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Founding Story

Rebecca van Bergen, Founder and Executive Director of Nest graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Work the same year that Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Having grown up with a great-grandmother and grandmother who were quilters and sewers, Rebecca was drawn to craftsmanship as a means of self-expression and opportunity. Following her passion to turn craft, the second largest employer of women globally, into a means to correct the gender and income imbalance in our world, Rebecca founded Nest at age 24.

More than 11 years later, Rebecca’s leadership, determination, and enthusiasm continue to propel Nest forward.

Rebecca is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Ashoka Fellow, Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory Fellow, Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, Cordes Fellow, and GLG Social Impact Fellow. When she is not traveling the world with Nest, she enjoys spending time enjoying the power of making with her husband and two children.

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Executive Leadership Team

Rebecca van Bergen is the Founder and Executive Director of Nest, a nonprofit supporting the responsible growth and creative engagement of the artisan and maker economy to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion.

Rebecca founded Nest in 2006 – the same year in which she graduated from Washington University with her Masters Degree in Social Work and Mohammed Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in microfinance. Inspired by the massive potential of craft-based microentrepreneurs to drive financial and social impact within their communities – as well as the need for these microentrepreneurs to have a comprehensive ecosystem of marketing and capacity-building support in addition to just financing – Rebecca launched Nest from her apartment in St. Louis at the age of 24.

17 years later, Rebecca leads an organization that is partnering with brand leaders such as Etsy, Madewell, Patagonia, Target and West Elm to improve transparency, social wellbeing, and economic opportunity for handworkers which includes both artisans and less skilled manual laborers, often working from their homes. Nest’s comprehensive suite of artisan and maker programming reaches over 250,000 handworkers working across 1,500+ artisan businesses in 124 countries. From the open access Nest Artisan Guild which serves craft entrepreneurs globally to Makers United which is driving a more vibrant and inclusive makers movement in the United States, Nest is working in partnership with brands, philanthropists and artisans to unlock the power of craft to change our world.

In December of 2017 at the United Nations, Rebecca led Nest to launch the Nest Standards for Homes and Small Workshops, delivering the industry a standardized tool for improving rights and wellbeing for the world’s estimated 300 million home‐based workers (ILO). The program is accompanied by a Nest Seal of Ethical Handcraft, the first consumer-facing Seal providing customers with the assurance that the handmade product they are purchasing is made by a handworker whose economic and social rights are protected.

Rebecca is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Rebecca has been the recipient of the Elevate Prize And C&A Foundation’s Fabric of Change Award. She is an Ashoka Fellow, a Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory Fellow, Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, Cordes Fellow, and former GLG Social Impact Fellow. She is regularly quoted in international media outlets including Fast Company, The New York Times, WSJ, Quartz, ELLE, Glamour and more. She has been spotlighted by the New York Mayor’s Office as an NYC Catalyst and as one of 50 Women Making the World a Better Place in 2021 in InStyle’s Badass Women issue. Rebecca and Nest have also been honored as a PBS Changemaker, a CNN Young Person Who Rocks, named by the White House as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurial Enterprises led by a young person.

Rebecca Van Bergen
Founder & Executive Director
[email protected]

As Nest’s CFO/COO, Chris oversees all of Nest’s programming, including direct-to-artisan business training and mentorship of over 500 artisan businesses across 90+ countries, strategic initiatives to solve for universal sector challenges, as well as partnerships with pioneering brands. He directs all financial activities for the Nest organization including annual budgeting and auditing, as well investment of assets.

A member of the Nest team since 2011, Chris has helped spearhead Nest’s ethical compliance program, and has worked to guide the organization through years of exponential growth and impact.

The first decade of his career was spent rooted in the arts sector as a performing musician and orchestral administrator. As a Classical Trumpet player, Chris made steady appearances with ensembles such as the Philadelphia Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony, and served as the Director of Development & Marketing for the Delaware Symphony Orchestra.

Chris received an Executive MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at NYU, specializing in Global Business, Strategy, and Leadership, holds music degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, and a degree in Psychology from the University of Rochester. In addition to his lifelong love of the arts and international development, Chris is an avid cook and proud father of two amazing children.

Christopher Van Bergen
Chief Financial & Operating Officer
[email protected]

Ashia is the Chief Strategy & Partnerships Officer, leading Nest’s development programs by channeling the power of partnership to mobilize funding, resources, and industry efforts to advance handworkers worldwide. Joining Nest in early 2015, Ashia led the development of Nest’s revenue generation strategies, implementing key revenue streams that have lead to organization’s growth and ability to scale impact.

Ashia is deeply committed to equity, inclusion, and cultural/environmental preservation. Prior to Nest, Ashia spent 4 years at the National Audubon Society overseeing all major fundraising and partnerships initiatives across NY State. There she launched the first young patrons program to engage millennials in conservation, created the WIC Field Internship Program to support women in science based careers and served on Audubon’s diversity committee, ensuring programs were reaching diverse communities and constituents. Before Audubon, Ashia worked for the Rockefeller family overseeing high profile initiatives and collaborations including the National Rachel Carson Award, the Human Rights Symbols Campaign, and a grassroots Brownfield Remediation program.

Ashia holds a dual degree in Anthropology and International Development from Dartmouth College where she studied the intersection between community structures, organizational systems and intangible heritage. Ashia has led trips to Poland, Belarus and Ukraine to restore cemeteries destroyed after WWII. She previously lived and worked in Brazil and spent time studying indigenous culture and craft in New Zealand.

Ashia Sheikh Dearwester
Chief Strategy & Partnerships Officer
[email protected]

Sara is Chief Handcraft Compliance & Research Officer at Nest where she has been instrumental in the development and implementation of Nest’s Artisan Advancement and Ethical Compliance Program, as well as Nest’s other Global Solutions projects which aim to address common challenges faced by artisans globally such as wastewaster management, providing living wages, and technology solutions for supply chain transparency. Sara previously worked as Nest’s Program Manager at its flagship project in Varanasi, India, where she has resided for 3 1/2 years consulting closely with artisans on the ground, allowing her to deeply understand the cultural, economic and logistical challenges they face, as well as to develop practical, sustainable solutions that support the long term growth of their businesses in an ever changing global marketplace. Prior to working with Nest, Sara served as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa, where she consulted with several micro-enterprises including artisans and a micro-finance organization on basic business skills, marketing and internal systems development.

Sara graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Arts Management and a concentration in Marketing. She is also an avid photographer and traveler.

Sara’s career began with a keen interest in the cross section of art and business and an appreciation for entrepreneurship. At the age of 16, she began an internship with an independent record label, Righteous Babe Records, founded by folksinger and social activist Ani DiFranco. She spent 9 years with the business, eventually becoming Executive Assistant and Venue Manager for the company’s multi-use venue housed in a restored 19th century church. Prior to working with Nest, Sara served as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa, where she consulted with several micro-enterprises including artisans and a micro-finance organization on basic business skills, marketing and internal systems development.

Sara graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Arts Management and a concentration in Marketing. She is also an avid photographer and traveler.

Sara Otto
Chief Handcraft Compliance & Research Officer
[email protected]

Lindsey brings a decade of experience in nonprofit management and organizational capacity building to the Nest team with expertise in nonprofit governance, process improvement, financial accountability, and social impact reporting frameworks. Previously, Lindsey led CSR engagement for a nonprofit in Russia and was part of the leadership at Charity Navigator where she developed an improved methodology for evaluating financial health and nonprofit effectiveness. Lindsey has consulted for Intentional Futures and GLG Social Impact working with high-performing NGOs and social impact leaders on evaluation frameworks, industry trends, and organizational growth strategies.

Lindsey holds an M.A. in International Development and a B.A. in Communications from Duquesne University, with certifications in Intercultural Relations from Duquesne and Program Strategy and Evaluation from Stanford University. She has served on the boards of TIP Global Health and the Mary J. Heerdt Charitable Trust and is a member of NYC Sustained Global Impact Community of Practice and Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy (WISE-NYC).

Lindsey Struck
Chief Handcraft Programs Officer
[email protected]

Jessica serves as the Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Nest spearheading the dynamic relationships between brands and makers globally. Jessica brings 15 years of experience in press, marketing, and partnerships to the Nest team with a unique combination of brand, production, and sustainability expertise. Forging her career at KCD Worldwide, HL Group, and PROJECT, she has had the privilege of working in partnership with hundreds of leading brands to help them grow their sales and brand awareness.

After life changing trips to Zimbabwe and India, Jessica became aware of the massive impact of fashion’s global supply chain on garment workers. This was the impetus for launching her own company, THR3EFOLD, a sourcing platform connecting brands to ethical factories and providing sustainability training and community events for the fashion industry globally which she ran the last 9 years. Jessica remains committed to empowering makers around the world and is constantly amazed by their talent and inspired by their joy and determination.

Jessica’s expertise has been featured in top publications including FORBES, WWD, Nasdaq and more. She has also been invited to speak at top conferences globally on the importance of humanizing sustainability to create increased adoption from brands and consumers alike.

Jessica graduated from Winthrop University with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. After over a decade in NYC, France, and Italy, Jessica now resides in Charlotte, NC, near her family. She enjoys hiking, creating art and craft for her home and loved ones, and jetting off to explore new cultures around the world.

Jessica Kelly
VP of Corporate Partnerships
[email protected]

Tara builds social impact and sustainability programs, focusing on robust social impact strategies, ESG, partnerships, marketing and communications. She has developed strategic roadmaps and marketing plans for brands and companies in the fine jewelry and fashion space. Tara guides companies to integrate their values into all facets of their business—driving growth and impact while improving brand positioning, perception, and image. A dynamic, holistic storyteller, she translates complex ideas to a wide range of audiences via PR, marketing, and digital channels.

With a strong commitment to equity, Tara led the Natural Diamond Council and Lorraine Schwartz’s Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative, a program to bring an equitable future to the fine jewelry industry via education, mentorship and industry access for BIPOC designers. Prior
to that, as Head of Communications at Swarovski, Tara spearheaded global programs in sustainability, philanthropy, corporate communications, and led projects for the Swarovski Foundation in Americas. She oversaw CFDA partnerships, emerging designer strategies and B2B incubator programs. Cultivating a partnership with the United Nations, she managed the brand’s UN Women Program. Previously she was Public Relations Director for Iconix Brand Group, responsible for CSR, celebrity campaigns, financial earnings, and buyouts for 30+ brands.

Tara received an M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and a B.S. in Textile and Apparel Management from Cornell University. She has served on the Board of the Accessories Council and Free Arts NYC and is involved with the Women’s Jewelry Association and Black in Jewelry Coalition.

Tara Levy
VP of Marketing + Communications
[email protected]

Partnerships Team

Nick is the Director of Ethical Partnerships, where he secures and strengthens brand relationships with Nest’s Ethical Handcraft program. Working together with organizations, he focuses on driving impact and prosperity through developing market relationships of all kinds.

Nick joined the Nest family in March of 2024. He has a bachelors degree in International Business Studies and Marketing from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, England. While he started his career in corporate sales, he has been more focused on sustainability and pivoted towards new business careers in that arena in 2018, along with a move to Vancouver. He has spent the past 5 years building partnerships between global FMCG brands and ocean bound plastic actors. Winning the hearts and minds of C-level decision makers and creating mutually beneficial partnerships that last is what he enjoys most. Nick is thrilled to be a part of the NEST family, driving the next wave of growth in social change to those we serve in the handcraft sector globally.

An avid lover of the outdoors and travel, he has made 5 countries his home and never tires of seeing new places and exploring many glorious hiking spots along the way. He currently lives in Antigua, Guatemala with his partner Billie and plans on a move to Spain in the not too distant future.

Nick’s biggest claim is that he can name every world capital city.

Nick Brown
Director of Ethical Partnerships
[email protected]

Leti Bueno serves as the Director of Institutional Philanthropy at Nest, where she dedicates herself to building meaningful relationships with foundation partners in support of the organization’s mission.

Her nonprofit background has fostered collaborations with music, fair trade, early childhood education, and international development organizations, where she has applied her fundraising expertise to promote their sustainable growth.

