsible investment, sustainable agriculture, emerging technologies and applications of technology in remote environments. Before joining Fair Trade USA, Steve was a Senior Partner at RHS Consortium and 4128 Associates, where he provided strategic and operational advice to companies and organizations in early to mid-stage development (from start-up phase to approximately $100 million in revenue).

Steve was COO at Fair Trade USA during its early stage of growth, and also co-founded and served as CEO of several companies, including SourceTrace Systems, Inc., an enterprise software company providing secure transaction systems for critical sectors of developing economies, including agriculture and financial services; The Big Network (sold to eUniverse/FOX, NASDAQ:FOX), and Archetype Interactive (sold to The 3DO Company, formerly NASDAQ:THDO).

Steve grew up in Virginia and the Philippines. He received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Before attending business school, Steve worked as a Foreign Service Officer for the US Department of State, with postings in Nigeria, Austria, Egypt and Washington, DC. He speaks French and German, with reading knowledge of Spanish.

Katherine Bostick
Director, Standards

Katherine Bostick joined Fair Trade USA in 2013. She leads the organization’s work to ensure that our standards minimize social and environmental risks in supply chains, build equitable conditions for trade, and support farmers, fishermen, and workers on a journey of empowerment. She and her team follow key issues related to the agricultural, fishery, and factory supply chains they work in, and set the policies and requirements that supply chains must follow to become Fair Trade Certified™.

Katherine has more than 15 years of experience in food systems, certification, and market-based approaches to sustainability. Prior to joining Fair Trade USA, she worked with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where she advised seafood buyers on sustainable sourcing and guided their global network’s strategy on farmed salmon. While at WWF, she also led a global, multi-stakeholder roundtable to develop standards for a new certification program, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

Before that, Katherine spent time as an agroforestry technician in South America, where she became fluent in Spanish and Guarani. She holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Earth Systems, a combination of ecology and environmental economics, from Stanford University.

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.

Ruskin Hartley
Vice President, Resource Development

Ruskin has 20 years of non-profit leadership and management experience and a proven track record of executing strategic resource development programs that engage supporters in advancing mission-based businesses. He joined Fair Trade USA in 2016 to spearhead the $25 million Fair Trade for All capital campaign and build a robust philanthropy program.

Born in the United Kingdom, Ruskin has worked in Britain, Kuwait, Oman and the United States on a range of environmental issues. He served as Executive Director of the San Francisco-based Save the Redwoods League, one of the Nation’s oldest conservation groups. Under his leadership, the organization raised $100 million in public and private funds to advance protection and restoration of the redwoods and launched the ground-breaking Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. While serving as President of Heal the Bay – southern California’s leading environmental advocacy organization – he secured passage of the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Through working on these issues, Ruskin came to understand that at the root of most environmental challenges are a suite of complex social issues rooted in people’s livelihoods and the way they interact with the marketplace. It was the desire to work on these root causes through market-based solutions that brought Ruskin to Fair Trade USA.

A graduate of Cambridge University, Ruskin lives with his wife and three sons in the San Francisco Bay Area. In his spare time, he works on making his local community more livable and sustainable by serving on the City of Pinole’s Planning Commission.

Darryl Knudsen
Director of Impact

As Director of Impact at Fair Trade USA, Darryl leads a team that defines, measures and communicates the difference Fair Trade is making for workers, businesses and consumers globally. He has spent more than 15 years using markets as a tool to drive social and environmental sustainability.

Darryl spent much of his career at Gap Inc., where he was most recently Director of Global Responsibility and Senior Advisor on Business and Human Rights. While at Gap Inc., he headed up the company’s global stakeholder and emerging issues function and served on the Sustainability Department’s leadership team. He has deep experience in the apparel, retail and electronics sectors and has worked on supply chain sustainability in more than twenty countries around the world with stakeholders such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank Group, governments, trade unions, multinational companies, and labor and human rights NGOs.

Darryl has been appointed by two US Secretaries of Labor to serve on National Advisory Committees focused on trade and labor issues. He also served on Social Accountability International’s Advisory Board for five years where he held roles on its Executive Committee and as a Committee Chair; Darryl is currently Chair of the Advisory Board’s Founders Committee. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.

Julie Kuchepatov
Director of Seafood

Julie Kuchepatov joined Fair Trade in 2016 and as the Seafood Director is responsible for leading and scaling Fair Trade’s newest program. Working directly with a variety of stakeholders from the marine sector, the Seafood team is working to address the challenges of supporting capture fisheries and shift the seafood industry toward more socially and environmentally sound practices by adapting Fair Trade’s proven model of certification. Prior to joining Fair Trade, Julie worked with Russian fisheries at Ocean Outcomes (O2) and Wild Salmon Center (WSC), building over 20 years of experience in the Russian fisheries sector. She shepherded fishermen through fishery improvement processes and worked to improve chain of custody and traceability in the global seafood supply chain, as well as addressing IUU fishing in the Russian fish processing sector. Her career in Russian salmon began in 1994 as part of a team running one of the most successful Atlantic salmon sport fishing lodges in the Russian arctic for 13 years. She has a BA in Foreign Languages (Russian and French) from Lewis and Clark College in Portland and an MA in Communications from Portland State University with an emphasis on International and Urban Communication.

