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
  • Erin Geiger
    Director of Strategic Philanthropy
  • Clay Brown
    VP Certification, Standards & Impact
  • Sandra Stumbaugh
    Vice President, Communications
  • MaryBeth Fitzsimmons
    Chief Financial Officer
  • Bob Hill
    Vice President and General Manager - Coffee
  • Chris Jones
    Vice President, Resource Development
  • David Krier
    Vice President of Finance and Administration
  • Maya Spaull
    Director of New Category Innovation
  • Jennifer Gallegos
    Business Development Director, Coffee
  • Hannah Freeman
    Business Development Director, Produce and Floral
  • Sri Artham
    Vice President, Consumer Packaged Goods
  • Mike Vincent
    Director of Impact & Standards
  • Catherine Sinclair
    Certification Director
  • Ben Corey-Moran
    Director of Coffee Supply
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

Erin Geiger
Director of Strategic Philanthropy

Erin joined Fair Trade USA in February 2015. As Director of Strategic Philanthropy she leads a team for fundraising and new partnerships among foundations, corporations, and multi-lateral development banks, to help scale the model of Fair Trade to reach its full potential amongst 1 Billion farmers and workers by 2020. Erin began her career working in remote rural areas of Latin America, Africa, India, and Asia, where she developed technical expertise in rural finance, girls & women, mobile technologies, social impact evaluations, Corporate Social Responsibility, and public-private-partnerships with organizations including Grameen, Starbucks, and Microsoft. For the past 10 years she has served in senior management roles in award-winning enterprises including Kiva and CARE to build long-term philanthropic investments among individuals and institutions advancing business-based solutions to poverty. She speaks Spanish, German, and is studying Portuguese.  Erin holds a Master in Public Administration, a Master in International Studies, and an MBA Certificate in Global Trade, Transportation & Logistics from the University of Washington – Seattle, as well as a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Philosophy and English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. 

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. 

 

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. 

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.

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.

Chris Jones
Vice President, Resource Development

Chris joined Fair Trade USA in February, 2014, with responsibility for all private and public donated revenue, including funding from individuals, foundations, corporations, events and government agencies.

Chris brings more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, grant-making, and non-profit management.  Most recently, he was director of development for Guide Dogs for the Blind, the second largest guide dog school in the world and a global leader in service dog production.  Prior to that, Chris served as VP of Development and then COO for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund-the nation's largest Latino education organization-where he grew fundraising by more than 60%, and established national partnerships that helped reach millions more Hispanic youth.  Before that, Chris oversaw Microsoft's corporate giving outside the U.S., working to align and optimize community affairs programs in more than 45 countries on six continents.  During the 1990s, Chris led the corporate and foundation relations efforts at both UCLA and the University of Washington.

A civil engineering graduate of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, Chris spent the first decade of his career as a working engineer and program manager for projects throughout Latin America and Asia.

David Krier
Vice President of Finance and Administration

David began his career with one of the Big Eight public accounting firms, focusing on non-profit organizations and retail clients.

After earning his certification as a Public Accountant David accepted a position as Controller for a firm that administers benefits for organized labor. He soon became Chief Financial Officer and spent nearly twenty years as the firm's CFO during a period when the organization grew five-fold to become the largest third party Taft-Hartley administrator in the country. After the sale of the administration company and his children's graduations from college he began the next stage of his career with a move to Fair Trade USA. David is able to use his accounting and business skills and his background managing growth to deal with Fair Trade USA's unique combination of complex non-profit accounting with both retail and service industry features.

Maya Spaull
Director of New Category Innovation

Maya's commitment to economic sustainability for farming communities and her deep belief in positive systems change is grounded in her early work as an ethnobotanist.

Maya has found her niche at Fair Trade USA, spearheading strategic development of new Fair Trade categories. In this role, she works from idea inception to market launch, connecting all stakeholders in the sector and building Fair Trade supply chains. Maya has worked at Fair Trade USA since 2004, managing a multitude of products including tea, spices, honey, wine and cosmetics development with global brands. 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 an avid gardener, music and art enthusiast, yogini, world adventurer and works locally in the Bay Area on sustainable food issues.

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.

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.

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.

Mike Vincent
Director of Impact & Standards

Mike joins Fair Trade USA with a passion for developing market-based solutions for sustainable community development and building the conscious consumerism movement in the United States. As Director of Impact & Standards, Mike leads the innovation of Fair Trade USA’s impact management system and the development of the organization’s standards.

Mike began his career in Accenture’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practice, consulting for clients in Europe, East Asia and the United States. He also spent a year and a half in Accenture Development Partnerships, the firm’s corporate social enterprise. After Accenture, Mike moved to Latin America to teach mathematics and reading to children outside the school system, and to start a social enterprise that would serve as a parent organization to street children centers globally. Outside of work, Mike has volunteered extensively with youth and education programs, and has served on the boards of directors of Leadership High School and Friends of the Children in San Francisco.

Mike received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Santa Clara University and his Masters in Business Administration from the University of California Berkeley

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.

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.