Beyond her professional commitments, Leti actively engages in community advocacy in Texas. Her interests span arts, immigration and refugee support, and supporting WOC-led entrepreneurship. With experience in both national and international nonprofits and specialized training in youth leadership development, she brings a thoughtful and grounded approach to her work. Originally from San Antonio, Leti now calls Austin home, sharing it with her two dogs, Xochitl and Snoopy.

Leti Bueno
Director of Institutional Philanthropy
[email protected]

Dani Des Roches is a circular apparel designer, slow fashion thought leader, and knitwear specialist with over a decade of experience designing sweaters for large retail brands, and 5 years working solo as a consultant, and brand founder.

Growing up in Vancouver, Canada, Dani’s entrepreneur parents influenced her greatly, having run their own small chain of boutiques and producing their designs domestically. She studied knitwear at FIT in NYC, and went on to design full time for Urban Outfitters and Express, until ultimately pivoting to consulting work in 2019, given the inauthenticity she felt “peddling trends” and designing for overproduction. In 2020, Dani launched her upcycled brand, Picnicwear, notable for its distinctive use of vintage towels as a primary material, and for the phrase “Future Vintage over future garbage.”

Over the past 5 years, Dani has maintained a fierce advocacy for designing apparel following circular principles, ethical manufacturing and bringing the beauty of craft and handwork back to the fashion industry. Dani is beyond thrilled to join the Nest team, to join forces with symbiotic brands and designers, and apply her passion and vision to the impactful work of Nest!

Dani Des Roches
Director of Sourcing Partnerships
[email protected]

Hannah is the Director of Corporate Philanthropy at Nest where she works to secure and steward philanthropic relationships with our corporate partners and design engaging opportunities for long-term partnership. She has spent her career in the social sector, first at UNICEF USA in New York where she facilitated a nationwide awareness program, the End Trafficking Project. From there, she joined Challenging Heights, an NGO in Winneba, Ghana, an opportunity that allowed her to meet and work with many social enterprises and maker-entrepreneurs like those in the Nest community. Prior to joining Nest, she spent five years as a social impact consultant, advising nonprofit organizations and philanthropic corporations in strategic planning, program design, and partnership development.

Hannah has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and Certificate in Corporate Sustainability Management from Yale School of Management. A lifelong maker, Hannah spends her free time embroidering, felting, baking, or painting. Alongside her husband Will and dog Ruby, Hannah also enjoys hiking, eating pie, and spending time outdoors in her home of Seattle, Washington.

Hannah Gooding
Director of Corporate Philanthropy
[email protected]

Ezinne, a seasoned industry expert with over 13 years of experience, has held key positions at renowned brands like Lancome and Dior. As the Founder of SKNMUSE, she built a company dedicated to fostering inclusivity in luxury beauty.

During her tenure, SKNMUSE has garnered acclaim from notable figures such as Beyoncé, Issa Rae, and esteemed publications like Vogue and ELLE USA. Fostering national partnerships with American Express, TAO, Hallmark Mahogany, and more. Recognized as a Cultural Genius by a16z in 2022, Ezinne successfully secured over $300,000 in funding, with support from industry leaders like Glossier and Cantu.

Ezinne is driven by a commitment to leverage art as a catalyst for financial empowerment. She is a fierce advocate for mental health and has sponsored over 100 therapy sessions for people in underserved communities. She is a staunch advocate for authentic representation in all industries and fiercely advocates for women to embrace beauty and art as a means of rest, self-expression, and empowerment.

Ezinne Iroanya
Director of Maker Partnerships
[email protected]

Marika Shiga is the Director of Engagement and Partnerships at Nest where she works with Nest’s community of supporters to mobilize necessary philanthropy and partnerships to carry out Nest’s mission. Before joining the team in 2016, Marika worked in special projects for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, raising funds for their support of human rights defenders and hosting socially responsible investing conferences across the US that encouraged the financial community to invest in alignment with human rights priorities. Prior to moving to New York, Marika completed a Master’s Degree in International Development Studies as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. While there, Marika conducted research in the deep south of Thailand, writing her master’s thesis on conflict transformation and peace-building in the region’s violent ethno-political conflict. Prior to that, while completing her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies-Political Science at UC San Diego, Marika also lived in Mexico and Argentina, where she completed coursework for a minor in Latin American Studies.

In addition to her work with Nest, Marika is deeply committed to supporting protective mothers, sharing her integrative therapeutic bodywork practice, and helping with canine and equine rescue and rehabilitation.

Marika Shiga
Director of Engagement & Partnerships
[email protected]

Helen is Nest’s Senior Manager of Ethical Handcraft Partnerships. Helen collaborates across teams and stakeholders to secure partnerships aligned with Nest’s mission. Helen received her undergraduate degree in Fashion Merchandising from The University of Georgia. During her fashion internship in Thailand, her passion for ethical fashion and handcraft came to life. This thread continued during her Peace Corps service as Small Enterprise and Economic Development Volunteer in Namibia, where she worked with artisan entrepreneurs in her community to support their participation in local economic development. Helen received an Impact MBA with an emphasis in Social Entrepreneurship from Colorado State University. Through the program, she co-founded a venture to address the needs of Tier 1 garment workers. She loves flow-state activities, spending time in nature, seeing live music, and traveling.

Helen Wick
Sr. Manager of Ethical Partnerships
[email protected]

Hannah Benau joins the Nest team as a Partnerships Manager. Before Nest, Hannah spent over three years working for business leader and activist Tom Steyer. Serving in multiple capacities throughout her time there, Hannah managed fundraising, relationships, and events to support various initiatives related to fighting the climate crisis. In partnership with LCV Victory Fund, NRDC Action Fund PAC, and NextGen America, Hannah had the opportunity to work with the GiveGreen program to give donors a strategic way to support environmental candidates. Most recently, Hannah helped cultivate an engaged network of major climate donors from across the country, raising funds to support Biden for President and Senate Majority PAC. Prior to this work, Hannah was a fundraiser for progressive candidates in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before returning home to the Bay Area, Hannah lived in New Orleans for four years while earning a B.A. in Political Science-International Relations from Tulane University.

Hannah Benau
Partnerships Manager
[email protected]

Jerrod Jordahl joins Nest with extensive writing and research experience. Most recently, Jerrod was a Prospect Researcher with Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, a private university specializing in the arts and design. He previously served as a contract grants writer with CCS Fundraising, New York, NY, taking client proposals from funder research to grant submission. This work mirrored his previous role as the grants associate for the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA, a contemporary art museum in central Iowa, where Jerrod’s proposals funded the museum’s focus on at-risk populations including partnership programs with other organizations and free admission to the museum. Earlier in his career, Jerrod served as a Development Associate for the Iowa State University Foundation, Ames, IA, supporting five frontline fundraisers, implementing donor gift cycle best practices through prospect identification and qualification skills.

Jerrod holds a BA in Liberal Studies from Iowa State University (Ames, IA) and an MFA in Playwriting from The New School (New York, NY).

Jerrod Jordahl
Grant Writer
[email protected]

Compliance + Research Team

Rosie is passionate about increasing transparency, worker well being and environmental sustainability in artisan and handworker supply chains. Rosie has spent her career learning and working in diverse artisan supply chains. She began her career in Rwanda, running production of woven baskets for Indego Africa. Rosie then went on to work for a fair trade and B-corp, Noonday Collection, managing artisan jewelry supply chains on multiple continents. Rosie has a Master’s degree in Local Economic Development from The London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College. Outside of work, she enjoys trail running, documentaries, and being the fun aunt to her nieces.

Rosie Avolio-Toly
Director of Compliance
[email protected]

Becky is grateful to be part of the Nest family as the Director of Data Systems & Research.

Prior to Nest, she was a global health program evaluation consultant with extensive experience in data collection, analysis, and visualization. She graduated in 2018 with a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, concentrating in Health in Humanitarian Contexts and International Program Evaluation. She enjoys the challenge of measuring and communicating the impact of complex programs so that organizations have the information they need to act on their goals and objectives. She has collaborated with organizations in a variety of global contexts, including large corporations, multinational organizations, small non-profits, and academic institutions. In her free time, she loves finding peace in the outdoors with her husband and dog.

Becky Romasco-Kelly
Director of Research & Evaluation
[email protected]

Loren is deeply committed to fostering ethical practices and sustainability within artisan supply chains. With an extensive background in artisan program management, Loren has spearheaded impactful initiatives, including conducting living wage analyses with various East African artisan groups.

As a sustainability advocate, she has published articles in The Business Daily and Textile Exchange, advancing sustainable development initiatives. She earned a scholarship from Rotary International, which afforded her the opportunity to pursue an MBA from United States International University – Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, with a specialization in Global Social Sustainable Entrepreneurship. Through her involvement with Rotary, Loren was able to further advocate for fair trade and sustainability by speaking at Rotary meetings in both Austin, Texas, and Nairobi, Kenya.

Outside of work, Loren’s passion for sustainability extends to her personal life as she and her husband operate a lakeside sustainable homestead in East Africa. In her free time, she enjoys the simple pleasures of life, including karaoke and wine and cheese nights with her friends.

Loren Hamilton
Manager of Compliance
[email protected]

As a Research and Data Associate at Nest, Haley brings a diverse background in policy analysis, nonprofit management, and a passion for community-based solutions to the forefront of our mission. Her journey began in the City of Detroit, where she served as a Policy Analyst, fostering her dedication to social and economic development. Driven by a desire to enhance economic outcomes for marginalized communities, she pursued a Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. There, she honed her data analytics and policy analysis skills, discovering the power of data to drive change.

Haley believes that data holds unique stories waiting to be shared with the world. She is excited to contribute to Nest’s mission by ensuring the accuracy and integrity of our research and data to reimagine the future of work and shed light on artisans’ and maker entrepreneurs’ lived experiences.

Haley Daugherty
Research & Data Associate
[email protected]

As Nest’s Climate Solutions Specialist, Sinduri analyzes climate impacts on the maker economy, providing actionable insights and resources for supply chain resilience. She joined Nest via the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps Fellowship, through which she crafted resources to aid makers in disaster recovery and resilience.

Sindu’s commitment to environmental justice, climate action, and evidence-driven but people-centered policy has carried her across various disciplines and sectors, including work with the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Environmental Justice team, the University of Chicago’s Center for Spatial Data Science and Committee for Environment, Geography, and Urbanization, and the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office. Sindu holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where she also completed her undergraduate degrees in Environmental Studies, Public Policy, and Geographic Information Sciences.

Outside the Nest, Sindu loves to try (or buy!) different crafts herself, explore whichever city she is working from, and spend time outdoors with family and friends.

Sinduri Soundararajan
Climate Solutions Specialist

Artisan + Maker Development Team

Amanda is the Senior Director of Market Access & Sourcing at Nest.  Amanda works closely with Nest’s brand partners and its supply chain in adopting sustainable practices to allow for successful brand and artisan partnerships.  With her extensive production background, Amanda helps guide brands on the nuances of the handcraft producing population. In 2015, Amanda engaged in a six-month fellowship in Swaziland, where she consulted on the artisan businesses’ production processes from design concept, pricing strategies, to production efficiencies. Prior to her role at Nest, Amanda worked in the luxury accessories and footwear industry for ten years, leading the development and production at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Diane von Furstenberg, and Maiyet in New York City.  She has extensive international experience in the sourcing and production landscapes with fashion’s leading manufacturers and suppliers. Amanda graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S degree in Textiles and a concentration in Business.  She enjoys yoya, mountain hikes, and dumpling-making.

Amanda Lee
Sr. Director of Market Access & Sourcing
[email protected]

As the Director of Makers United at Nest, Nicole is connecting maker-entrepreneurs to business development resources, educational programming, market access opportunities and community to help their businesses grow and thrive. Nicole has held various roles in the non-profit sector—both domestically and internationally—for more than ten years. Prior to Nest, she spent four years at Cancer and Careers managing program initiatives to help cancer patients and survivors in the U.S. navigate employment challenges. In addition to studying abroad in Namibia, she has worked with CMMB in Zambia and Concern Worldwide in Uganda designing and implementing health, development and poverty reduction programs.

Nicole received her B.A. in African American Studies from Oberlin College and her Master’s degree in Public Health, with a concentration in International Health and Development, from Tulane University. She enjoys traveling, reading and working on home design projects.