Catherine Williams
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.

Bennett Wetch
Director of Technology

Bennett leads the tech team at Fair Trade USA as they build and manage tools to collect, analyze, and communicate data across supply chains around the world. 

Bennett joined Fair Trade USA to bring systems and process to the marketing and communications team. He then started the tech team in order to accomplish similar goals across the organization. Prior to joining Fair Trade USA, Bennett led the strategy practice at a digital marketing agency where he created scalable global digital communications strategies for Fortune 500 brands. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Bennett is passionate about sustainable agriculture and radical transparency. When he’s not working you can find him somewhere in the mountains.

Board of Directors

  • Janet Nezhad Band
    Attorney
  • Ron D. Cordes
    Chairman of the Board, Co-Founder, Cordes Foundation
  • Ricardo Crisantes
    VP of Sales & Marketing and Co-owner of Wholesum Harvest
  • 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
  • Liesel Pritzker Simmons
    Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative
  • Robert P. Stiller
    Founder, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
Janet Nezhad Band
Attorney

Janet Nezhad Band has more than two decades of leadership experience in philanthropy and development with particular expertise in strategy, volunteer team building, donor engagement, solicitation, and stewardship. 

As a Member (2005-present), and former Vice-Chair, of the Harvard College Fund Executive Committee, Band has helped to inform the Fund’s strategic direction and led her peers in raising leadership gifts to support faculty priorities.  She co-chairs the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Campaign Participation Task Force and served on the Dean’s Task Force on Leadership Giving.  Janet is a three-time recipient of the Albert H. Gordon Award for distinguished leadership service to the Harvard College Fund.  Band serves as an Elected Director of the Harvard Alumni Association and on the Advisory Council of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.

Band clerked for the Honorable William C. Conner in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York prior to joining the litigation practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. She left Paul, Weiss to join MTV Networks as lead counsel for Nickelodeon’s off-channel businesses and the “Nick Jr.” programming block. An avid traveler, Janet has been a Contributing Editor at Condé Nast Traveler. Band received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and an A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College. In 1984 she was a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt.

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.

Ricardo Crisantes
VP of Sales & Marketing and Co-owner of Wholesum Harvest

Ricardo is Vice President of Sales and Marketing and co-owner of Wholesum Harvest, a grower and marketer of certified organic vegetables with operations in the US and Mexico. Motivated by a sincere belief in stewardship, Wholesum has been a pioneer in organic growing methods that eliminate synthetic chemicals and replace them with naturally occurring inputs to grow vegetables that are a safer for both farmworkers and consumers. 

In its 80 years as a family company, Wholesum has worked to adopt a triple bottom line approach to addressing its responsibility to the PEOPLE that grow and buy its produce, the one PLANET we all share, and the PROFITS that enable the continued growth of the company. Wholesum Harvest first began certifying its operations in Mexico under Fair Trade in 2011 and in 2016 became the first Fair Trade certified vegetable farm in the United Sates. In Ricardo’s tenure there, Wholesum has also become a leader in environmental sustainability by making investments in solar energy, irrigation efficiency projects, and promoting biodiversity at the farms.

As the head of Sales and Marketing, Ricardo has worked to create a market for Fair Trade produce by educating retailers and connecting consumers with farm workers through authentic story telling about the positive impact of Fair Trade in worker communities.

To serve his local community, Ricardo serves as a board member of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, an organization that fosters trade between US and Mexico. He is also a volunteer at the Kino Border Initiative helping migrants in the Sonoran Desert by feeding and clothing those in need.

Ricardo holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He resides in Nogales, Arizona with his wife Kenya and their 3 children.

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.

Liesel Pritzker Simmons
Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative

Liesel Pritzker Simmons is Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, an innovative family office that invests for profit and with purpose. An early leader in the impact investing space, BHI manages an international portfolio of diversified investments in traditional asset classes, groundbreaking impact business models, and nonprofit organizations. It applies a rigorous portfolio-management lens to its investments with the goal of generating measurable financial returns as well as societal and environmental benefits.

Liesel is also Co-Founder of IDP Foundation, a private Chicago-based foundation focused on achieving universal primary education. There, she helped create the IDP Rising Schools Program, which leverages microfinance networks to empower nearly 450 low-cost private schools — established and managed by local entrepreneurs — in some of the least-developed regions of the world.

Liesel is a sought-after speaker on the topic of impact investing. She serves on for-profit and nonprofit boards and investment committees of organizations including Impact Assets, Synergos, Toniic, Eco-Post, and the ImPact, a network of families committed to the conscientious stewardship of wealth. Liesel attended Columbia University in New York City, where she studied African History. She lives in the Boston area with her husband, Ian Simmons, and their daughter.

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

  • MaryBeth Fitzsimmons
    CFO/COO, Title Nine
  • Siddharth Sanghvi
    COO, Riaz Capital
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Johann Zueblin
    Member of the Board of Directors, Prime-Agri Ltd. Myanmar
MaryBeth Fitzsimmons
CFO/COO, Title Nine
Siddharth Sanghvi
COO, Riaz Capital
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
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.

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
Johann Zueblin
Member of the Board of Directors, Prime-Agri Ltd. Myanmar