Board of Directors

  • Ron D. Cordes
    Chairman of the Board
  • Pierre Ferrari
    President and CEO, Heifer International
  • Helmy Abouleish
    CEO, SEKEM Holding
  • Michael Besancon
    Former Senior Executive, Whole Foods Market
  • Carlos González
    Commercial Director, Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC)
  • Pamela Hartigan
    Director, Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Oxford University
  • Mary Ellen Iskenderian
    President and CEO Women’s World Banking
  • Rick Larson
    Director of Sustainable Ventures, The Conservation Fund
  • 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.
  • Jennifer Walske
    Faculty Director of the Master in Global Entrepreneurial Management, University of San Francisco's School of Management
Ron D. Cordes
Chairman of the Board

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. 

Helmy Abouleish
CEO, SEKEM Holding

Helmy Abouleish - Graduate of Faculty of Commerce, Major in Business Administration of Cairo University and Marketing Diploma of American University in Cairo - is deeply involved in the development of SEKEM - an initiative started 1977 in the Egyptian desert striving for sustainable development in the fields of economy, culture and social / political life. Further to his engagement as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SEKEM Holding, Helmy Abouleish has been very engaged in the national and international political sphere fostering responsible competitiveness, social entrepreneurship and the abatement of the huge problems of the 21st century, such as climate change and food security.

Under his stewardship of its commercial arm, the SEKEM Initiative received the “Right Livelihood Award 2003” for sustainable development, better known as “Alternative Nobel Prize”, and became a member of the Schwab Foundation for Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs.

Currently, he is the Chief Executive Officer of SEKEM Holding that consists of five companies (ISIS For Food Industries, ATOS Pharma, NatureTex, Lotus and SEKEM for Land Reclamation), which cover the fields of biodynamic agriculture cultivation, production of phyto-pharmaceuticals, Organic textiles and foodstuffs, with a capacity of 1600 people.

From June 2005 until December 2006, he has been appointed as the Executive Director of the Industrial Modernization Centre (IMC), the biggest development fund in Egypt funded by the EU and the Egyptian Government, aiming at improving sustainable competitiveness of Egyptian enterprises.

Helmy Abouleish was the Chairman of the Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC) from 2004 to February 2011and Chairman of the Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB) from June 2004 to June 2006.

He represented SEKEM in the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, 2009, 2010 as well as on various regional events of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and various other national and international events and conferences.

Michael Besancon
Former Senior Executive, Whole Foods Market

Michael Besancon brings more than 40 years of hands-on experience within the natural/organic food and grocery sector to the board of Fair Trade USA, two decades of which he spent at the global level of Whole Foods Market (WFM). Most recently, he served as their Senior Global Vice President of Purchasing, Communications and Distribution.  

Beginning as the Director of Purchasing for Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Foods Markets, a Whole Foods-owned company, Mr. Besancon was then hired as the Southern Pacific Regional Vice President for WFM, where he oversaw purchasing, distribution, and operations of the region. He was later promoted to Mid Atlantic Regional President, Southern Pacific Regional President, and finally to Senior Global Vice President of Purchasing, Communications and Distribution in 2008, a position he held until retiring in 2012. Besancon also led the company’s Green Mission task force, guiding the purchase of an unprecedented 100 percent electricity offset of wind renewable energy credits.

Throughout his career, Michael Besancon worked with vendors across the globe to dramatically shift traditional retail approaches to selling food. By supporting the purchase of high quality products, he was able to encourage customers to connect not just to the food they buy, but also the people who produce it and the land it’s grown on. In the grocery sector, Michael helped fuel the mainstream expansion of the national and worldwide organic food movements that have changed the way millions of people eat, how food is grown, and how the entire grocery industry sells natural, non-GMO and organic food.

Besancon also co-founded a number of companies, including: Follow Your Heart Natural Foods Store, one of the very first and longest continuously operated natural food stores in the United States; Naturally Fast, a chain of Natural Food fast food restaurants in Southern California; and B & W Natural Food Brokerage, a national food brokerage group growing that represented many of the leading vendors in the natural and organic food industry.

Carlos González
Commercial Director, Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC)

Carlos Alberto González was born on a coffee farm in Costa Rica and has built his career working with small coffee farmers. For the last 30 years, Carlos has worked at Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), first locally at 18 years old leading co-ops in his home province of Cauca and later at the national level. In recent years, Carlos headed the national cooperative division of the Federation and currently serves as the Commercial Director at FNC’s Headquarters.  With his background at one of the largest rural NGOs in the world, Carlos Alberto González brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Fair Trade USA board.

In his role at FNC, Carlos seeks to improve the well being and the quality of life of over 500,000 coffee growing families in Colombia.  Carlos’ legacy includes helping small farmer cooperatives become more competitive and profitable by developing their capacity to produce specialty coffee and capture emerging opportunities in the global specialty coffee market.  Under its sustainability programs, FNC has developed a sustainability policy focused on coffee growers that includes productivity, social and environmental initiatives. 

In addition to his experience at FNC, Carlos has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Confederación Nacional de Cooperativas de Colombia and a member of the Board of Directors from different organizations related to the Colombian Coffee industry.

