Ten Thousand Villages’ board of directors announced today their unanimous decision to appoint Pam Raffensberger as chief executive officer (CEO) to lead its network of more than 80 fair trade retail stores in the US, effective immediately.
Raffensberger was appointed interim CEO in March, 2013. She joined Ten Thousand Villages in late 2006 as controller and was promoted to chief financial officer two years later. Ten Thousand Villages Chairman, Alex Hartzler, endorsed Raffensberger by saying, “Pam has demonstrated exemplary and effective leadership skills as interim CEO. The Board and I are unified in our confidence in Pam’s leadership and delighted and excited that she has taken on this challenge on behalf of our artisans, stores and entire organization.” He added that the board was looking for a visionary leader who possesses excellent decision-making qualities, as well as an ability to motivate and inspire people. “Pam’s strong financial background, together with her ability to engage and connect with people on a sincere and personable level, makes her an ideal person to lead Villages well into the future.”
With a commitment to support artisans in developing countries around the globe by providing a path to sustainable income through fair trade, Raffensberger is tasked with continuing a 65 year tradition and Ten Thousand Villages’ legacy as the founder of the Fair Trade movement. “It is an honor to be given the opportunity to lead this extraordinary organization,” said Raffensberger. "With an eye on the future, I will focus on decisions that will lead this organization on a path towards growth….not just for Ten Thousand Villages,
but for the women and men around the world whose livelihood depends on the success of our organization." Raffensberger added, “Our mission will be the anchor grounding every decision I make as CEO, and I look forward to working with our talented team of employees to create even more opportunities to bring our artisan’s beautiful handcrafted products and stories to the homes and hearts of American consumers.”
Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items from across the globe. Featuring products from more than 110 artisan groups in 37 countries, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income for more than 65 years. All artisans are fairly paid for their products. For more information visit www.tenthousandvillages.com.