Renee Bowers | Executive Director
As the Executive Director of the Fair Trade Federation, Renee manages the strategic, administrative, and programmatic aspects of Federation. Prior to joining the Fair Trade Federation, Renee built long term, sustainable fair trade relationships with artisan groups around the world. As a buyer at Ten Thousand Villages, she worked directly with producer groups in India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka to develop fairly traded product, build artisan capacity, and explore the impact of fair trade.
Renee has diverse experience within the non-profit and crafts sectors, both in the United States and abroad. She served as the Child Care Resource and Referral Director at the Pender County Partnership for Children, where she helped small business owners achieve their professional development goals. As a Senior Performing Arts Fellow with the American Institute of Indian Studies, Bowers worked closely with traditional puppeteers and puppet carvers in Karnataka, South India. She also has lived and worked in Latin America, where she conducted workshops on the use of low-cost, locally available arts materials.
Renee has a BA from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. She also holds a graduate certificate in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business from the University of Delaware.
Madeline Kreider Carlson | Membership and Program Manager
Madeline Kreider Carlson has served as the Membership and Program Manager of the Fair Trade Federation since October 2011. Her duties include overseeing the membership application process, liaising with applicants and members, and coordinating events and member programs.
Before coming to the Fair Trade Federation, Madeline completed a year-long independent study of the art and socio-economic significance of crafts and women’s craft organizations, funded by a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. She spent time with craftswomen and gaining an understanding of the challenges they face as well as the promise that lies in communities of artisans. While evaluating the efficacy of craft production as a means of grassroots development for women with little formal education and few employment opportunities, Madeline also studied weaving, embroidery, basketry, batik, and felt-craft.
Madeline has studied, volunteered, and worked with fair trade companies and organizations in the U.S., Guatemala, Nicaragua, Egypt, Uganda, Indonesia, and Mongolia. Raised in a Mennonite family, Madeline has been acquainted with the fair trade movement her entire life. Madeline has a B.A. in history and fine arts from Haverford College in Ardmore, PA. She has worked at the Gallery of Heroes and Martyrs Museum in Esteli, Nicaragua; the Library Company of Philadelphia; and the Haverford College Office of Admissions.
Suzanne Cotter| Marketing and Branding Manager
Suzanne joined the Fair Trade Federation in March of 2013. She supports the FTF with overall branding, communications, and publications assistance and works with members to spread the word about fair trade businesses.
Suzanne has a deep interest in rhetorical theory and the way language and images can leave a lasting impression on individual and community audiences. Previously, Suzanne worked in the PR and Marketing office at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA where she assisted with institutional logo and branding efforts, served as editor of the college magazine, managed the college’s social media pages, and wrote feature stories for various publications. She has also served on the editorial board of Saint Joseph University’s literary magazine, The Avenue.
Suzanne has a B.A. in English and Sociology from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA and an M.A. in Writing Studies from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. She was given the Writing Studies award for distinguished department merit following her work on her master’s thesis, a collection of nonfiction lyric essays.