Leaders around the world
Fairtrade America is the US branch of the Fairtrade International system. We are an independent 501(c)3 charitable organization, and we are proud to be part of this global network that includes about 2 million farmers and workers.
We believe that it is critical to have a wide variety of people at the governing table – most important the farmers themselves. Fairtrade International’s General Assembly – an annual gathering of representatives from across the system – is made up of half producers and half representatives from the different marketing and advocacy arms of the organization (like ours).
US Board of Directors
Chair: Dan Arnett is the General Manager of the Chicago Market Cooperative. He is also a Graduate Program Adjunct Professor at the Presidio Graduate School. Dan has served on the board of the National Co+op Grocers Association, bringing a wealth of experience in co-op management. Dan holds a Master of Management in Cooperatives and Credit Unions from Saint Mary’s University.
Treasurer: Charis Smith is a sustainability and collaboration professional, providing consulting services and coaching for people and organizations that seek to make the world a more sustainable and equitable place. Charis brings nearly 15 years of experience serving in a variety of roles within organic retail and innovation networks, regularly engaging with leaders across the agricultural supply chain. She is currently working on a project for Regenerative Farms, a global non-profit organization dedicated to uplifting women and indigenous farming communities through regenerative agriculture and value-added, on-site processing hubs designed to meet a number of economic, social and environmental goals.
Secretary: Troy Pearley is the EVP and General Manager, USA of Divine Chocolate and has served on their Board of Directors. He previously worked at Godiva, Ghirardelli, Odwalla, Pepperidge Farm, and Ralston Purina. He received Sales Person of the Year award at Ghirardelli and is currently a Chocolate Council member of the National Confectioners Association (NCA).
Katherine DiMatteo is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Food Trade Association. She has worked in a variety of capacities within the organic industry since 1990. Katherine helps businesses grow as a managing partner at Wolf, DiMatteo + Associates. She was the executive director of the Organic Trade Association from 1990 to 2006. While there, Katherine shaped the outcome of the US National Organic Program standards.
Dr. Nancy Onyango is a Kenyan accountant, businesswoman and corporate executive, who is the Director of the Office of Internal Audit and Inspection at the International Monetary Fund. She has three decades of experience in audit in over 15 countries across Africa. She has sat on several boards, worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young. She is also a gender leadership specialist and mentors women navigating corporate ladders, as well as disadvantaged girls. Dr. Onyango also served on the board of Fairtrade Africa.
Carlos Reynoso is the General Manager of Manos Campesinas, a coffee cooperative in Guatemala. He has held various positions representing producers.
Sophie Waskow Rifkin has worked in the corporate sustainability field for over 15 years. Currently she is the Senior Director of Sustainability at Banza, a food company that makes pasta, rice, mac&cheese and pizza from chickpeas, leading the company’s efforts to drive positive impact through its products. Previously she held senior-level positions at the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business where she helped to launch the center, built thought leadership and engagement programs and led a research consulting practice focused on monetizing the return on sustainability investment.
Sophie’s prior experience includes serving on the consulting teams at BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) and SustainAbility, and working as a project manager in George Washington University’s Office of Sustainability, She holds an MPA in sustainability management from George Washington University, and an A.B. in English from Brown University. Sophie is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern and a member of the Pembroke Center Advisory Council of Brown University. A native New Yorker, Sophie resides in Brooklyn with her family.
As a labor union organizer, I know Fairtrade's labor rights standards were developed in consultation with food and agricultural unions. Our partnership with small grower cooperatives and workers builds sustainable development including stronger community democracy. Strong unions and cooperatives are essential building blocks for social justice.Tim Beaty, Former Board Chair