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.
Ann Ferguson | Membership Manager
Ann Ferguson joined the Fair Trade Federation as Membership Manager in April 2014. Her duties include overseeing the membership application process, liaising with applicants and members, and 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. She helped start a fair trade retail store after returning to her Evansville, Indiana hometown. As the Education Coordinator, she spoke to many volunteer and faith communities about fair trade and worked to connect the various parts of a growing fair trade movement in southern Indiana. She also attended Tuttounaltracosa to learn from the members of the Associazione Botteghe del Mondo in Italy.
Ann earned a B.S. in environmental management and spent lots of time in the religious studies department at Indiana University. She has worked for Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Keep Evansville Beautiful, and Camp Henry F. Koch.
Suzanne Cotter| Communications 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 leave a lasting impression. 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 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 a 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 essays.