Nicole J. Franklin
Director of Makers United
[email protected]

Anthony is the Director of Global Handcraft Programs at Nest. Anthony oversees core areas of Nest programming including all global accelerator programs, employee engagement, curriculum design, and community engagement across Nest’s Guild, a global community of artisans and makers.

Anthony’s passion for connecting artisans and makers to resources began early in his career, fundraising for cause-driven nonprofits including Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). In 2020, he spearheaded a COVID relief initiative, raising funds for displaced garment workers, the work of which was featured in WWD and Vogue Italia. In 2021, he joined Harlem-based Custom Collaborative to support their mission of changing apparel industry economics for low/no-income and immigrant women. In 2022, he joined Nest to support their mission of supporting the responsible growth and creative engagement of the artisan & maker economy.

Anthony holds his AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design, and a BA in Political Science from DePaul University. Anthony’s native/primary fluent language is English, and he holds elementary proficiency in Spanish & French. He enjoys all things fashion, road-biking, and spending time with his husband and daughter.

Anthony Galante
Director of Global Handcraft Programs
[email protected]

Tori Bell is an award-winning founder and expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), boasting over a decade of experience in the field. During her tenure at Facebook, Tori held pivotal program management roles where she created and expanded the employee resource group “Black Women at Facebook” into a global membership of over 3,000 individuals. Beyond her work at Facebook, Tori also developed instructional courses for small business owners as part of the “Business Class” program launched by the founder of Girlboss.

Passionate about equipping founders and small business owners with tools for early success, Tori founded Inclusion Unpacked. The company’s mission is to provide simplified DEI resources for founders and small business owners, offering accessible resources and guidance on demand. Inclusion Unpacked has garnered recognition from esteemed publications such as Forbes, Crain’s New York, WhoWhatWear, and Women’s Health Magazine.

Tori holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, where she was a Feldberg Fellow and a B.A. from Agnes Scott College.

Tori Bell
Makers Future Fund Program Manager
[email protected]

Sarah started her career working for sustainable fashion brands, gaining experience in sourcing and production while working closely with garment factories and vendors in the New York Garment District.

Having studied fashion design, Sarah is fascinated with material culture and craft as a lens to understand social, political, cultural, and economic issues. She is excited by the work of Makers United to empower diverse makers and artisans across the U.S. and is grateful to get to play a role in spreading this initiative.

Originally from the Boston area, she now lives in New York City. Outside of Nest, she enjoys exploring new neighborhoods, reading, crafts, and going to flea markets and craft fairs.

Sarah Chi
Makers United Program Manager
[email protected]

Amanda serves as the Community Engagement Associate for the Nest Guild. At Nest, she works to support communications and strengthen engagement in capacity building programming designed for the Nest Guild. Amanda brings development, relationship building, program cultivation, and communication experience to Nest through her previous work within nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. She is passionate about community building and engagement, advocacy for equity, and working to support and uplift individuals, communities, cultures, and stories.

Amanda holds a BSBA concentrated in Marketing Management and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Youngstown State University, and an M.S.Ed in Higher Education from University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, you can find Amanda either reading, writing, thrifting, or taking way too many photos of her two cats, Oscar and Charlie.

Amanda Irwin
Nest Guild Program Manager
[email protected]

Ivy supports the development and implementation of market access programs and sourcing initiatives for Nest’s artisan and maker community. Her passion for platforming artisan goods and the stories behind them emerged from her time as Design Director and Cooperative Manager with AWAMAKI, where she collaborated directly with Peruvian artisans. Her career has spanned multiple sectors of the apparel industry including non-profit, corporate, and academia while she co-founded and operated a women’s apparel brand in New York City. She thrives in supporting SMEs in design development, supply chain logistics, and unconventional market opportunities. She holds her B.A. in Apparel Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. In her free time, she is exploring the outdoors, making things, and dancing.

Ivy Thompson
Market Access Manager
[email protected]

Nico was born and raised in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He first moved to New York City in 2014 to study sports management at St. John’s University. As an avid soccer fan and former player, his aim is to implement the core values he learned from playing team sports, while maintaining his love for competition and improvement.

Having been exposed to the world of artisanal crafts from an early age, Nico understands the struggles that artisan groups face in an industry that is rapidly growing and constantly changing. Aside from his passion for sports, Nico has also recently taken up woodworking and cabin-making as a hobby, receiving courses in Brooklyn where he also lives.

Nico Gonzalez
Senior Program Associate
[email protected]

When I was a small child I would play underneath my grandmother’s quilting frame which covered most of the living room”. Her grandmother, Malissa Pettway, her mother, Tinnie, and aunt, Minnie, were all accomplished quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

Although Claudia says she had no special training, with these quilters in her family, it goes without saying that she would be blessed with talent of her own, so she is fourth-generation Gee’s Bend quilter.

Claudia artistic ideas follow the Gee’s Bend style that comes from the heart, but when “energized” she uses brighter colors. She works early in the morning with fabric all around her. The Black Belt influence that is most rewarding and enjoyable to Claudia is the freedom of feeling and expressing herself with “no rules or judgments, just you and your materials and being able to use what you have and make something of value.”  Although her art keeps her busy she is a wife and a mother of four (2 boys and 2 girls). Her daughter, Francesca, is following in her footsteps as a fifth-generation Gee’s Bend quilter and artist.

As CEO of That’s Sew Gee’s Bend, Claudia has worked with quilters in her community through marketing and promoting.  She has taught privately through workshops, and been a guest-speaker and presenter at universities . Her works have travelled nationally and internationally through galleries and museums.

Claudia’s inspiration for her work is recognizing that beauty is all around you…and all we need to do is pay attention.

Claudia Pettway Charley
Community Manager, Gee's Bend

LaKenzise Mayberry is a consulting project manager supporting Nest’s Market Access Initiative with The Gee’s Bend Quilters in Alabama. LaKenzise is a passionate human resources professional with ten years’ experience engaging business professionals in learning and organization development experiences designed to help them learn, grow, and thrive professionally. She uses her background in social work and positive psychology to create safe and inclusive training spaces where participants can unlock their potential, understand their strengths and values, and overcome self-imposed limitations.

Prior to beginning her career in human resources, LaKenzise worked in nonprofit organizations, such as Cool Girls of Atlanta and Girls Scouts of North Alabama, focused on recruiting and training diverse volunteers and developing innovative and empowering programming for girls from underserved populations.  

LaKenzise holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in African American Studies from the University of Alabama. When she is not working, she is sewing, helping people organize and declutter, traveling, reading, and enjoying quality time with her family and friends.


LaKenzise Mayberry
Project Manager, Gee's Bend

Marketing + Communications Team

Ashley is Nest’s Director of Creative & Content. In this role, she oversees communications efforts to advance the organization’s reach and support Nest’s growing community of brand and philanthropic partners. Ashley joined Nest from Charity Navigator where she created multichannel content to help American donors make more informed and impactful giving decisions, and helped build the organization’s fundraising program.

Ashley earned a degree in Political Science and Gender Studies from Calvin University and, after graduating, completed a term of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA working with older adults and unhoused veterans outside of Portland, Oregon.

Outside of work, Ashley enjoys hiking and spending time outside or in the pottery studio.

Ashley Post
Director of Creative & Content
[email protected]

Dominique is the Creative Communications and Design Manager at Nest. Dominique serves as an internal graphic designer leading the creative direction of Nest’s strategic projects. Additionally, they support Nest’s marketing and communications needs with a focus on social media and audience engagement.

Prior to their role at Nest, Dominique worked in the home furnishings field supporting the product design and development teams at retail companies including Restoration Hardware and Arhaus Furniture. Most recently, they worked with lighting designer Michael Almodova to develop the brand Mavisten Edition, leading the marketing and graphic design efforts for the company. In 2017, Dominique founded Oaksmith Furniture, where they design and produce bespoke furniture and home decor out of their wood shop in San Francisco, CA.

Dominique graduated from the Academy of Art University with a BFA in Traditional Illustration. They enjoy a good brunch, road trips, and hanging at the park with their dog, Ollie.

Dominique Tutwiler
Creative Communications & Design Manager
[email protected]

Ryan Schaafsma serves as the team’s Communications Associate, focusing on Nest’s social media channels, email marketing, press relations, and internal and external content and creative direction. He is passionate about his role on the team and the ways in which it supports the greater Nest mission.

He graduated from Drexel University with his BSBA in Marketing in 2023, and spent the first year of his professional career on the Sustainability and Social Impact Team at the retail and fashion giant, Anthropologie, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. With a robust history of previous positions, at Comcast Business, Saxbys and CareerSpots, among others, Ryan is equipped with the proper skills to drive meaningful change and lasting impact in his role with Nest.

Outside of work, you will find Ryan watching NBA basketball, playing table tennis with his partner, volunteering with various orgs, and out for walks with friends around his home city, Philadelphia, PA.

Ryan Schaafsma
Communications Associate
[email protected]

Finance + HR Team

As Nest’s Director of Finance, Marta is responsible for Nest’s controlling and accounting operations. She supports the creation and maintenance of our Annual Operating Budget, leads all financial reporting, annual audits, and all on-going bookkeeping work. She is also the liaison with external vendors, service providers, and auditors, and supervises the Human Resources staff.

Prior to joining Nest, Marta worked for over 30 years providing accounting and finance services to a wide variety of organizations – from the banking industry to private post-secondary education. Her most recent engagement was for a small food-rescue nonprofit organization, where she developed her passion for supporting the work performed by philanthropic groups. She works from her home in Arizona and enjoys being close to her 2 daughters. Her outside interests include architecture, compulsive reading, baking, and relaxing with her cats.

Marta Druckman
Director of Finance
[email protected]

Meredith serves as the Operations & People Manager for Nest. Prior to joining Nest, Meredith ran all operations and HR functions for a family business with multiple locations, liaising both with all internal employees and clients as well as external vendors and business partnerships, spearheading the eventual sale of business entities. Most recently, Meredith devoted her time managing and supporting a local educational nonprofit, specializing in non-secular classical education. She has a passion for both helping organizations run more smoothly, as well as ensuring the people within those organizations are feeling connected and cared for while promoting a safe and equitable work environment. Meredith holds a B.A. in Marketing and Management from Indiana University, and is a certified yoga teacher and Somatic Trauma Informed Coach.

Meredith is the proud single mother to four spunky kids and resides in San Luis Obispo, CA. She enjoys hiking, the great outdoors, gardening, bread making and spending quality time with her loved ones. Meredith is passionate about transforming pain into purpose and helping guide others on their path so eager to bring her coaching experience into a nonprofit setting supporting the employees with their needs as well as personal and professional growth plans.

Meredith McCall
Operations & People Manager
[email protected]

Board of Trustees

Jim Brigham joined the Nest board in 2012 and became Chairman in 2014.  He is Chairman of Warson Capital Partners LLC, an investment banking firm based in St. Louis. Prior to joining Warson Capital, Jim was Managing Director of HealthpointCapital LLC, a New York-based private equity firm investing in the orthopedic device industry. In 1985 Jim moved to St. Louis to become fourth generation CEO of his family’s business, Diagraph Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial product identification systems, which he sold to Illinois Tool Works in 2001. From 1982-84 Jim was Director of Strategic Planning for Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. He served as Chairman of the New York City Public Development Corporation from 1981 to 1985 and Budget Director of the City of New York from 1978 to 1981, the first term of Mayor Ed Koch. Jim began his career in investment banking with J.P. Morgan from 1969–1977. He has a BA from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Jim is a director of Vertebral Technologies, Inc, Minnetonka, Minnesota, and a past director of Menasha Corporation, Appleton, Wisconsin, and Sunnen Products Company, St. Louis. He has served as trustee of numerous not-for-profit organizations in St. Louis, including Forsyth School (President), Cardinal Ritter College Prep, the St. Louis Zoo Foundation, the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri Endowment, North Side Community School (a high-performing charter school), and in New York, including the New York Botanical Garden, the New York Shakespeare Festival, and the Gracie Mansion Conservancy.

