Our core team consists of a small group very passionate and hard-working people. Here is a little information about the directors that lead the organization.
Mélissa has been involved in the fair trade movement since 2012, first as part of Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable and then as part of Fairtrade Canada as she led the outreach and B2C marketing activities for 3 years. Putting her strong foundation in communications to good use, Mélissa now leads the national public engagement strategy at RESULTS Canada to engage volunteers passionate about using their voice in ending poverty. In 2019, she was able to facilitate the beginnings of a Gatineau-based Fair Trade Town campaign, something she has been passionate about since first joining FTOÉ!
Lia is a founding member of FTOÉ, having held a leadership role since the start of the Ottawa Fair Trade Town campaign! She’s done countless presentations and workshops on fair trade and served on the original board of the Canadian Fair Trade Network. She jokingly calls herself the FTOÉ Grandma, and is always happy to help out wherever she’s needed. During the day, she’s a marketing consultant, graphic designer and fair trade business owner. When she has a little free time, she enjoys cooking, farming, reading and doing all things creative!
Kenneth currently works as the Government Relations Coordinator with Engineers Without Borders Canada and is completing a Masters in International Affairs and African Studies. Kenneth got involved with fair trade in 2012 when he joined the Engineers Without Borders chapter at Carleton University. For him, fair trade offered a truly unique opportunity to work on an issue that sought to empower people around the world. In 2013, Kenneth founded Fair Trade Carleton University and worked with the community and school administration to make Carleton a Fair Trade Campus. In the coming years, Kenneth is interested in how he can blend a background in public policy with his passion for the goals of the fair trade movement.
Nethra is currently completing her Masters in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and is majoring in Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Nethra currently works at Global Affairs Canada and has also interned with a UN Agency (ITU) in Geneva. She is passionate about sustainable development, which sparked her interest in fair trade as a means to promote labour rights and sustainability. She has been involved with FTOÉ as a volunteer since 2016.
Education & Outreach
Emanuel has been involved in the fair trade movement since late 2017, when he visited Costa Rica as a volunteer and participated in the development of fair trade coffee farms. Emanuel is the leader of the environmental committee at his school, as well as the movement that got his school the first Fair Trade School designation in Ottawa! In early 2019, he was elected to the board of the Canadian Fair Trade Network, making him the youngest person ever to hold this position.
Nick works as a deployment officer at an Ottawa-based humanitarian administration agency that supports various UN missions. He recently completed his Master’s in History at Queen’s where he focused on private organizations and international development in the Global South. As Business Outreach Director, he hopes to expand the number of Ottawa retailers and organizations that proudly support fair trade products.
Emily is the newest board member for FTOÉ. In 2015 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies from the University of Guelph. Throughout her undergrad, she was involved with World University Service of Canada (WUSC), where she led several campaigns as Chair and co-Events coordinator. Her most rewarding experience was her involvement in the Student Refugee Program (SRP), as she was able to help students from Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps settle into life in Canada. She uses her skills from these experiences to onboard new volunteers and raise awareness about the Fair Trade Town Campaign in Ottawa.