Jul 6, 2023
Organic Trade Association names new president, board members
The Organic Trade Association’s incoming president for 2023-24 is Tracy Favre, vice president of sustainability for live operations at egg company Handsome Brook Farms LLC.
Joining Favre on the member-elected Organic Trade Association (OTA) board are 14 organic industry veterans and experts representing the wide breadth of the organic agriculture, food, and fiber sectors.
Favre has been involved in natural resource management and the organic sphere for more than 30 years. From 2012-17 she served on the National Organic Standards Board, ending her tenure there as board chair. She has worked as an independent organic inspector and served as the global director for the international organic certification company Quality Assurance International. Favre is a longtime active member of the OTA and is passionate about the intersection of good, healthy food and sustainable livelihoods.
“I’m honored to be serving as the incoming OTA board president,” Favre said in a news release. “The organic industry is at a pivotable point in its growth. The Organic Trade Association is uniquely positioned to advocate for our membership, and I’m looking forward to helping support those efforts.”
Tom Chapman, OTA CEO, said the organization looks forward to working with the new president and board members.
“Our new board is an extremely committed and accomplished group of visionary organic leaders who will work together with members and staff to achieve OTA’s mission of growing and protecting organic,” Chapman said in the release.
The Organic Trade Association board of directors has 15 members who serve three-year terms. A board member cannot serve more than three consecutive terms. OTA board members are elected by association members each year.
As part of OTA’s democratic election process, each trade member company receives one vote in the spring election. The seated directors serve the interests of the whole association and are accountable to the membership in determining the strategic direction and setting the budget for OTA priorities.
OTA’s 2023-24 board of directors includes two incoming members: Heidi Diestel, president of sales and marketing at Diestel Family Ranch in California; and Ed Fish, vice president and general manager of varietal solutions at Bay State Milling, a leader in specialty and organic flour and grain milling.
Other board officers are:
- Adam Warthesen, director of government and industry affairs for Organic Valley, vice president
- Britt Lundgren, senior director of sustainability and government affairs at Stonyfield, secretary
- Domenic Borrelli, president of premium dairy for Danone North America, treasurer
The remaining board members are:
- Doug Crabtree, owner of Vilicus Farms
- David Lively, pioneer emeritus of Organically Grown Co.
- Paul Schiefer, president of Amy’s Kitchen
- Matthew Dillon, founder and owner of Risk to Reliance Strategy
- Ann Marie Hourigan, quality standards principal advisor of Whole Foods Market
- Mike Menes, vice president of food safety and technology of True Organic Products
- Johanna Phillips, technical director of Ecocert
- Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris
- Daniella Velazquez de León, general manager of Organics Unlimited
OTA unveils new mission, vision
More than 150 OTA members from across the country attended the trade association’s virtual membership meeting on June 28 during which the board was announced and Chapman, Favre and other board officers and task force and committee leaders highlighted successes of the past year and priorities going forward. Chapman and Favre unveiled OTA’s new mission and vision statements approved by board members earlier this year.
The OTA mission is to “Grow and protect organic with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace.”
The OTA vision is “A world where organic is the foundation of agriculture resulting in a healthy and resilient future for all people, animals, businesses, and the planet.”
“The board has identified a mission and vision that are inclusive and aspirational, ones that emphasize a healthy and resilient future,” Chapman said in the release. “We want the results of our work at OTA to benefit all people, animals, businesses, and the planet.”
“Our vision describes a world where organic principles and practices are accessible, celebrated, and widely adopted and embrace organic agriculture’s potential to address many pressing challenges today, from improving public health to mitigating climate change,” Favre said in the release. “We want to encourage farmers, businesses, and others to join us in pursuing a healthier, more resilient, and sustainable world with organic at its foundation.”