Jim Brigham, Chair

Tracey is a proven marketing professional with over 15 years of combined experience in the cable, retail and insurance industries. From a functional perspective, her varied work experiences range from entrepreneur, leading a full-service marketing agency to Consumer Marketing Director of a publicly traded media conglomerate. For the last three years, Tracey has worked as Brand Acquisitions Marketing Lead for Aflac, a fortune 500 company. In this role she is responsible for leveraging consumer, brand and industry insights to support discovery, evaluation and selection of new Aflac business acquisitions contributing to $300MM in acquisition portfolio. Prior to Aflac, she led consumer marketing as 360° Brand Director at BET, a VIACOM CBS company. Tracey’s marketing acumen tows the line between marketing as a science and the business of developing the best creative work. A superb communicator with insightful expertise, her passion is in helping companies to build brand visibility and leverage business acumen to generate solutions for complex issues that build impact.

Tracey Austin-Grooms

Heather is the Director of the Winn Family Foundation, which focuses on education, particularly in STEM fields, women’s economic advancement, and environmental initiatives.

Prior to shifting her time solely to philanthropy, Heather ran a weaving studio out of her home which gave her an in-depth understanding of the unique challenges makers face. It was the intersection of her love of craft, running a small business, and the opportunity to support women through economic empowerment that drew her to Nest.

She lives in Austin, TX with her two children and husband.

Heather Bowman

Marty Cordes is Co-Founder of the Cordes Foundation, which she created with her husband, Ron, in 2006. She directs the Foundation’s philanthropic and gender-lens investing work advancing economic opportunities for women. In addition, Marty serves on the board of Nest, an organization building a new handworker economy that connects global craftspeople, brands, and consumers in a circular value chain. Previously, Marty enjoyed a career in the banking industry and served in several volunteer leadership capacities with social service organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her former board roles include Freedom from Hunger, Grameen PrimaCare and Ripple Effect Images.

Marty Cordes

Clement King is a seasoned business leader known for driving growth, navigating complex challenges, and fostering innovation. He currently serves in a senior leadership role at HSBC, a leading global bank.

Throughout his career, Clement has led many successfully initiatives and teams to excel in the fast pace global financial services industry. A passionate advocate for continuous improvement, he focuses on operational excellence, technological advancements, and robust risk management to enhance resilience and promote business growth.

Clement fosters a collaborative, innovative, and inclusive environment that encourages a growth mindset for team development. His commitment to these values is reflected in his board membership with the Johnny Mac Tennis Project. This organization is committed to removing racial, social, and economic barriers for youth through tennis.

Clement King

As Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Amanda Nusz leads Target’s commitment to co-create an equitable and regenerative future together with its guests, partners, and communities through its enterprise-wide sustainability strategy, Target Forward.

Previously, she served as president of the Target Foundation for nearly four years. Amanda also served as vice president of quality and responsible sourcing in Target’s global sourcing organization, ensuring that Target’s vendors and suppliers operated safe, ethical, and efficient factory environments to produce high-quality, sustainable, and consumer-safe products.

Prior to her role in global sourcing, Amanda led the development of one of Target’s owned brands by spearheading the creation of the billion-dollar kids’ line, Cat & Jack, a high-quality and affordable brand co-created with families. Cat & Jack is designed to be durable and responsibly sourced, focusing on inclusivity in its messaging and forward-thinking adaptive and seamless lines.

In addition to her work at Target, Amanda represents the company on Adweek’s Sustainability Council as a founding member of the Global Fashion Agenda. She also serves as a member on the World Resource Institute Corporate Consultative Group, Sustainability50, and Sustainable Brands Board.

Amanda received her bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Minnesota and an executive degree from MIT.

Amanda Nusz

Nicole has spent most of her life in the midst of chalk dust and athletic tape. Her gymnastics career includes competing in three World Championships, captaining her Stanford Women’s Gymnastics team, and inventing a skill on the uneven bars named under her Czech surname, Pechancova. Her parents immigrated from the Czech Republic in 1986. At age 12, she left home in New Jersey in pursuit of better training and at 16 became a member of the Czech National gymnastics team, where she has dual citizenship. Nicole graduated from Stanford University in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Engineering —Architectural Design focus. After working for multiple design and architecture firms in the Bay Area and Indianapolis, her passion for business lead her to pursue an MBA at Indiana University, Class of 2017. Nicole currently works as an associate producer for NBC and ESPN gymnastics events, including the 2016 Olympics. She enjoys being part of the Indianapolis community through her continued work with the Indiana Sports Corp Finance Committee, as founder of Behind the Colts Bench, an organization supporting and empowering the spouses of NFL Colts players, and through independent interior design and real estate projects.

Nicole Pechanec Luck

Julie fell in love with the work of Nest while serving as its Director of Outreach from 2011 –2015. Over her five-year tenure at Nest, she started Nest’s Professional Fellowship Program and also focused on Nest’s Monitoring & Evaluation efforts. Julie has taken a step down from day-to-day projects at Nest in order to care for her family that includes three young children.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, Julie brings ten+ years of finance and transactional experience. She worked in real estate investing at Spear Street Capital in San Francisco and investment banking at Goldman Sachs in New York and Los Angeles. Though a native Texan, Julie lives in San Francisco with her husband, three children, and one dog. She loves artisanal crafts and talents, travel, music, yoga, & the arts.

Julie Meyer

Louise was an undergraduate at Barnard College and received her MBA form The University of Virginia, Darden School of Business. Upon graduation from business school, Louise joined the First Boston Corporation in Investment Banking where she was primarily focused on structured products within the corporate finance group. Louise eventually made a career switch to executive recruiting, and helped build a boutique firm into a major player in the global retained financial services search sector. Eventually, Louise left to work with a client, McCown DeLeeuw, in the private equity arena. At McCown DeLeeuw, Louise was in charge of all aspects of recruiting, both for internal positions as well as for executive level positions externally on behalf of portfolio companies. In her most recent position, Louise worked as COO at Eleni’s New York, a custom gifting business with both a retail and internet presence.

Louise is a mother to four children and lives in Bronxville, New York. Since moving to Bronxville in 2002, Louise has been an active member of the community, serving on various boards and school committees. These positions include, the Reformed Church Nursery School Board, the PTA Board, Co-Chairing “Staging Our Future” and “The Final Act” to build a new auditorium, as well as various other positions. Louise is currently a member of the NPC Committee (Non-Partisan Committee), which is responsible for the nomination and election of school trustees. Additionally, Louise was an active member of the Jackson Hole Land Trust whose mission is to preserve open space and critical wildlife habitat throughout Teton County.

Louise Parzick

Tracy Reese is an American designer whose signature rich, daring colors and unique prints are crafted into joyful, feminine clothing and accessories for the modern woman. Tracy Reese’s design philosophy is rooted in a commitment to bringing out the beauty in women of all shapes, sizes and colors.  Tracy Reese creates fresh designs perfect for the confident, sophisticated woman. Her distinct point of view has also made her a celebrity favorite.

Tracy Reese launched her namesake fashion brand in 1998 in New York City and over the past twenty plus years, she has expanded to include three sub-brands (Plenty, Frock! And Black Label), brick-and-mortar stores in NY and Tokyo and partnerships with stores from Barney’s and Nordstrom to Anthropologie. In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama wore a custom Tracy Reese gown to the DNC.  Other notable fans of the brand include Sarah Jessica Parker, Tracee Ellis Ross and Oprah Winfrey.

A member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America since 1990, Tracy Reese serves on its Board of Directors.  Tracy also serves on the board College for Creative Studies Fashion Accessories Design Program. Tracy is a champion for many organizations and social causes including Planned Parenthood, Jackets for Jobs, Garden of Dreams, Bottomless Closet and Hearts of Gold. She is an advocate for HIV/AIDS charities and served on the AIDS Fund Committee for the New York Community Trust for five years. She is also part of the Turnaround Arts program through the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities as the Turnaround Artist for Barnum School in Bridgeport, CT.

Tracy Reese is evolving and has pivoted toward a more sustainable path. Tracy recently moved her design studio to her hometown, Detroit, plugging into the resurgence happening there while actively participating in plans to make Detroit a modern, sustainable garment production hub. Tracy served as board member and ultimately president of the board of ISAIC, the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center, a Detroit based, industry shifting factory and Institute anchored in human-centric manufacturing. Tracy is also working to build an artisan studio in Detroit creating economic opportunities for women in under-served communities.

In 2019, Tracy launched Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese, a responsibly designed and produced collection. Part of HFF’s mission is to create positive social impact by empowering women and young people through arts programming in public schools and collaboration with local artisans in Detroit.

Tracy Reese has been a dominate force in the contemporary fashion industry for twenty years. Now, in a world with an increasingly fragile natural ecosystem, she’s laying a path to dominate — sustainably — for the next twenty.

Tracy Reese

Indigenous Strategic Advisory Committee

ANDREA R. HANLEY (Navajo) is the chief curator at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is dedicated to the work of contemporary Native American artists and the Native American fine art field. Over thirty years of experience in the field including National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., as both special assistant to the director and exhibition developer/project manager, the fine arts coordinator/curator for the city of Tempe, executive director of ATLATL, Inc., a national service organization for Native American arts, the founding manager of the Berlin Gallery at the Heard Museum, and the membership and program manager for the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. She serves on the board of directors for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Santa Fe Indian Market, the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Roswell Artist in Residence Foundation, Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA) and Axle Contemporary. She also sits on the 516 ARTS ambassador council, the Native American advised fund for the Santa Fe Community Foundation, Ucross Foundation national advisory council, and the Native American advisory board for Nest. She was on the Santa Fe Arts Commission from 2019 – 2021.

Andrea R. Hanley (Navajo)
Chief Curator, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian

Danielle Lote is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and has a long history with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. She was a member of the museum’s first Capital Campaign Team which helped build the NMAI’s Cultural Resource Center and Washington, D.C. Museum. Recently, Danielle helped lead NMAI’s Advancement Team in its efforts to successfully raise more than $63 million, surpassing the museum’s 5-year strategic plan goal of $60 million. She has also led the fundraising efforts for NMAI’s national education initiative, Native Knowledge 360, securing major investments from tribes, foundations, and corporations. Danielle began at NMAI as the Smithsonian Institution’s first Native American intern in the museum’s Conservation Department and worked as part of the Repatriation Team to greet and accompany visiting tribal representatives during collections surveys.

Danielle Lote (Cherokee Nation)
Associate Director of Advancement, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Kelly Hallman (Cherokee Nation) is the Founder and Executive Director of The Indigenous Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment Network (IMAGEN) and the Founder and Executive Director of the Indigenous Justice Circle. She believes that when we know who we are, we are less likely to hurt ourselves and others. This is why she created the IMAGEN, an initiative to build capacity among Native-led organizations to undertake, sustain and describe the benefits of intergenerational cultural supports in their communities. Kelly is trained as a health policy researcher, focusing on Indigenous empowerment, sexual violence prevention, adolescent health and well-being, and equity in access to opportunities. She has designed, evaluated, and strengthened programs with Indigenous communities throughout the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa. She serves as an advisor to various panels, studies and Institutional Review Boards. She received her PhD in economics from Michigan State University.

Kelly Hallman (Cherokee Nation)
Founder and Executive Director of the Indigenous Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment Network (IMAGEN) and the Indigenous Justice Circle

Advisory Board

Abrima Erwiah (based between Accra and New York), with actress and activist Rosario Dawson, is the co-founder of Studio One Eighty Nine, an artisan produced fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise that has recently won the prestigious CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability. The brand is made in Africa and produces African and African-inspired content and clothing. The brand currently operates a store in NY and Accra (Ghana), an ecommerce site, a manufacturing facility in Accra, and supports various community led projects in Africa and in the USA. Studio 189 works with artisanal communities that specialize in various traditional craftsmanship techniques including natural plant based dye indigo, hand-batik, kente weaving and more. Studio 189 focuses on empowerment, creating jobs and supporting education and skills training.

Erwiah teaches an undergraduate BFA course called “Systems & Society” at Parsons School of Design at the New School.

