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  • Lundblad appointed interim CEO at Ten Thousand Villages

    Posted on September 16, 2016

    Carl Lundblad CEO Ten Thousand Villages web

    AKRON, Pa – Ten Thousand Villages Board of Directors has appointed Carl Lundblad, as interim chief executive officer (CEO) effective October 3. Lundblad will lead the nonprofit fair trade retailer and its network of 75 stores. He replaces Pam Raffensberger, who resigned in July.

    Lundblad most recently served as Chief Legal and Administrative Officer at Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. through completion of its acquisition by BB&T Corporation before working as an independent business consultant. He also currently serves as an advisor to international microenterprise development organization HOPE International, and as an adjunct instructor at Messiah College, teaching masters-level business and leadership classes.

    Ann Batlle, acting chair of Ten Thousand Villages board of directors said, “Carl’s financial, strategic, and organizational expertise, coupled with his energy and mission-driven approach to leadership make him the right person to lead Ten Thousand Villages.”

    “I look forward to working with the Board and leadership team of Ten Thousand Villages to build a sustainable retail organization that supports and empowers independent artisans around the globe,” said Lundblad.   “Ten Thousand Villages holds a special place as a pioneer in the fair trade movement and I am excited to contribute to efforts to ensure that this mission continues.”

    Ten Thousand Villages, the oldest and largest fair trade retailer in the United States, offers artisan-crafted gifts, home decor, jewelry and personal accessories, handcrafted by skilled artisans around the globe.

    Featuring products from more than 100 artisan groups in 30 developing countries, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income for 70 years. All artisans are fairly paid for their products.

    For more information visit www.tenthousandvillages.com.

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases, In the News and was tagged with fair trade, CEO

  • Ten Thousand Villages Launches National Campaign to Help Global Artisans Plant Roots and Grow Through International Fair Trade Retail Network

    Posted on April 21, 2016

    Non-profit retailer announces first-ever, national initiative to connect artisans from underemployed regions worldwide with eco-conscious consumers; holding in-store, interactive events to promote fair-trade and sustainable business practices

    Leading fair-trade retailer and founder of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Ten Thousand Villages, announces the organization’s first-ever national corporate social responsibility campaign to further educate consumers about the company’s mission to strengthen artisans worldwide through fair-trade. The inaugural initiative, called Landscapes, promotes reforestation and marks the beginning of a larger, year-long campaign dedicated to highlighting like-minded charities across the country that embody Ten Thousand Villages’ commitment to fair trade, sustainability and social responsibility.

    Various Landscapes events will kick off in select store locations nationwide on April 22 and 23, commemorating Earth Day. Ten Thousand Villages is partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation and has set a goal of planting 10,000 trees between April 21 and May 1 by collecting donations from customers. For every dollar donated, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in a national forest. Participating stores will offer shoppers various promotions, including refreshments, special product discounts, gardening demonstrations, interactive craft experiences and more.

    The Landscapes launch will highlight the organization’s artisan groups committed to reforestation and the carefully-curated product line of the same name will include new, thoughtfully-made items that embody the colors and textures of the season, as well as the organization’s core values. For nearly 70 years, Ten Thousand Villages has built meaningful, long-lasting relationships with artisans around the world, teaching them valuable skills for employment in regions where underemployment is high. Additionally, all sales made on items sold online and in Ten Thousand Villages stores provides artisans with valuable resources such as healthcare, education and transportation, giving artisans and their families access to a higher quality-of-life.

    “The Landscapes initiative will be an exciting, first-of-its kind program for Ten Thousand Villages,” says Pamela Raffensberger, CEO of Ten Thousand Villages. “We see this as being an immersive and experiential way for our customers to gain a deeper understanding for our organization, the artisans we work with around the globe, as well as the core values for which we stand.”

    Ten Thousand Villages plans to launch numerous initiatives in 2016, with charity partners to be announced throughout the year. To learn more about the organization and to find a location near you, click here.

