Farewells & Welcomes: Fair Trade Fellows

Kylie Nealis November 16, 2017
As the Fair Trade movement continues to grow across the U.S., we are more grateful than ever for the strength of our regional networks. In the Mid Atlantic, Northeast, Southwest and Great Lakes, these networks bring together town, college, school, and congregation campaigns to learn from and collaborate with one another. None of this would be possible without the work of our regional teams, led by our amazing Fair Trade Campaigns Fellows!

Fair Trade Campaigns 2017-18 Great Lakes Leadership Team at their team launch and training this fall


Our 2016-17 Fellows just wrapped up their time with us, passing the reins to their successors. It’s a bittersweet transition – we’re lucky to have amazing individuals on board for the year ahead, and while we’ll miss those who are leaving we can’t wait to see the great things they’ll go on to do.

Thank you and Farewell

Ryan Knipple, 2016-17 Fair Trade Communities Fellow, Northeast

The fellowship helped me become a stronger advocate and find my voice to firmly stand behind a cause I believe in. I learned through the fellowship that there’s no better feeling than seeing a campaign succeed and knowing that you played a role in their success. The opportunity to participate in the Fair Trade Campaigns fellowship has helped me get a better sense of what kind of career I might want to pursue.


Nick Faynshteyn, 2016-17 Fair Trade Colleges & Universities Fellow, Northeast

I learned a lot about organizing and advocacy from the fellowship and want to continue to be involved in community organizing moving forward. One of my biggest takeaways from the fellowship is the importance of following up after a call to ensure the person(s) you spoke with know that you are there to support them and provide them with resources that are specific to their campaigns’s needs. Another important takeaway is the notion that any kind of organizing requires persistence and flexibility to communicate and engage with a wide range of people and that maintaining a consistent relationship with your team members helps tasks move more smoothly and allows for more effective collaboration towards your long-term goals.

Jessamine Gilman-Vorm, 2016-17 Fair Trade Communities Fellow, Southwest 

A couple of things that I really took away from the fellowship was the network I was able to grow between campaigns by attending their events, and helping them collaborate together. Being a part of larger events like Fair Trade LA’s Annual Gala, Fair Trade Comes to Hollywood was a great experience because I really got to see how many people  care and want to be engaged with Fair Trade. The fellowship has created a very humble feeling inside of me that there is still so much work to be done to make our footprints smaller, but with each campaign, every event and the people who are motivated to continue to make Fair Trade heard and seen, we are continuing to do our part to make this world a better place for generations to come.

Isabel Havens, 2016-17 Fair Trade Colleges & Universities Fellow, Southwest 

The biggest takeaways and draws of the fellowship for me were the personal relationships that I built and network building from staff and other fellows to Regional Leadership Team members and Fair Trade campaigners. In particular, in-person networking events were really valuable experiences as were connecting with campaigns and learning new communications tools. I look forward to staying engaged with Fair Trade this next year!

Aman Bardia, 2016-17 Fair Trade Communities Fellow, Mid Atlantic

I really enjoyed working with communities who are eager to grow the Fair Trade movement in the Mid Atlantic region during the fellowship this past year. In particular, I enjoyed speaking to new people, learning where people are coming to Fair Trade from and building relationships. I also liked having space to reflect on current priorities and projects during weekly check ins, share updates and evaluate strategies. I am eager to see what this year will bring for the Mid Atlantic region!

Charlotte Whiteman 2016-17 Fair Trade Colleges & Universities Fellow, Mid Atlantic 

Through the fellowship I gained a lot of skills, both tangible and abstract. First, the tangible skills: how to work remotely, schedule between time-zones and conduct video conferences, the importance of follow-up and how to utilize time and project management tools and platforms effectively. The fellowship also gave me a good platform to apply the skills I learned from working on my college’s Fair Trade campaign after graduation. Some of the less-tangible but still important things I gained were improved ethics when shopping (my own personal conscious consumerism) and a heightened dedication to social responsibility. In addition, I now have a better sense of how businesses can use Fair Trade to set an example of good business practices. Just one brick in the wall to help support and grow socially responsible business and conscious consumerism, but Fair Trade is definitely key stone for me and hopefully will continue to be a launching point for businesses looking to have a positive social impact.