Erwiah believes that fashion can be an agent of social change and her mission is to to do work that contributes to society, that has sustainable impact, that is innovative and strategic. Erwiah is a luxury goods industry executive with experience in sustainable development, global sales and marketing, production, operations, digital, general management and international development. She has worked in luxury goods, fashion, accessories, beauty as well as in the agriculture sector. She has worked with corporations, NGOS and governments. She has worked as an advisor to the United Nations International Trade Center Ethical Fashion Initiative and has worked as the Global Associate Communications and Marketing Director as well as the Worldwide Social Media Director at Bottega Veneta (Kering Group). Additionally, she has held various positions at luxury brands including Hermes/John Lobb, Cesare Paciotti and Bureau Betak. She has worked and traveled extensively internationally and has lived in New York City, Milan, Florence, Kampala and Accra. She is fluent in English, French; proficient in Italian and understands Spanish.

She developed a master’s at NYU Gallatin studying the economic impact of luxury goods in Africa and wrote her thesis at NYU Ghana. She graduated with a bachelor of science in finance and international business from NYU Stern School of Business.

She was appointed marketing mentor for Afripads in Uganda through the Kering Foundation for Women’s Dignity & Rights. She supports various organizations including V-day, the Lower East Side Girls Club, Fashion Revolution USA, 14plus foundation, the High School of Fashion Industries committee, Shine on Sierra Leone, etc

She has also recently joined Vanity Fair and One Young World’s list of people leading the charge towards achieving the UN’s 17 SDGs. She was featured in Nike’s campaign celebrating Women entrepreneur’s. She is the recipient of various awards including the Martin Luther King Jr Social Justice award from Upenn, the MOCADA Social Justice award, the Design Miami Visionary award, the Filming On Italy Social Justice award, the Africa-America Institute Entrepreneur Impact Award, the international women of power sankofa award and more.

She is a published author. She has guest lectured at various universities and spoken at various conferences including Harvard, NYU, Upenn, RISD, Radford University, Google, CFDA, IMG, Estee Lauder, One Young World and more.

Abrima Erwiah

Agathe is Head of Human Rights at Chanel, responsible for driving social progress within the company’s supply chains, reinforcing its expertise and providing insights on emerging issues related to human and labour rights.

Agathe has 13 years experience as a Corporate Social Responsibility expert. In her previous role within Chanel, she was Responsible sourcing director for Fragrance & Beauty, overseeing design of fair-trade and sustainably-grown plant-based supply chains, and operation of Chanel’s agroecological farms in different ecosystems across the world. She was also  Fragrance & Beauty’s representative on the board of the CHANEL Foundation, which advocates for gender equality and the advancement of women and adolescent girls as agents of change in society.

Prior to joining Chanel, Agathe was Program Director at Pur Projet, a social business developing environmental and community impact programs. She also spent eight years within Sustainability Services at Deloitte, designing strategies for businesses, foundations and NGOs. In 2012 she established Deloitte’s Business and Human Rights advisory practice, and conducted assessments in several countries in Africa and South-East Asia, engaging with vulnerable workers to evaluate the risks posed to human and labour rights in rural and informal environments.

Agathe holds an MBA from the French business school ESSEC, with a specialization in social entrepreneurship. She is board member of Human Resources Without Borders, an NGO dedicated to preventing the risks of child labour, forced labour, and indecent work in globalized supply chains. She is also involved with the NGO Utopia, which provides temporary emergency housing to migrant families in Paris.

Agathe Derain

Alex Bellos is the President of West Elm, the fastest growing brand within the Williams- Sonoma, Inc. portfolio. In his role, he is responsible for the merchandising, product development, inventory management, creative services, visual merchandising, brand finance and operations of the brand. In particular, he is focused on driving the Responsible Retail movement, identifying and facilitating opportunities for economic empowerment among communities where West Elm operates.

Prior to his current role, Bellos led Rejuvenation, another Williams-Sonoma portfolio brand. Over the course of three years, Bellos expanded the brand from a small lighting and house parts manufacturer into a lifestyle brand for the home, increasing market share and providing outstanding quality, value and service to its customers.

Assuming the role of West Elm President in June 2017 was a homecoming for Bellos, who returned to the company after serving as Vice President, Strategy and Development for the brand from 2010 to 2013, where he led strategic projects, global expansion, and operations. Bellos, holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.

Alex Bellos

Amanda is an activist and Cofounder of the hybrid luxury ethical fashion retailer, MAISON- DE-MODE. The concept, born in 2012, fuses pop-up brick & mortar experiences alongside a seamless online boutique, specializing in unique ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, accessories and home goods. She is a member of the Executive Board of The Humane Society of the United States, Founder of Friends of Finn, an organization dedicated to stopping the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills as well as on the Advisory Board of the NEST foundation. Hearst is also Special Projects Editor of Town & Country magazine and has also worked as Marie Claire’s Associate Market Editor.

Amanda Hearst

Amber Valletta is a fashion icon who has worked with some of the most prestigious names in the fashion world and graced countless magazine covers over the course of her modeling career. After moving to Los Angeles, Amber found success as an actress, and has transitioned seamlessly between modeling and acting over the last 12 years. Her screen credits include “Hitch”, “What Lies Beneath”, and “The Spy Next Door”, along with television roles on ABC’s hit show, “Revenge,” ABC’s “Blood & Oil” and TNT’s “Legends.”

Raised in Oklahoma, Amber never lost touch with her American Midwest roots, even as she travelled the world as an in-demand supermodel. She has always devoted much of her time to promoting and encouraging environmental sustainability. Recently, Amber spoke at the Sustainable Brands Conference San Diego 2015 where she introduced herself as a “valued influencer”—a creative connector whose experience and lifestyle matches their principles. Valued influencers simply speak about what matters to them and demonstrate it out in the world with how they live, and how they spend their time and resources.

As a valued influencer, Amber co-founded A Squared Films, whose first project, Driving Fashion Forward, featured a series of documentary shorts for Lexus’ L-Studio on the subject of fashion and sustainability. “Growing up, all of my enjoyment and entertainment came from being in the natural world,” she explains. “It only makes sense, especially with a child of my own now, to do what I can to protect our world.”

Doing what she can sparked an entrepreneurial spirit within Amber, and eventually led to the launch of Master & Muse. In partnership with, Master & Muse by Amber Valletta became the premier online store for responsibly made fashion—offering stylish, cutting-edge fashion, created and produced by some of the most socially responsible designers working today. The company’s name is inspired by the many Masters and Muses with whom Amber has worked over the years, as well as by the many roles she has had the privilege of playing as a model, actress, activist, and businesswoman. Embarking on her latest adventure, Amber was reminded of the words of Philosopher/Muse Aristotle: “Where the needs of the world and your talents meet, therein lies your vocation.” Amber is thrilled to have arrived at that very point in her life and career. She serves as a mentor for the CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative. She is a Juror on the H&M Global Change Award 2015. And, serves on the advisory boards for Cradle-to-Cradle’s Fashion + as well as Nest.


Amber Valletta

Amy Christiansen is the founder of the socially conscious, luxury fragrance house Sana Jardin.

Sana Jardin was built on the principles of a circular economy; their alternative business model enables women in the supply chain to become micro-entrepreneurs by upcycling the waste products from perfume production.

The brand’s Beyond Sustainability™ model empowers the floral harvesters with the skills and materials they need to increase their wages through commerce, not charity.  The model is based on “flower recycling” within a circular economy and illustrates that luxury business can be used to drive social change. The local women develop and sell their own products – candles and orange blossom water – from the waste of the perfume production, receiving 100% of the profits.

Sana Jardin contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, to empower women (goal 5), promote sustainable economic growth with full, productive employment (goal 8), and ensure sustainable production practices (goal 12).

Sana Jardin launched in 2017 and now retails in eighty luxury retailers globally including Harrods, Net-A-Porter, Liberty, Galleries Lafayette and Harvey Nichols. The brand has been featured widely in the press including the New York Times, Vogue, The Financial Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Forbes.  Amy is considered a thought leader in the sustainable luxury space and has delivered talks at a variety of conferences including Google, Cosmetic Executive Women, and the Costa Rica Sustainable Fashion Summit.

Prior to founding Sana Jardin, Amy had a career that spanned twenty-five years in the non-profit sector in the US, Middle East and Europe.  She began her career as a direct practice social worker (MSW) where she provided outpatient psychotherapy to low-income children and families on the West Side of Chicago at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s family planning clinic, a domestic violence shelter and a public school.

Amy then shifted her focus to address economic inequality on an institutional scale through posts at the New York City based Robin Hood Foundation, The Clinton Foundation and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, where she worked to empower women economically by supporting female entrepreneurs in developing countries through mobile technology, enterprise development and mentoring programmes.

Amy holds a Master of Social Work (summa cum laude) from Loyola University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Social Work (cum laude) from Illinois State University.

Amy is a Board Member of the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation whose mission is to provide both creative learning experiences for children and professional development training for adults in Egypt and Italy. She is also a Georgetown University Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security.

Amy is a Founding Trustee of the London based Responsible Fashion Accelerator Foundation which helps fashion designers develop sustainable collections and a mentor to BIPOC small business founders.

Amy Christiansen

Andrew is an internationally recognized director focused on telling stories for a better tomorrow. His experience includes a broad range of work that spans narrative and documentary storytelling for both commercial and film projects. After studying cinematography at the Los Angeles Film School he went on to co-found Untold Creative, a hybrid filmmaking studio where he currently serves as the creative director. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and speaks regularly on the power of storytelling as a tool in the ongoing fight for human rights around the world. Andrew lives in LA with his wife Emily and their four children.

Andrew Morgan

Ashley has focused her personal and professional pursuits on girls’ and women’s empowerment in developing and developed countries. A native Californian, she completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University in Philosophy and Visual Arts. Following five years in the fashion industry in various capacities, she pursued her Masters in Business with a focus on Entrepreneurship at INSEAD in France and Singapore. There she incubated a social venture focused on girls’ empowerment which became True Girl, an organic bath and body product line for pre-teen girls that encouraged girls to respect and care for their bodies. Equally as compelled by women’s studies, she gained a Masters in Science in Gender, Development, and Globalization at London School of Economics. Now living in London, Ashley leads the research team within Adjaye Associates. This unit explores the relationship between design, social and economic development, and the built environment.

Ashley Shaw-Scott Adjaye

As Vogue India’s Editor-at-Large, responsible for planning, visualizing and ideating fashion features for the ultimate style bible, Bandana Tewari has one of the most enviable jobs in Indian fashion. Her ringside view of the rapidly evolving industry coupled with her signature ability to take the long view in every commentary has made her one of the nation’s foremost authorities on fashion.

Bandana writes comprehensively on fashion. Her pieces have appeared in well-regarded publications such as The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, US Vogue, UK Vogue, Wallpaper*, and Tank, in addition to several leading Indian journals. She has scripted and hosted 50 episodes of ‘Simply Style’, India’s first primetime TV show on fashion, and hosted two seasons of the first fashion webisodes in India on

In 2006, she was named fashion journalist of the year at the Fashion awards in Mumbai. She has been featured in Industrie magazine’s guide to the most powerful figures in fashion for 2012.

A columnist for the Business of Fashion, she is also a member of the BoF500, which is  a professional index of the people shaping the global fashion industry. For BoF, she has written extensively on a variety of topics from indigenous ‘made-by-hand’ economies of India and Indonesia, to transgender and LGBTQ representation in fashion.

A regular attendee at international fashion weeks, Bandana commissions fashion stories, and presents fashion forecasts and analysis within the context of popular culture, state- of-the-economy and consumer behaviour. She believes that fashion is not a linear phenomenon. And to understand the significance and impact of fashion, we  need to approach it as a social anthropologist. She has been a longstanding champion of indigenous industries of handloom and made by hand.

She has written a book called “A Little Guide to Italy” which has been translated into two Indian languages and Italian.

“Her insightful commentary informs and educates Indian consumers and global luxury brands alike about each other’s heritage and culture.”—Business of Fashion.

Advisory Committee member—MoMA 2017 exhibition titled “ Is Fashion Modern”. Advisory board member—NEST

Advisory member—Eco Chic Design Awards

Expert panellist—H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award

Global Change Agenda (Copenhagen Sustainable Fashion Summit)


In December 2017, she, along with award-winning documentary film-maker Andrew Morgan of The True Cost and New York Times Fashion Director Vanessa Friedmen, will be speaking at the United Nations, New York on The New Handworker Economy.