    About Ten Thousand Villages

    For nearly 70 years, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income. The commitment to support artisans around the globe is strengthened through fair trade compensation practices including cash advances and prompt payments. As the company continues to grow, Ten Thousand Villages has deliberately married the concept of fair trade with healthy and environmentally sustainable business practices. From store operations to product sourcing to marketing practices, Ten Thousand Villages strives to meet the “triple bottom line” of economic, environmental and social sustainability.

    Founded in 1946, Ten Thousand Villages has grown from the trunk of founder Edna Ruth Byler's car to a network of more than 300 retail outlets throughout the United States. Ten Thousand Villages is an exceptional source for unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art & sculpture and personal accessories made by artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. One of the world's largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization, Ten Thousand Villages strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 35 countries. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. For more information, visit tenthousandvillages.com.

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases, Product Photos and was tagged with fair trade, earth day, arbor day foundation, 10000 trees

  • Ten Thousand Villages named by Forbes.com as a retail brand to watch in 2015

    Posted on January 6, 2015

    cut metal tree of life

    A December 30 post on Forbes.com listed Ten Thousand Villages as one of several trend-setting retail clothing and accessories brands to watch in 2015.

    The article said, "Ten Thousand Villages is an ethical company that was started in 1946 and was once known as the Overseas Needlepoint and Craft Project. (Check out the Haitian wall art since I'm hoping helping Haiti becomes trendy again in 2015.)  The sexier name is already serving the organization well."

    To read the article in full, click here.

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases and was tagged with fair trade, tree of life, haiti, forbes, forbes.com, trendspotter, trending, ethical

  • Ten Thousand Villages Featured on CNN.com

    Posted on December 17, 2014


    CNN.com posted the article, "The Do-Gooder Holiday Gift Guide," on Wednesday, December 17. The article said, "With all the buying and selling going on, it can be hard to remember the point of the season for many people: Spending time with family, celebrating the religious holidays that inspire the season, and doing some good in the world.

    Thankfully, there are ways to combine your need to get Aunt Martha that perfect gift with making the world a better place. You can donate to these causes in your loved one's name. If you need a "thing" under the tree, many charities have T-shirts and water bottles for sale to raise money."

    The article went on to suggest a number of charities and organizations last-minute shoppers can support. In addition to featuring the Twin Girl Doll, the article said, "Buy international. There are more companies and nonprofits than ever that want to sell you crafts, clothing and chocolate made by people all over the world, and much of the money goes back to the people who made the goods. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans in 38 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East to sell their goods in North America. The nonprofit has several locations around the United States and Canada and an active online presence."

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases and was tagged with fair trade, cnn.com, twin girl doll, zimbabwe, gifts that give back

  • Ten Thousand Villages Featured on NPR.org

    Posted on December 17, 2014


    On Tuesday, December 2, NPR.org posted the story, "For Giving Tuesday: A Guide to Gifts that Give Back." The article included a number of organizations and companies that offer quality gifts that "give back." Ten Thousand Villages' Enormous Love Elephants Paperweight was featured.

    The article said, "This elephant duo comes from Kisac Fair Trade Limited, a Kenyan group that says it gives half its profits to the artisans it employs. Another 5 percent of profits goes toward community projects that support orphanages, education and clean drinking water. The elephants are sold by Ten Thousand Villages, a retailer that has stocked handmade gifts from artisans around the world since 1946."

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases and was tagged with fair trade, holiday gifts, NPR.org, enormous love elephant paperweight, kenya, kisac

  • Ten Thousand Villages Featured on Time.com

    Posted on December 17, 2014


    A December 4 article on Time.com, "The 5 Best Boutique Shopping Sites for Finding Holiday Gifts," included Ten Thousand Villages.  Ten Thousand Villages was #3 with the headline "Support Global Artisans." The article said, "TenThousandVillages.com sells handcrafted items from artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. It’s a project of the World Fair Trade Organization, which works to improve the livelihood of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries, encouraging artisans to craft responsibly with recycled materials or environmentally friendly processes.