Check out these great resources from our 2016-17 Fellows

Campaigner’s Guide: Managing Turnover and Maintaining Sustainable Leadership
Campaigner’s Guide: Connecting Campaigns Across Campaigns Types 
Fair Trade Campaigns Alumni LinkedIn Group
Fair Trade Campaigns 101 Presentation 

Meet our 2017-18 Regional Fellows

This year, we’ve adjusted our fellowship program in order to better serve our campaigns across the country, maintain a holistic approach to Fair Trade advocacy and facilitate more collaboration across our four campaign types (towns, schools, congregations and colleges & universities). To that end, instead of Fair Trade Colleges & Universities and Communities Fellows, we’ve hired two general Fair Trade Campaigns Fellows in each of our four focus regions (Mid Atlantic, Northeast, Southwest and Great Lakes) We know that our 2017-18 Fellows will be a great resource for our campaigns in those regions and we look forward to having you work with them!

Travis Brodbeck, 2017-18 Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow, Northeast 

Travis came to Fair Trade Campaigns as a National Steering Committee member and member of the National Student Leadership Committee during his sophomore year at Siena College in 2014. He is currently a graduate student studying accounting at Siena College where he previously served as co-organizer of Fair Trade Siena since his first year. In addition, he helped organize Fair Trade Colonie and Albany campaigns. He studied abroad in Berlin during his junior year where the abundance of Fair Trade products and awareness furthered his commitment to advocacy with Fair Trade Campaigns. Contact Travis: travis@fairtradecampaigns.org 


Morgan Parr, 2017-18 Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow, Northeast

Morgan is a recent graduate of Rollins College with dual majors in Environmental Studies and Critical Media and Cultural Studies. Having spent the past four years in Florida, Morgan has now returned to her native state of Maine, where she now serves as a Northeast Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow. While at Rollins College she served as a Student Sustainability Coordinator, focusing on redesigning the on-campus Recycling Program, as well as helping to initiate a plastic bag ban on campus. In addition, Morgan also served as the work study for the Department of Environmental Studies, where she worked hand-in-hand with Ann Francis planning Fair Trade events on campus. Through this campus involvement and her education, Morgan has developed a passion for Fair Trade and sustainability, and hopes to use this passion to educate her local communities. Contact Morgan: morgan@fairtradecampaigns.org 


Jacquie Martin, 2017-18 Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow, Mid Atlantic 

Jacquie is pursuing her Masters degree in Organizational Leadership at Manhattan College. Jacquie was first introduced to Fair Trade as an undergraduate student at Saint Mary’s College of California. There she was part of the Fair Trade certification committee for the college and helped to organize Fair Trade education events on campus. While attending Saint Mary’s she participated in a social justice immersion, “The Human Cost of Food” in Salinas, California where she learned more about food justice issues going on here in the US. She spent the last two years as a Lasallian Volunteer, serving low income senior citizens at Serviam Gardens in the Bronx, NY. Jacquie is looking forward to growing and sharing the Fair Trade movement in the Mid Atlantic Region. Contact Jaquie: jacqueline@fairtradecampaigns.org 


Breanne Kroehler, 2017-18 Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow, Mid Atlantic 

Breanne is a senior at George Mason University (GMU) achieving her B.A in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Conflict analysis of international human rights. Along with minoring in Korean studies and Social Justice. Her passion for fair trade started as a member of her university’s anti-human trafficking organization and it took off from there after doing research on the school’s involvement with companies that utilize unjust workers’ rights ethics. From there she has continued her research while studying abroad in Cambodia and in the Philippines on the garment industry, banana plantations, and pineapple plantations. Breanne has also taught about fair trade impact for helping human trafficking victims overseas. Breanne is originally from Chicago, Il and moved to Virginia in 2001. She is currently the president of the GMU anti-human trafficking organization and heading the on campus fair trade committee.. Contact Breanne: breanne@fairtradecampaigns.org 


