We're guided by a team of leaders who are united under our mission to alleviate global poverty and promote sustainable development. Combined with the collective wisdom and constructive feedback of our Board of Directors and Advisory Council, these individuals enable us to deliver more impact to more communities around the world.
Paul Rice is founder, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA, the internationally-acclaimed social enterprise and leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. He launched the award-winning nonprofit organization in 1998 after spending 11 years organizing farmers in the highlands of Nicaragua. There he founded and led the country's first Fair Trade coffee export cooperative, which introduced him to the transformative power of market-based approaches to sustainable development. Paul then returned to the United States to obtain his MBA from Berkeley Haas with the dream of bringing Fair Trade to consumers, businesses and farmers worldwide.
People called him crazy in the beginning, but Paul had a bold vision for Fair Trade: from his years in Nicaragua, he knew that farmers and workers could learn to navigate the global market and empower themselves on a journey out of poverty. He believed that business could become a major force for social and environmental change, creating “shared value” and sustainability with profitability. He envisioned a consumer awakening and recognition that everyday purchases can impact the world for the better. In short, Paul believed deeply that the FairTrade movement would have a major impact on the world and also help propel a much larger, lasting shift toward Conscious Capitalism.
Twenty years later, Fair Trade has grown into a widely-known and increasingly mainstream consumer trend that is rapidly approaching an inflection point. In 2016, consumer recognition of the Fair Trade Certified label reached 67% and U.S. retail sales of Fair Trade products grew to an estimated $6 billion. Paul and his team have enlisted the support of over 1,300 companies, including market leaders like Green Mountain, Starbucks, Nespresso, General Mills, PepsiCo, Whole Foods, Costco, Target and Walmart. Fair Trade USA now certifies coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, coconut, fresh fruits and vegetables. Most recently, through groundbreaking partnerships with Patagonia, West Elm and Gap Inc., Fair Trade has begun certifying apparel and home furnishings to improve working conditions and incomes for factory workers.
Since its launch, Fair Trade USA and its partners have generated almost $500 million in additional income for farmers and workers in more than 70 countries worldwide, allowing them to keep their kids in school, care for the land and steadily improve their livelihoods.
Paul’s rich, first-hand experience over the last 30 years in the areas of sustainable agriculture, grassroots economic development, global supply chain transparency and consumer activation is unique in the certification world. He is now a leading advocate of “impact sourcing” as a core strategy for both poverty alleviation and sustainable business.
Paul has been honored for his pioneering work by Ashoka, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Fast Company Magazine’s Social Capitalist of the Year award (four-time winner), Ethisphere’s 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics, Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year (2012 Finalist) and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The Texas-native holds an Economics and Political Science degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he is now an Executive Fellow. Paul has spoken at the World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Skoll World Forum, TEDx and numerous universities and conferences around the world.
Anna E. Banks joined Fair Trade USA in May 2018 as Chief Marketing Officer. She is honored to now be the steward of the Fair Trade USA brands and all the associated consumer and business marketing efforts.
Anna brings 25+ years of marketing experience that has spanned both the largest and smallest companies. She worked at Walmart.com leading marketing across Category, Campaign and Consumer Segment teams, adding deep retail to her list of marketing specialties that includes digital strategy, consumer insights, marketing ecosystem design, content & influencer programs and CRM. On the other end of the spectrum, Anna has worked advising small early stage, social impact companies on their marketing and growth acceleration strategies.
Anna’s passion for marketing strategy and digital innovation has translated into the creation of consumer and business-to business experiences that have connected digital and traditional channels. Her experience leading marketing teams has crossed industries from tech to tennis shoes, and consumer packaged goods to African couture. She is excited to now merge personal and professional passions and turn her skills towards social entrepreneurship, and the mission to bring greater equity to an imbalanced global economy.