2017: Jury-Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017 SKO I-SKOOL™ Denim Design Award competition

2017: Panellist, Sustainable Fashion Movement Talkshow, Jakarta Fashion Week

2016: Speaker—Conde Nast International Luxury Conference on Mindful Luxury held in Oman. Topic “Gandhi and Fashion”

2016: Panellist—Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Topic ‘The Power of Media” 2015: Speaker—Fashion Forward Talk, Amazon India Fashion Week

2014: Speaker—India Unlimited- Indo-Swedish Conference, Stockholm

2014 Speaker—Lakme Fashion Week. Topic “Game of Threads- Disruptive Thinking in Fashion”.

2014: Speaker—United Nation’s Young Changemakers Conclave, India.

Bandana Tewari

Over the course of her twenty-year career as an art director, Barrie Glabman has helped many beloved global brands shape their visual identities. After completing a B.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she began her career at The New York Times Magazine as a graphic designer. She was soon recruited to lend her talents to iconic brands, including Bloomingdales, Conde Nast, and J. Crew, as a consulting art director. Barrie also provided art direction for various lifestyle brands, including Rosenthal China and Paul Stuart at the boutique advertising agency Henszey and Albert. Later in her career, she led all art direction for Liz Claiborne.

Barrie also created the brand identity for Articulate, the e-learning software company her husband Adam Schwartz founded in 2002. Her remarkable work helped establish Articulate as a dominant force in the e-learning industry. Today, Articulate has more than 115,000 customers in 161 countries, including all 100 of the Fortune 100.

With her keen eye for design, Barrie also does interior design for select clients and was recognized by Hamptons Cottages & Gardens magazine with a cover story in 2018.

Barrie serves as advisor and brand builder to Marfa Stance, a London-based luxury apparel company that designs multi-functional, versatile and uniquely sustainable clothing.

Barrie is passionate about child development. She served on the Board of Trustees for The Children’s Museum of the East End for a decade and continues as Trustee Emeriti. Barrie also served for a decade on the Ross School as a Trustee. Barrie has been honored by the Ross School and by The Children’s Museum of the East End for her tireless dedication to improving the lives of children.

Barrie Glabman

Brittany Watson Jepsen is the founder and creative director of The House That Lars Built (Lars), a craft and design lifestyle site and shop focused on artful living. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Martha Stewart, House Beautiful, Vogue, Domino Magazine, Le Monde, and more. She is the author of Craft the Rainbow and My Life in Color as well as various coloring books. She has licensed work with various clothing and homewares companies.

The House That Lars Built started as a class project in 2008 while studying interior design at Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC and later textile design in Copenhagen, Denmark. After interning at Jonathan Adler and interior designer Celerie Kemble in New York City she had the pleasure of working on projects for companies like Tiffany and Co. An opportunity to travel to a small village in the mountains of Nepal in 2011 photographing and writing about an architecture project led her to meet dozens of enterprising women artisans. This furthered her interest in the handmade economy. She later moved back to Copenhagen where she began working on Lars full time and later back to the states where the blog grew into an 8 person company and shop now based in Provo, Utah.

She has garnered an audience and community of people who like to be inspired and make things with her hands. She believes that there is a creative project and time frame for every person and she’s on mission to show people how to do it.

Brittany Watson Jepsen

Cakmak has extensive experience in forging strong partnerships as a business strategist and sustainability expert for some of the largest, most prestigious retail companies and luxury brands in the world.

With his expertise in the field of sustainable design, he is focused on guiding the academic programs into a new era where an emphasis on socially conscious and transformational design formulates the educational approach and training of the next generation of venerable creators.

Cakmak has facilitated successful collaborations for over a decade with a wide range  of stakeholders including suppliers, retailers, NGOs, governments, and media to drive positive, ethical industry change.

Prior to joining Parsons, he worked at Swarovski Group as the company’s first Vice President of Corporate Responsibility where he established global programs fostering environmental stewardship. Under his leadership, he implemented best practice industry standards across all business functions, including raw material sourcing, supply chain management, crystal manufacturing, jewelry assembly, and retail operations. In addition, he led the Swarovski Waterschool Initiative’s education program that reached over 2,500 schools worldwide.

Previously, he acted as General Manager of MADE-BY Benelux in the Netherlands advancing fashion sustainability practices for brands such as H&M, Tommy Hillfiger, Acne, Primark, Ted Baker, and G Star among others. Prior to that, Cakmak spearheaded innovation-driven sustainability strategies as the first Director of Corporate Sustainability for Kering luxury brands under the Gucci Group umbrella; including Gucci, Bottega Venetta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Sergio Rossi, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, and Boucheron. His career in the fashion industry began at Gap Inc. where he served as the Senior Manager of Social Responsibility in their San Francisco and London offices for 8 years.

Cakmak is passionate about education and has established projects and partnerships in the US, UK, France, China, Brazil, and India. He played a vital role in the creation of the Sustainable Technology for Future Luxury Scholarship at the University of the Arts London Central St Martins, and the MFA Fashion Design Scholarships at Parsons. He has also lectured widely as a visiting professor at SKEMA Business School in France and China.


Burak Cakmak

Carmen Busquets is a Venezuelan entrepreneur, strategic investor and philanthropist whose career in the luxury fashion industry spans over three decades. A pioneering member of the fashion-tech space, Carmen champions its potential to advance sustainable development, turning the luxury fashion industry into one that balances profit with purpose. is her current investment and philanthropic vehicle, a natural continuation of a career that has been forged by a commitment to experiment, disrupt and challenge existing ideas. From the avant-garde luxury fashion boutique Cabus in Caracas, to the launch of CoutureLab a boutique, e-commerce and content platform with a focus on selling one-off handcrafted pieces and promoting fashion-transcending trends, Carmen has always chosen to uplift creative companies and founders that value artisan craftsmanship and cultural heritage as much as innovative technologies.

Having practiced the mind and body disciplines of mindfulness and meditation from an early age, Carmen advocates for the benefits of balancing material life with spiritual well-being, a set of practices she believes to be inherently linked to her business success.

In addition to her investments in the luxury fashion, lifestyle and technology sectors, Carmen leverages her entrepreneurial expertise to help non-profit organizations engaged in the conservation of the earth’s natural resources, in sustainable economic development, and in providing education and human rights for all.

Carmen Busquets

Deborah Palmer Keiser is a seasoned retail executive known for her pioneering work on supply chain stewardship for iconic global brands such as Limited Brands, Gap Inc. and Williams Sonoma, and for boutique innovators like All Saints, Alabama Chanin, and RITUEL, the lifestyle brand she founded and runs. For 30 years, she has held senior strategic and operational roles during times of unprecedented growth, leading product development, sourcing, and production teams, and in directing business development across Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Her singular expertise is in building quality products by fostering long-term, strategic relationships across cultures and industries. Before it became a catchphrase, Deborah used principles of sustainability to drive forward her vision of a new paradigm for designing and manufacturing quality goods — one that respects natural resources and human dignity as essential components. Deborah currently resides in Northern California with her husband of 23 years and their teenage daughter.


Deborah Keiser

Donna Karan’s desire to address people, not just dress them, led her to establish The Urban Zen Foundation in 2007. This lifelong traveler and yogi, mother and grandmother is dedicated to adding the missing link – mind, body and spirit – to healthcare and education, while preserving the wisdom of ancient culture.  Karan works with established organizations such as the Clinton Foundation, Grief and Nomad Two Worlds. The Clinton Global Initiative was Karan’s inspiration for Urban Zen: to bring like-minded people together in a place and space – the Urban Zen Center – to affect change through collaboration and creativity.

Inspired by the illness of her husband Stephan Weiss, as well as close friends suffering with disease, Karan founded the groundbreaking Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) Program, which integrates eastern healing modalities with western science. The Program has partnerships with UCLA, Beth Israel Medical Center, Kent State University and YogaWorks.

For Karan, Haiti is where Urban Zen’s health, education and culture initiatives come together. Alongside The Clinton Global Initiative, Karan helps develop and support sustainable opportunities as part of The Foundation’s Haiti Artisan Project. Donna works directly with artisans to elevate design, provide vocational education, job creation and raise awareness to the global market as part of her Philanthropic and Commerce model for the Soulful Economy mission.

Donna Karan

Where World Tradition Meets Luxury Fashion

Elizabeth Muir is passionate about working at the intersection of fashion and international development, a crossroad where traditional cultures meet modern day.

While Elizabeth has more than 15 years of experience in client delivery at top businesses and organizations including Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), The World Bank, and Marriott, she has also successfully developed, transformed, launched, and modernized numerous consumer brands worldwide. Clients have widely ranged from Fortune 100 companies to the US Government to musicians signed to major record labels to consumer brand start-ups to companies based in Afghanistan wanting to enter Europe’s luxury market by way of Milan.

A ‘brand whisperer,’ she makes brands look and sound like they should be competing on the world stage, and has established market linkages between producers and brands so that they could. The launches that she designed and produced for Afghan companies and for a US-led African business initiative resulted in global press coverage in more than 400 online, print, and television outlets in addition to social media with a reach of 17 million people and trending on Twitter.

Aware that partnerships between the private, non-profit, and public sectors are a powerful way to achieve results, she formed strategic partnerships with companies (including Levi’s, Bono and Alli Hewson’s EDUN, Aveda, Gibson Guitars), non-profits, and music celebrities to leverage brands to raise awareness for United Nations Association (UNA) Fashion Fights Poverty’s eco-ethical fashion campaigns for which she produced multiple fashion photo shoots and catwalk segments for the fashion shows promoting how working with producers in developing countries can be a solution to economic development.

Entrepreneurial, Elizabeth founded her own award-nominated fashion social enterprise for which she developed and managed the end-to-end supply chain from concept to distribution. She loves immersing herself in local culture, exploring bazaars, finding gems in time-honored crafts, and creating sophisticated products that are a fusion of traditional and modern. She purposefully integrated into the supply chain craft-based artisans and a women-run factory (NGO) in fragile and developing countries to preserve crafts and simultaneously provide income generation and economic development opportunities for them to help lift them out of poverty.

Her designs have been requested for over a dozen industry events, including celebrity gift bags for the Radio Music Awards, American Music Awards, and Country Music Awards as well as US Presidential Inaugural Balls and on the catwalk at Miami Fashion Week and UNA Fashion Fights Poverty. Her work has been featured in media worldwide including The Washington Post, Miami Herald, OK Magazine, Grazia, Reuters, NBC, Fox, Voice of America, and more. She was a top 10 nominee (out of 100+) for the LL Cool J-hosted Fashion Delivers Pay It Fashion Forward design awards in New York, an honor highlighting up-and-coming design industry leaders with a positive influence on the community, as well as a nominee for Fashion Group International’s Fair Trade Design Award. She has designed for and wardrobe styled music artists, including those signed to Universal Music Group, Curb Records, and Virgin Records.

Elizabeth attended Vanderbilt University and Université de Paris-Sorbonne. She learned the design and production supply chain hands-on in a work-study role in India normally reserved for design students from Europe’s top fashion schools. She spent several months developing collections at one of the country’s most famous design centers and factories known for preserving tradition in its textiles, home furnishings, and fashion. She has traveled to 49 countries and lived in 8 of them. She speaks multiple languages.

Elizabeth Muir

Ellice Sperber is an embroidery specialist, tracing the art back to her great grandmother, who sold her hand-embroidered fashions from her Los Angeles boutique. Ellice practiced needlepoint as a young girl and later apprenticed in embroidery while performing with the Zadruga Folk Ensemble in Los Angeles, where she worked on the company’s collection of Bulgarian, Serbian and Croatian costumes. Ellice was the Artistic Director of The LA Sign Company (a theater company that blended the talents of hearing and hearing-impaired actors), and, after receiving her BA in Linguistics, enjoyed a career as an American Sign Language Interpreter. While raising her two daughters, Ellice served on non-profit boards in the fields of education and learning, including, Gateway Public Schools, Parents Education Network, Northern California Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, and Northern California International Dyslexia Association.