Chase Manar-Spears, 2017-18 Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow, Southwest

Chase is a sophomore at San Diego State University, pursuing a BA in Sociology with a minor in Leadership. She came to Fair Trade Campaigns initially as an intern during summer 2017, with previous professional experience in social media management, children’s literacy and community organizing. Over the summer, she worked with the campaigns team and learned about advocacy, conscious consumerism, and worker’s rights. As a 2017-18 Southwest Regional Fellow, she will be able to put her newfound Fair Trade knowledge to action to help generate positive impact. Contact Chase: chase@fairtradecampaigns.org 


Celina Lima, 2017-18 Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow, Southwest 

Celina is a master’s student at the Middlebury Institute of International studies at Monterey, California. Before that, she owned her own baking business and was a freelance translator and business consultant in Europe and South America. She has lived abroad in Brazil and Berlin and was the sales manager for a Fair Trade clothing company, Marquet, for 5 years, where she discovered the benefits of Fair Trade. She is passionate for social change and impact accounting, and is studying ethical supply chains and how to measure impact to learn how to improve conditions and wages for farmers. Contact Celina: celina@fairtradecampaigns.org 


Aleah Erenberger, 2017-18 Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow, Great Lakes

Aleah is a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, IA and is currently living in Dubuque. She graduated with a BS in Biology. While at Loras she spent 2 years as the Fair Trade Student Worker in the Peace and Justice Department on campus. She graduated hoping to continue her work in the non-profit realm and work for global solidarity and social justice. Her heart still holds the sciences fondly and has found her passion to also be in public health. She currently works at Hillcrest Family Services as the Tobacco Use Prevention Lead and see this job as an excellent opportunity to get experience in public health before continuing on to graduate school. Born and raised in Colorado, she hopes to return to her home state within the next two years. With that, her favorite activities include hiking with her two dogs, biking, kayaking and simply spending time outdoors. Contact Aleah: aleah@fairtradecampaigns.org 


Sarah King, 2017-18 Fair Trade Campaigns Fellow, Great Lakes 

Sarah has spent the last five years dedicated to the fair trade movement. After exploring fair trade in Indianapolis, she decided to make her college choice based on fair trade universities. Social and economic justice for all became her personal slogan as she worked with Chicago Fair Trade, and Mata Traders. Her work at DePaul University as the President of their fair trade committee has brought new fair trade prospects onto the campus through fair trade products and policy. Fair trade integrated into her family, spread to her friends, and now takes the forefront of her personal and professional life. Sarah endeavors to include the promotion of equal pay and safe working conditions for all producers by partnering with community leaders, businesses, and organizations. Her passion for the mission has led to increasing knowledge in her community and awareness on campus. Contact Sarah: sarah@fairtradecampaigns.org

Please join us in wishing our 2016-17 Fellows a fond farewell,
and welcoming our 2017-18 Fellows.

Many thanks to you all for your passion and commitment to Fair Trade!

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Kylie Nealis, National Organizer for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities

Kylie brings over 5 years of community organizing and non-profit experience to Fair Trade USA, previously working with Global Exchange and Sierra Club. At Global Exchange she took on a variety of roles including Community Rights Program Associate, Fair Trade Campaign Coordinator, Fair Trade Store Sales Associate and Interim Director of Operations. For the past two years she worked in the Executive Office at Sierra Club providing support to C-level staff and the Board of Directors. Kylie is knowledgeable and passionate about Fair Trade, climate and energy issues, human rights and social and economic justice. Kylie graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Community Studies and Politics. She also lived in Thailand for 5 years and is conversational in Thai and learning Spanish. In her free time, Kylie enjoys being outdoors, hiking and traveling.