A San Francisco native still recovering from almost twenty years on the East Coast, Anna now lives in Oakland. She is a member of angel investing network Pipeline Angels which focuses on social entrepreneurship ventures founded by women, serves on the board of an independent K-8 girls school, and is a former board member of the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. As a pattern-making and design student at the Apparel Arts school in Oakland, she has developed a zeal for ethical, sustainable and slow fashion.
Anna earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB from Harvard College with a double major in Sociology and Visual & Environmental Studies.
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.
Mark Gunton joined Fair Trade USA in July 2018 and serves as the Chief Operating Officer. In this capacity he leads the executive team, oversees daily operations, and directs the execution of strategy.
Mark’s interest in international development began during his under graduate studies at the University of East Anglia in the UK. In 2005 he co-founded the North Star Alliance, a network of roadside clinics that provide health care to vulnerable communities across 10 countries in Africa impacting over 1 million people. More recently he was the CEO of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership and pioneered a shared value approach to poverty alleviation based on the creation and replication of a portfolio of social businesses that aggregate, and boost the productivity of small producers in developing countries into the high value supply chains of large food manufacturers and retailers.
Prior to this, Mark spent 28 years in business and finance roles at Fortune 500 companies, including as President of a $1 billion unit at TNT spanning North America, South America, Africa and parts of Asia, and as CFO of a global logistics business. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. Mark has lived and worked in 5 countries on 4 continents.
Mary Hedahl brings over 20 years of experience fundraising on behalf of human rights, civil liberties, social justice, the environment, and the arts. Her previous leadership positions include Vice President of Development at Human Rights First and Director of Development at the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), dramatically increasing the funds raised at both organizations. She also worked as the Eastern Director of Major Gifts at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), overseeing the Major Gifts Department at a time of unprecedented growth. Earlier in her fundraising career, she worked at New York cultural institutions including Symphony Space, The Women’s Project, and Theatre Development Fund. She has served on the boards of the East Harlem Block Schools and the International Theatre and Literacy Project and now serves on the Board of NYCLU. Most recently, Mary was the Senior Advisor, Business Development for MCE Social Capital, an international microfinance organization.
Mary Ostafi joined Fair Trade USA as the first Chief of Staff in 2018. She oversees the Office of the CEO and is responsible for a variety of critical functions in support of the CEO and Executive Leadership Team.
Mary’s passion for sustainability and community development has translated across multiple sectors over the course of her career. Most recently, she founded the nonprofit organization, Urban Harvest STL, to build community around inclusive and resilient local food systems. She pioneered an urban agriculture movement in St. Louis and built the first rooftop farm in the region – the FOOD ROOF Farm. Mary grew a network of urban farms in underutilized spaces across the city, stimulating biodiversity, growing healthy food for people who need it, and educating the community around food equity and sustainable agriculture.
Mary began her career in architecture with a focus on green building design at multiple national and global architecture and design firms. She was an early adopter of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. Her strong interest in sustainability motivated her to pursue a Master of Science in Sustainability Leadership from an international University in Sweden. Mary collaborated with the Dublin City Council to develop a City Sustainability Plan for her dissertation. Upon graduation, she joined global architecture firm, HOK, as a Sustainability Manager, where she led internal sustainability initiatives across their 24 offices around the world and served as a consultant for clients seeking sustainable buildings. Later, she joined Washington University’s Office of Sustainability where she led a partnership of campus and community stakeholders to develop a Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations.
Mary is a high performing and multi-faceted professional with a track record of achievement within business, academia, nonprofits, and community contexts. She is a collaborative leader, strong community activist, and a seasoned public speaker who has addressed national and international audiences. She brings a personal passion for developing partnerships that result in positive social and environmental impacts.
Jennifer Chapman joined Fair Trade USA as Head of People in August of 2017. Her mandate is to lead the organization’s talent function, and to support a culture where employees thrive. Fair Trade USA’s goal is to honor best practices in recruiting, developing, and retaining staff.