Ellice has continued to embroider since her days as a young dancer. Finding her passion for the art form continuing to deepen, Ellice began studying with the Royal School of Needlework and achieved a Diploma in 2014. Dedicated to preserving and promoting the knowledge and practice of hand embroidery, she co-founded San Francisco School of Needlework and Design the following year. She restores heirloom embroideries out of her home studio and is writing a book on Pulled Thread Embroidery.

Ellice Sperber

Iliane sits on the board of FilmAid International, a humanitarian agency that uses the power of film to educate, empower and entertain in refugee and slum communities (www. She is board member of IRC UK ( and is a trustee of the Children’s Hospital Trust in Cape Town (the Great Ormond Street Hospital of Africa —www. Iliane is also a trustee of an early childhood development centre in Mathare, Nairobi; We the Change Foundation. Iliane is an advisory board member of the Lake Tanganyika Floating Clinic.

Prior to this she was Global Alliances Director at Diageo, after heading Business Development for the Diageo Venture Group. She was eCommerce Business Development Director at Yahoo! Europe, Marketing Manager at Yahoo!UK and was part of the Strategy practice at Accenture in London. She started her career in Brand Management at Procter & Gamble. Iliane is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with a focus on women’s protection and empowerment and Africa.

Iliane was born in South Africa, is a Dutch national and can speak five languages. She lives in London with her husband and sons, and two dogs.

Iliane Ogilvie Thompson

Ivanka Mamic is an experienced senior sustainability professional with over 17 years’ experience in the sector. She is currently Senior Director for Responsible Sourcing at Target where she leads global teams working on social and environmental matters relating to Target’s manufacturing supply chain. Prior to this, she worked for the International Labour Organization providing technical leadership and advice on the ILO’s CSR related activities including the ILO/ IFC Better Work programme. Ivankaholds a PhD from University of Cambridge, UK, together with a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland, Australia. Ivanka’s work on CSR has been published in several books as well as in leading journals and she has undertaken collaborative research on CSR with leading academics from Columbia University, Harvard University and Sydney University and others.

Ivanka Mamic

James (Jim) Brett is the CEO of J Crew, the iconic American fashion brand launched in 1983 as a mail order catalogue, which then became a cultural reference point. Six years later, the J Crew flagship store opened in Lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, an early example of modern urban place making, and today there are more than 500 locations throughout the USA (including those under the J Crew factory and Madewell banners).

Prior to his role at J Crew, Brett was President of West Elm, bringing that startup homeware retailer to a billion dollar brand with seven consecutive years of double-digit comparable revenue growth. In2015, he launched West Elm Workspace, solution-oriented work place furniture mixing residential aesthetic with commercial durability, winner of that year’s “Best of NeoCon” award, and in 2016, initiated the development of West Elm Hotels, a collection of hospitality venues, each reflecting the culture and architectural heritage of its community, opening 2019.

An advocate for the preservation of traditional handicraft and the power of collaborations, Brett spent six and a half years with Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters, Inc, first as merchandise manager for the multi-channel subsidiary Anthropologie, creating the sophisticated brand identity and merchandise mix that is Anthropologie Home today, and then as Chief Merchandising Officer for the diverse Urban Outfitters brand, generating record sales and productivity despite a challenging retail environment. In addition, Brett has served in various merchandising roles with other leading retailers during his twenty-five year career, including the J.C. Penny Corporation, Inc. and May Company Department Stores.

As an Advisory Board Member, Brett is committed to supporting Nest in helping artisans sustainably develop their businesses. He is active in the Dumbo Improvement District, championing revitalization for one of New York’s earliest industrial neighborhoods, and was the largest individual fundraiser for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 AIDS Walk NYC. He makes his home in Brooklyn, NY.

Jim Brett

Josh Silverman is Etsy’s Chief Executive Officer, leading the company as it builds a platform that empowers creative entrepreneurs around the world. He is also a member of Etsy’s board of directors.

Josh’s two decades of leadership experience include growing consumer technology companies and scaling global marketplaces. He previously served as President of Consumer Products and Services at American Express, CEO of Skype, and CEO of, and he held various executive roles at eBay. Earlier in his career, Josh co-founded Evite, Inc. where he also served as the company’s CEO. He is currently on the board of directors of Shake Shack.

Josh has a deep commitment to community and civic engagement. He currently serves as Chairman of Code Nation, a non-profit that equips students in under-resourced schools with both fundamental coding skills and professional experiences. He was previously a member of the Stanford Business School Management Board and the Lincoln Center Theater Board.

Josh Silverman

Krista’s lifelong interest in textiles began when she started weaving at the age of two. Being the daughter of a Textile Curator gave her the opportunity for much early exposure. While still in high school, she wove for artist Sheila Hicks in her studio in Paris. Krista completed a history degree at Brown University while attending classes in the textile department of Rhode Island School of Design. While at RISD, Krista won awards with both the Japanese Textile Foundation and the Amoco Trace Student Design Competition.

Upon finishing school Krista went to work for her mentor and idol, Jack Lenor Larsen, eventually becoming Larsen’s Director of Design when he retired. His approach of bringing to market both craft from around the world and cutting edge textile technology is a continuing ideal. Krista later worked for mills in both Turkey and India, enjoying a more hands experience with design. Since 2005, she has worked under her own name, Krista Stack Design, continuing to work with both editors and mills around the world. She also creates custom carpets in India and fine art pieces in her Brooklyn studio. She continues to weave on her loom, which serves as a sketchbook of experiments and ideas.


Krista Stack

Libby Wadle is the Chief Executive Officer of the J.Crew Group, overseeing J.Crew, J.Crew Factory and Madewell brands and serving on the board of directors. She has a proven track record of leading companies through periods of significant growth with a focus on customer-centric retail and building purpose-driven brands. With over 25-years of experience in the retail industry, during her tenure at the J.Crew Group she has held executive leadership roles across each of the brands. Most recently, she led the resurgence of the J.Crew brand and as a member of the Madewell launch team played an integral role in bringing the brand from start-up to a leader in denim retail. She has dedicated herself to an ambitious sustainability and social impact strategy for the J.Crew Group, leading industry firsts. Wadle is often looked to as a thought leader in the industry. She was named Fortune 40 under 40, Rivet 50 for denim leadership and Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.

Libby Wadle

Livia Firth

Mara founded her label in 2000 after graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York City. Serving as President and Creative Director of her privately owned and eponymous company, Mara uses her platform to share an honest and empowering message on the way we live, care for the world, and treat others; hoping to influence the relationship society has with clothing while simultaneously fostering mindful consumption habits. Her strategy centers on sustainable materials, processes, and production in order to improve and extend each garment’s life. Above all, Mara keeps her creative commitment to presenting collections devoted to color, each a celebration of women. Headquartered in New York, where she is an active member of the CFDA, she calls Brooklyn home with her husband, artist Javier Piñon, and their son Joaquin.

Mara Hoffman

Marissa is the founder of Beespace, a nonprofit incubator in New York City helping to identify and launch the next generation of innovative nonprofits. Utilizing the tech incubator model, Beespace provides these organizations with a suite of shared services, office space, and the support of an innovative community to grow their impact. Marissa is a ‘social venture catalyst’. She was a founding sponsor and activist for charity: water and has worn many hats since: identifying new projects, securing funding, photographing ongoing projects in the field, introducing sponsors, as well as raising awareness for other small nonprofits and helping them to scale. She is also a published photographer whose work highlights social injustice in ways that elicit empathy rather than guilt and, she hopes, encourages people to learn and contribute.

Marissa Sackler

Martin is the co-founder of The Punctilious Mr. P’s Place Card Co., a luxury home accessories brand. Mr. P’s is the manifestation of their love affair with ‘town and country’ entertaining— fueled by their creation of The Joy Economy™, a life compass that gives luxury purpose. Martin, who is a 30-year veteran of the fashion industry, served as VP Design, Burberry; Chief Creative Officer, Belstaff; Creative Director, Lands’ End.

Martin is also the founder of OrchisArts, Ltd., an independent consultancy providing one stop, end-to-end creative services to the fashion, interior and art worlds.

He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Parsons School of Design (where he received the Norman Norell Memorial Scholarship), and has served as a member of Parsons’ Board of Governors and on the President’s Board of Alumni Advisors for the New School University. He has been an active member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) since 1993. Martin and his family live in Old Chatham, in the heart of New York’s bucolic Hudson River Valley.

Martin Cooper

Melissa Joy Manning has created a socially responsible fine jewelry brand featuring unique, modern designs influenced by her passion for travel, art and culture. The line encompasses multiple collections including one-of-a-kind pieces, signature designs and custom, non-traditional wedding jewelry.

After receiving her BA from San Francisco State University, Manning studied traditional silversmithing at the Instituto de Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and European design principles at the University of Barcelona. Today, the San Francisco Bay area native resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Manning purchases her materials, found worldwide, from only trusted suppliers who share her belief in both social and environmental responsibility. Each piece is handmade, to order, in the Melissa Joy Manning California or New York studios, by skilled artisans using traditional, time-honored techniques. The collections feature a mix of precious gems, upcycled stones, conflict free diamonds and 100% recycled precious metals, along with antique tribal and reclaimed charms. Manning’s design development is not only meticulous and detail oriented, but her production is also certified “green” by the State of California.

In 2011, Melissa was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) where she founded and co-chaired the CFDA Sustainability Committee. As the 2012 winner of the Lexus Eco Fashion Challenge and current Advisory Board member of the CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative and NEST, Manning continues to advocate for cumulative change through ethical business and production practices.

The first Melissa Joy Manning store opened in December 2010 in Berkeley, California, followed by a SoHo, New York store in 2014 and Brooklyn, New York store in 2015. At all three locations, over 80% of the space was created using recycled materials, including the jewelry cases and display objects.

Melissa Joy Manning jewelry can be found in approximately 300 high-end boutiques and specialty department stores worldwide, including ABC Carpet and Home, Bird, Net-A-Porter, Nordstrom, Steven Alan, Twist and Ylang23. Her pieces are consistently featured in numerous fashion and lifestyle magazines and websites, films, television programs and commercials. In the last year, Melissa Joy Manning jewelry was featured in over 60 media outlets, including ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, W Magazine,, Refinery29, WhoWhatWear, Bloomberg TV, The New York Times and Forbes.

Melissa Joy Manning

Nadja is Chair of the Swarovski Foundation, which she established in 2013 to support projects that foster culture and creativity, promote human empowerment and preserve the environment. She also heads up the Swarovski Waterschool, which works across six continents teaching young people the importance of water conservation. Nadja was the first female member of the Swarovski Executive Board, becoming a major patron of the creative industries by supporting emerging and established design talent.

Nadja Swarovski

Nancy cares deeply about the well being of others. She is a keen listener and is intensely curious by nature. Nancy loves math, finds beauty in all things and embraces the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi. Her mother was an exceptional seamstress and embroiderer, instilling in her a great appreciation for craft. Nancy is a needleworker, painter, cook and gardener.

She received her BA in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. She has served on the boards of the Edgewood Center for Children and Families, the Katherine Delmar Burke School and the Grabhorn Institute, all in San Francisco, where she and her husband Doug live when they are not in Nantucket. In Nantucket, she serves on the Board of the Nantucket Historical Association.

Nancy Abbey

Natalie “Alabama” Chanin is the owner and designer of Alabama Chanin. She has a degree in Environmental Design with a focus on industrial and craft-based textiles from North Carolina State University. After graduation, Natalie worked in the junior sportswear industry on New York’s Seventh Avenue, before moving abroad. For over a decade, Natalie worked as a stylist and costume designer, travelling the globe. In 2000, Chanin returned to her home to begin the sustainable work that has become Alabama Chanin.

Since 2000, Alabama Chanin has expanded to include a family of businesses: the Alabama Chanin collection, The School of Making, The Factory Store + Café, and Building 14 Design

+ Manufacturing Services. All facets work together to create a collaborative community and idea exchange, healthy growth, and a love of quality goods that last.

In 2013, Chanin won the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge, an award competition that identifies and celebrates the greatest American designers working in the realm of sustainable fashion. Chanin continues to learn and to teach craft traditions, using them to bridge generational, economic, and cultural gaps. Chanin is also a mother of two, an avid gardener, and an enthusiastic cook from her home in Florence, Alabama.