Carlos has a degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira in Colombia, a Management Specialist degree from Universidad de la Sabana, and a Finance Specialist degree in Universidad Javeriana in Colombia.

Pamela Hartigan
Director, Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Oxford University

As the Director of the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, and a Volans Founding Partner, Pamela Hartigan brings over three decades of diverse international expertise to the board of Fair Trade USA.

Throughout her career, Dr. Hartigan has held numerous leadership positions in academia, the non-profit sector, and public health. In addition to being  named the first Managing Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 2000, Pamela also ran the Department of Health Promotion at the World Health Organization (1999-2001); and was Programme Manager and Area Coordinator for Applied Field Research in the Special Programme on Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) of the World Bank, WHO, and UNDP (1997-1999). Additionally, between 1990 and 1997, she worked in WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as Chief of the Gender, Health and Development and Manager for Special Initiative in the HIV/AIDS Programme.

After spending the first 17 years of her life in Latin America, Dr. Hartigan went on to graduate from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She also holds a Masters degree in International Economics and a Masters in Education and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. In addition to her current work with the Skoll Centre, Pamela is a frequent lecturer on social innovation and entrepreneurship at graduate schools of business in the USA, Europe and Asia, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia School of Business in New York City. She serves on the Board of five social enterprises and advises many more.

Her most recent book, co-authored with John Elkington, is entitled The Power of Unreasonable People: How Entrepreneurs Create Markets that Change the World. It was published in 2008 by Harvard Business School Press.

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.

Rick Larson
Director of Sustainable Ventures, The Conservation Fund

Rick directs ShadeFund, The Conservation Fund’s (TCF) on-line crowd-funding site for small businesses in forest- and farm-dependent communities nationwide (www.shadefund.org). He also directs the North Carolina operations of the Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) (www.ncifund.org), which provides patient capital to environmental and natural-resource based businesses in the Southeast.  ShadeFund and NCIF are the business lending arms of TCF, a national land and water conservation organization with a unique dual mission of environmental protection and economic development (www.conservationfund.org). 

His prior experience includes:  Managing Director of SJF Ventures, a $45 M mission-driven venture capital fund based in Durham, NC; National Director, REAL Enterprises, a nationwide entrepreneurship education program for rural youth and adults;  and shop floor supervisor and financial controller for the Cummins Engine Co.

 He is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and a Lecturer at UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he teaches courses on Impact Investing and Financing Social Ventures.  Rick earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in History and French from Amherst College.

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.

Jennifer Walske
Faculty Director of the Master in Global Entrepreneurial Management, University of San Francisco's School of Management

Jennifer Walske, Assistant Professor and Program Director of the Master in Global Entrepreneurial Management program, is a leading advocate for raising the social consciousness of global businesses. As a writer, researcher and entrepreneur, Dr. Walske promotes emergent social venture firms, with an emphasis on how human and social capital can strategically maximize new firm success.

Professor Walske is a thought leader in research and practice, linking socially conscious business practices and investments with entrepreneurship. As a firm believer of societal responsibility's essentialness to the success of future economies, Dr. Walske strives to help her students develop a greater awareness of socially conscientious business through internships, case analysis, research, business modeling, and ongoing mentoring.

As former Faculty Director of the Global Social Venture Competition - a worldwide program that develops next generation social entrepreneurs and an advisory board that she still remains a member of - she garnered recognition for judging and coaching future leaders of emergent social venture firms, drawing on experience as a board member of various nonprofits and for profits, as well as an investor, and co-founder of Myriad Investments LLC, an NVCA registered venture capital firm, where she remains a partner. Myriad participates in the Bay Area's Hub incubator program, helping foster the formation of such new firms as UClass, SharePractice and SunFunder. Professor Walske is also a trustee of the renowned San Francisco Ballet, reprising her contribution as trustee emeriti for the Boston Ballet. She continues to serve on the boards of both non-profit and for-profit enterprises, including the National Net Impact Board - a worldwide forum that promotes the concept that profits align with the interests of society.

Education

D.B.A., Strategy and Policy Entrepreneurship, Boston University, School of Management, 2009
M.B.A., Marketing Emphasis, Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business
B.A., Communications Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara

 

Advisory Council

  • Olivia Herbert
    Executive Director of University Development, University of California, San Francisco
  • Chris Himes
    Investor, Advisor
  • 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
    Labrador Ventures. Professional Faculty, UC Berkeley
  • Todd Gentzel
    Chief Strategist, Yaffe Deutser
  • Carlos Alberto Vargas Leitón
    Financial Manager, CoopeTarrazu R.L. Costa Rica
  • Julia Ormond
    Actress
  • William B. Rosenzweig
    Managing Director, 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
  • Johann Zueblin
    Deputy Director, Sustainability and Issue Management at Migros (Federation of Migros Cooperatives), Switzerland
Olivia Herbert
Executive Director of University Development, University of California, San Francisco
Chris Himes
Investor, Advisor
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
Labrador Ventures. Professional Faculty, UC Berkeley
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 Director, 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
Johann Zueblin
Deputy Director, Sustainability and Issue Management at Migros (Federation of Migros Cooperatives), Switzerland