Jennifer has been part of the Conscious Capitalism movement for over twenty years, and has held senior positions in both the private and nonprofit sectors. She led the talent function at Girls Inc. of Alameda County, and was the Chief Operating Officer at Wild Planet Toys. She received her MBA from the Yale School of Management, and did her undergraduate studies at Stanford University. Board service includes Leadership High School, Net Impact, Ashoka Youth Venture and Social Venture Network.
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.
Thibault de Chatellus
Thibault joined Fair Trade USA in September 2018. As Vice President of CPG, he leads the growth of the Consumer Packaged Goods category, helping mission-driven and innovative brands sustainably source and bring to market products that contain Fair Trade Certified ingredients, and helping develop sustainable supply chains across multiple commodities including cocoa, sugar, coconut, and tea.
Thibault brings over 25 years of leadership and international experience in specialty retail and food and beverage. He held several senior executive positions at Blockbuster and Jamba Juice including business development, category management, franchise, and general management of US and international retail operations. He also served as an independent consultant focusing on business development strategies in international markets. Prior to moving to the US, Thibault worked for 10 years at McKinsey and The Chase Manhattan Bank in Paris. He graduated from Hautes Etudes Commerciales.
Julie Kuchepatov joined Fair Trade in 2016 and, as the Seafood Director, is responsible for leading and scaling the Fair Trade Seafood program. Working directly with a variety of stakeholders from the seafood industry and the sustainable seafood movement, Fair Trade’s Seafood team addresses the challenges of supporting capture fisheries and aquaculture farms by adapting Fair Trade’s proven model of certification to generate market interest and increased impact on the water.
Prior to joining Fair Trade, Julie worked with Russian fisheries building over 20 years of leadership and international experience in fisheries and global improvement initiatives. She worked to improve chain of custody transparency and traceability and eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fish from global seafood supply chains. 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.
Nathalie Marin-Gest is the Senior Director of Produce & Floral at Fair Trade USA, having joined in 2013. Growing up in Fair Trade on the farm support side, Nathalie has trained thousands of workers and growers on fruit, vegetable, and rose farms throughout the Americas, having helped them achieve and maximize the impact from Fair Trade certification. She then pivoted to lead the exploration of bringing Fair Trade to agricultural production in the global north, helping to certify the first Fair Trade farm in the United States. Nathalie now leads the strategic development and growth of the Fair Trade produce and floral program, working together in partnership with all stakeholders along the way to create stronger, more equitable supply chains on all sides of the border.
Prior to working at Fair Trade USA, Nathalie worked as a Spanish-English court interpreter in northern California, where she began to learn more about farm worker issues from her work on hundreds of court cases, medical appointments, and workers-comp hearings. Other past endeavors include supporting indigenous businesses in southern and central Mexican communities with market expansion efforts of artisanal products, as well as working as a market research consultant within the agriculture and tech industries.
Nathalie has dual Bachelor Degrees in Anthropology and International Business, as well as dual Masters Degrees in Development Policy and Business Administration. She was born in Mexico City to a French and Spanish family, growing up in both Mexico and California. Besides Fair Trade, Nathalie is passionate about family, cultural experiences, and just learning overall.
Carlos Ruiz joined FTUSA in August 2015 and serves as Vice President of Finance. Prior to joining Fair Trade USA, Carlos led the Finance department for over five years at International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, CA. In addition to professional experience in the non-profit environment, Carlos worked seven years supervising the Accounting and Finance departments for Amidi Group, a family own business. Previously, Carlos worked for leading international corporations based in Mexico, including Deloitte.
Born in Mexico City, Carlos graduated with honors from Escuela Bancaria y Comercial, known as Mexico’s leading business school, where he received a degree as Public Accountant.
Carlos lives with his two sons in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is active in the community and enjoys coaching baseball and soccer youth teams. In his personal time, Carlos enjoys golfing, riding his motorcycle and spending time with friends.
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 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.
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.