    Ten Thousand Villages sells items like handmade scarves from Bolivia, gazelle masks from Burkina Faso and shea butter from Ghana. Shop for gifts by interest, such as gifts for foodies, earth lovers or art lovers."

    Read the article here.

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases and was tagged with fair trade, Time.com, boutique shopping, holiday gifts, media coverage

  • Ten Thousand Villages Featured on Bloomberg Businessweek.com

    Posted on November 4, 2014

    Ten Thousand Villages Marketing Manager Michele Loeper was quoted in the November 3, 2014 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.com.

    From the article: "Michele Loeper, marketing manager at fair-trade retailer Ten Thousand Villages, likes doing one-day deep discount sales. 'Also consider come-back offers. They can be especially enticing during those last-minute panic days leading up to the holiday,' she says. In the store, she makes sure to display some prewrapped grab-and-go items in categories like 'foodie gifts' or 'hostess gifts' that time-pressed shoppers can pick up on the way to a party."

    To read the full article.

    For more information about Ten Thousand Villages, contact Michele Loeper at 717-859-8149.

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases and was tagged with fair trade, holiday shopping, special offers, bloomberg businessweek

  • Ten Thousand Villages Named World's Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for 7th Consecutive Year

    Posted on March 20, 2014

    AKRON, Pa. – Ten Thousand Villages, the world’s oldest and largest fair trade retailer, announced today that it has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company® for the seventh consecutive year.

    The award recognizes companies and organizations that continue to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior. World’s Most Ethical Company honorees demonstrate real and sustained ethical leadership within their industries. Ten Thousand Villages is one of only three companies in the general retail category honored this year.

    “To be named a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company® is truly an honor,” said Pam Raffensberger, Ten Thousand Villages Chief Executive Officer. “For more than 65 years, we have been working to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income and bring meaning and dignity to their lives through fair trade. Our commitment to long standing relationships provides these women and men with vital income to send their children to school, to put food on their table and to care for their families. A natural part of our work is a commitment to fairness and transparency with our stakeholders, as well as a commitment to environmental responsibility. We are thrilled that Ethisphere has recognized Ten Thousand Villages as a leader in the specialty retail category.”

    The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ framework. The Ethics Quotient framework has been developed over years of effort to provide a means to assess an organization’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies, rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics. The Ethics Quotient framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere’s network of thought leaders and from the World’s Most Ethical Company Methodology Advisory Panel.

    Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (25%), reputation, leadership and innovation (20%), governance (10%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (25%) and culture of ethics (20%).

    The full list of the 2014 World's Most Ethical Companies can be found at ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/wme-honorees/.

    About Ten Thousand Villages
    Ten Thousand Villages, a leader in the fair trade industry, markets artisan-crafted home decor and gifts through a network of stores in more than 75 locations and online at tenthousandvillages.com. Ten Thousand Villages currently partners with more than 110 artisan groups in 37 developing countries. For more than 65 years, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income. All artisans are fairly paid for their products.

    About the Ethisphere Institute
    The Ethisphere® Institute is an independent center of research, best practices and thought leadership that promotes best practices in corporate ethics and governance and enables organizations to improve compliance, mitigate risk, and enhance relationships with employees, business partners, investors and the broad regulatory community. Ethisphere evaluates and benchmarks compliance and governance programs, honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program and publishes Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs that include: Ethics Inside® Certification, Compliance Leader Verification™ and Anti-Corruption Program Verification™. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: www.ethisphere.com.

    This post was posted in Press Releases, Company Releases and was tagged with world's most ethical company, ethisphere, sustainable, award, international award

  • Ten Thousand Villages Appoints First Woman CEO

    Posted on December 30, 2013

    Pam Raffensberger 3x4 150dpi Pam Raffensberger, named Ten Thousand Villages CEO.

    Ten Thousand Villages’ board of directors recently announced 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.


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