Natalie Chanin

Pam Baer is a native Texan who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a marketing/finance degree. Pam started her career in New York City in the financial services arena before becoming an entrepreneur in brand
marketing and strategy services, focusing on direct mail. After getting married she navigated cross country managing her business while starting her family in San Francisco. Since then, Pam has used her talents and resources to become a San Francisco based community leader whose philanthropic work includes projects related to
social good and healthcare for the vulnerable.

Pam joined the board of the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation in 2002 and served until 2019 when she was named a lifetime director. She founded and continues to chair the Transform Mental & Behavioral Fund.

Pam is a member of TPW Philanthropy and also serves as a Founder’s Circle Member of Every Mother Counts (EMC) advocating for women’s healthcare. Pam is also a Board Member of the Giants Community Fund and an Advisory Board Member of Nest, an organization dedicated to improving women’s well-being and preserving important cultural traditions around the world.

In addition to her foundation work, Pam has held many trustee and board positions such as the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Jewish Women’s Giving Circle along with schools and initiatives that benefit her local community. Pam is an Aspen Institute fellow, and in 2023 she joined The Kennedy Forum’s Alignment for Progress special committee. Implementing solutions for society’s vulnerable issues is a passion.

Pam is married to Larry Baer, CEO of the San Francisco Giants, and together they have four children.

Pam Baer

Phoebe has over twenty-five years of experience in business development, marketing and corporate/non profit partnerships. Campbell Associates, the boutique firm she founded in 2002 “married mission to marketplace” via strategic brand licensing between not for profits and major manufacturers and retailers. Collectively these generated millions of dollars in financial support while raising awareness and public engagement for clients’ missions.

Currently Phoebe divides her time between writing a book on the equestrian sport of three day eventing and working with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to develop a hybrid licensing/cause marketing initiative. She is an advisor to the Curry/Stone Design Prize, Nest, and served on the board of Architecture for Humanity from 2013-2015.

In her free time, Phoebe shares an enjoyment of horses, cooking, art and travel with her husband and two children. She recently adopted a 300-year-old cottage (with similarly aged termites) in rural Connecticut.


Phoebe Campbell

Sean Ansett is a sustainability professional with nearly 20 years experience. Sean provides strategic advice to corporations, social enterprise start-ups, UN agencies and non-profit organizations on ethical trade, human rights and environmental sustainability globally through his organization At Stake Advisors. Additionally, he is Chairman of the Board Liberty & Justice Clothing/UNIFORM, Senior Associate/Tutor at the  University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and was Executive Director of the Bangladesh Safety Accord and Chief Sustainability Officer at Fairphone.

Sean Ansett was the Director of Corporate Responsibility at Burberry in London. Previously, Sean was the Director of Global Partnerships at Gap Inc. where he led Gap Inc.’s social responsibility and stakeholder engagement strategy related to labor, environmental and human rights issues. He was the chief architect behind the company’s stakeholder engagement strategy significantly enhanced the company’s reputation.

He has served on several global multi-stakeholder initiatives including the Advisory Board of Social Accountability International, the Global Reporting Initiative’s G3 expert committee, the Ethical Trading Initiative, a founding member of the MFA Forum and UNCTAD’s committee for integrating CSR indicators in financial reporting.

Sean is a regular speaker and writer. He has contributed and is quoted in Bloomberg, Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal amongst others. Sean is a returned United States Peace Corps and World Food Program volunteer. Sean has a Masters degree in Sustainability Leadership, University of Cambridge, Wolfson College and a Master’s of Science degree in Business Administration. He is fluent in Spanish.

Sean Ansett

Shea Soucie is Principal and co-founder, along with partner Martin Horner, of Chicago- and Naples, Florida-based interior architecture, and design firm Soucie Horner, Ltd. Established in 2000, Soucie Horner, Ltd. is comprised of three distinct business divisions. Soucie Horner Interiors designs highly personalized spaces that define, embody, and enhance each client’s unique idea of living well. Soucie Horner Collections creates custom furniture, lighting, and textiles. SH Studio leverages nearly two decades of experience designing high-end luxury interiors to partner with developers to elevate the built environments in which people live, work, and play.

Soucie is also co-founder of SHIIR Rugs, an artisanal rug company established in 2012. SHIIR Rugs is represented in eleven showrooms across the United States and Europe, including Holly Hunt; Jennifer West; De Sousa Hughes; David Sutherland; ALT for Living; David Adler; Estudio Casa; and Tim Page Carpets in London.

In addition, Soucie is a member of the Leaders of Design Council, dedicated to strengthening the design profession through education programs and networking; a member of the Design Leadership Network; and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization. She is also an Executive Board member of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, which prepares low-income students with the scholarship, discipline, and honor necessary to succeed in college and lead exemplary lives, and also serves as a catalyst for education reform in Chicago. She is a former faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Soucie attended the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture.

Shea lives in Chicago with her husband and four children.

Shea Soucie

Steven Kolb is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). He oversees all operations for the American fashion industry’s group of 500 designers, and manages CFDA’s membership, activities and philanthropic efforts such as Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, disaster relief and HIV/AIDS.

In his role, Kolb also helped cultivate emerging American fashion talent through programs such as the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and the CFDA {Fashion Incubator}. Under his guidance, the annual CFDA Fashion Awards has become the preeminent spotlight on American fashion.

Kolb also led the CFDA in the acquisition of the Fashion Calendar, spearheaded the launch of New York Fashion Week: Men’s, and established CFDA’s Strategic Partnerships Group.

Additionally, he was instrumental in creating CFDA’s Health Initiative to address health issues among models.  He also helped develop Fashion Manufacturing Initiative to revitalize   New York City’s garment industry.

Kolb works directly with CFDA Chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg and the Board of Directors comprised of America’s foremost designers. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from New York University.

Steven Kolb

Junior Board

Erika has over ten years of experience working in entrepreneurial new business and corporate innovation divisions for leading global media, beauty and CPG firms. As the Head of Strategic Partnerships for the Digital Technology and Innovation Group at Estee Lauder Companies Online, she fosters collaboration between emerging enterprises and large corporations, matching startup agility with corporate ability and expertise. Erika holds a BA in Urban Studies from University of Pennsylvania, MA in Urban Planning from Harvard and an MA in Journalism from NYU.

Erika Parkins

Jane is an architect and attorney working for her family’s commercial real estate business in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tulane University School of Architecture, her J.D from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and completed a fellowship in community economic development at U.C. Berkeley’s East Bay Community Law Center. Her interest in cooperative development, particularly women-owned businesses, led her to Nest and its work.

Jane has joined Nest on trips to Guatemala, Peru, and India, has had the opportunity to meet several of Nest’s artisan partners, and hopes to continue to support the organization both at home and abroad through the Junior Board.

Jane Ehinger

Julie Martin is a passionate philanthropist with over 20 years of experience working with organizations that educate and empower women with an emphasis on vocational training in the textile industry.

As an alumnus of Kansas State University, Martin partnered with the natural dye program to implement a vocational training center in South India.  From this project, Martin began working with Nest, and in 2020 Martin joined the Jr. Board to further engage in the work of Nest.

Martin’s philanthropic work has been recognized earning her the “Influential Women of Kansas City” award, the “Distinguished Service” Alumni award from Kansas State University, and most recently is featured at the KSU Apparel and Textile department’s 100-year anniversary as a “notable alumni making an impact the industry.”

Apart from philanthropic work, Martin is a 3rd generation executive in her family’s transportation company and enjoys traveling with her husband Aaron and two teenage children Riley and Cade.

Julie Martin

Kansas City based founder of the Nelle Arts & Social Club. Mother of seven. Arts, Animal, Children, Minority, Eco and Houseless advocate.

Lauren Saks Merriman

Lindsay Abrams is a Next Gen Philanthropist and mental health advocate. Since 2016, Lindsay has served as the Executive Director of the Bruce C. Abrams Foundation. In addition to her role at the foundation, Lindsay is the Sales & Outreach Manager at The Little Market, a nonprofit fair-trade shop featuring ethically sourced, artisan-made products.

In addition to serving on the Junior Board of NEST, Lindsay serves on the Board of Directors of Indego Africa, which strives to bring women and girls out of poverty by teaching them vocational skills and business training in Rwanda and Ghana. She is also a member of the Young Leadership Committee at The JED Foundation, a nonprofit that exists to protect the emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults.

Lindsay graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2012, where she double majored in Human and Organizational Development (HOD) and an interdisciplinary study in literature and leadership. Following graduation, Lindsay moved to New York City, where she worked in the fashion industry at Rent the Runway and Joie before moving to Los Angeles in 2017 to get her Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship. She graduated with her MA from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business in May of 2019 and has since relocated back to NYC.

Lindsay Abrams

Maxandra is an NYC-based designer with experience in both fashion and social entrepreneurship. She started her womenswear career at Oscar de la Renta and designed for Gal Meets Glam Collection. She also co-founded Kora Designs, a sustainably-minded jewelry line working with artisans in developing communities.  Maxandra was born in Singapore and grew up throughout Southeast Asia. She is a graduate of NYU and Parsons Schools of Design.

Maxandra Short Kramer

Megan believes in the power of trust-based philanthropy that centers community experience and expertise. While volunteering in Mozambique, Megan provided support to artisans in the community, an experience that changed her life and led her towards a fulfilling career in the nonprofit sector. Currently, she is the Associate Director of Grants Management at Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization. Megan also works as an independent consultant, helping charities secure government and foundation funding to expand their programs.

In her free time, Megan enjoys reading, traveling, and trying new restaurants with friends and family.

Megan Ritter

Preetha is an active philanthropist and is passionate about leadership development and training. In addition to her role as a Junior Board Member for NEST, she is a facilitator for Yale School of Management’s Interpersonal Dynamics class and a member of the Executive Board of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. At the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Preetha designed and implemented a jam-style music class at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music to help students take creative risks, build communication skills, and learn to improvise. She is also a local bluegrass and country musician and has performed at Rockwood Music Hall, Opry City Stage, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Keyport Music Festival, and Porchstomp Folk Festival.

Based in NYC, Preetha manages US investor relations and business development for Noetic Fund, a leading venture capital firm in the nascent psychedelic and mental health sector. Prior to joining Noetic Fund, Preetha worked at Lindsay Goldberg, where she conducted operational diligence on businesses in the consumer-packaged goods sector for acquisition or investment. During this time, Preetha worked closely with founders and owner/operators in the food, beverage, beauty, and personal care sectors, advising them on their product pipelines, go-to-market strategies, marketing creative, and competitive sets. Before that, Preetha worked at Hain Celestial Group and Estee Lauder Companies on their Innovation/M&A and product development teams, respectively.

Preetha received her B.A. from Hamilton College and her M.B.A. from Yale School of Management

Preetha Nooyi

Tia Harari has fifteen years of experience in Merchandising, Trend, and Product Development in the Home and Lifestyle space.

She has held leadership positions with disruptive companies of purpose like West Elm and abc carpet and home that connect themselves to the bigger picture, seamlessly threading beauty, quality, consciousness, and sustainability. As a Buyer she traveled the world to source and develop artisan products, which is where she began her work with Nest. Discovering the importance of their mission, the beauty of slow handmade craft, and the responsibility of sharing the story.

More recently, her experience working in startups alongside female founders solidified her commitment as a northstar, to apply her experience to matters that develop and create greater equity and economic inclusion.

Tia is honored to support Nest in helping artisans sustainably develop their businesses, preserve the art of handicraft, and create safe working environments globally.

Tia Harari

Founding Board

Alison Sheehan

Ann Vonallmen

David Vonallmen

Kari Erickson Woolf

Lauren Hurst

Molly Carter

Susanna Johnson Bird

Brand and Corporate Partners

Ace & Jig
Dana Bronfman
Eileen Fisher
Flying Tiger
Greg Lauren
Isabel Marant
J Crew
Jaipur Living
Loeffler Randall
Marfa Stance
Melissa Joy Manning

Mignonne Gavigan
Ralph Lauren
Rue Gilt Groupe
Ten Thousand Things
The Children’s Place
The House That Lars Built
Tory Burch
Uncommon Goods
West Elm
Williams-Sonoma Inc.