Renee Bowers | Executive Director
As the Executive Director, Renee manages the strategic, administrative, and programmatic aspects of the Fair Trade Federation. Prior to joining the FTF, 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. 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. 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.
Chris Solt | Director of Member Education and Events
As Director of Member Education and Events, Chris’s primary focus is to research, develop, and implement comprehensive educational programs to help fair trade businesses grow. Additionally, he drives and coordinates content for member events and facilitates peer mentoring programs.
Prior to joining the FTF staff in 2016, Chris worked with Ten Thousand Villages for over ten years, first as Regional Sales Manager for the northeast of the US, then as Sales Training Manager, leading training and development programs for retail network and home office staff and volunteers. In his time there, he developed relationships with many fair trade professionals from all over the world, especially during a trip to India and Nepal, where he saw the impact of fair trade first hand.
Chris earned a BA in Social Science at Cleveland State University, and is currently enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University, seeking a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources.
Ann Ferguson | Membership Manager
Ann joined the Fair Trade Federation as Membership Manager in 2014. She oversees the FTF’s rigorous membership application process and annual member reviews, and assists in coordinating events and member programs.
Ann became interested in fair trade after witnessing the direct impact of small business on marginalized slum communities in Bangkok, Thailand. After returning to the USA, she helped start a fair trade retail store in her hometown.
Ann earned a BS in Environmental Management and a minor in Religious Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Rachel L. Spence | Engagement Manager
Prior to joining FTF, Rachel worked with fair trade farmer cooperatives in Latin America. She also worked in the field of international trade policy in New York and with the United Nations and U.S. government in Washington, DC.
Rachel has an MA in International Affairs with a concentration in Economic Development from George Washington University in Washington, DC and a BA in International Economics and Commerce from Lafayette College in Easton, PA.
Allison Lynch | Program and Events Assistant
As the Program and Events Assistant, Allison’s top priority is to manage all the minor details that keep our office running smoothly and efficiently, assisting with everything from database upkeep to finance management. Since joining the Fair Trade Federation in January 2017, her main focus has been detail oriented planning for the upcoming Conference and Expo as well as providing support during our busy Review and Renew season.
Allison graduated from the University of Delaware with a BA in Psychology and minor in Philosophy. As a result of her liberal arts background, she’s grown interested in non-profit management, community outreach, and social justice. These budding interests have inspired her to get involved with the fair trade movement and learn more about what we can do on a local level to instill ethical values into global trade. Allison hopes to one day get the chance to travel and see firsthand how organizations like the fair trade Federation positively impact artisans and communities around the world.