BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Jo Ellen Buffie, Board Chair

"I began volunteering in 2008 after being an avid Global Gifts shopper! The quality of work of artisans from around the world became staples in our family gift giving, and the emphasis of Fair Trade policies, as well as use of recycled materials, spoke to me. As a former teacher and stay-at-home Mom to our four children, I volunteered in our schools and served on the Perry Township School Board. Through our experience traveling to Namibia to visit our daughter in the Peace Corps, volunteering at Global Gifts became a way to put what we found to be true into practice: Our work and purchases are an investment in humanity, helping artisans and their families build a better life. I joined the board in 2017, continue volunteering in our schools and our community, serve as the Chair of the Baxter Y Board, and am grateful to serve as the Global Gifts Chair with our amazing Board, Executive Director, Managers, Staff and Volunteers. Spending time with our family, including our five grandchildren, traveling, creating my own “art” through furniture making and sewing—and volunteering—fills my heart."

 

Bridget Farren, Vice Chair

Both Bridget Farren's commercial real estate brokerage work and her law practice provide the wisdom gained in hundreds of real estate transactions, as both tenant and landlord, to ensure her client's interests are protected in real estate sale and lease transactions. This expertise provides Bridget with the ability to help Global Gifts create good relationships with landlords and responsible decision-making regarding store leasing agreements. 

 

Kyle Stiffney, Treasurer

Kyle Stiffney helps manage Global Gifts' finances, bringing financial planning and auditing expertise to our Board of Directors. Kyle also manages the Goshen Soccer Academy alongside Thavisak Mounsithiraj. The Goshen Soccer Academy is a beacon for its community for its emphasis on being welcoming and caring as well as the sport that it coaches.

 

Andrew Crecelius, Secretary

Holding a Master's in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business and a Bachelor’s in International Studies, Andrew's diverse career, both professional and volunteer, has included organizational management, research, marketing and business development, consulting, program development and management, and community and economic development. Having served on multiple non-profit boards and committees, he is very engaged in local, regional, and international community and economic development. He has traveled, lived, studied, worked, and volunteered across the US and abroad, and enjoys helping individuals and organizations connect to global resources that improve business and create new economic opportunities.

   

Madhuri Bhaskar
Madhuri Bhaskar is the Senior Director at BeecherHill. BeecherHill is an organization dedicated to support and uplift leaders and companies. These companies' missions involve helping their industry, community, or the world and are advanced by great leadership.
Madhuri has volunteered in store at Global Gifts Short North in Columbus, OH for almost five years, and the mission and people of the organization hold a very special place in her heart. Global Gifts provides Madhuri with a connection to her heritage and home country in India. Madhuri joined our Board of Directors in 2018 and brings leadership training and nonprofit management expertise to our board.
    
Jay Brubaker
Jay has worked as the Executive Director for Circle City Clubhouse, a supportive community for adults living with mental illness that offers members opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education, and access to medical and psychiatric services through a single caring and safe environment. Jay brings experience and expertise in nonprofit management to our Board of Directors.
 
    
Mark Cardwell
Formerly the Assistant Executive Director of the King Arts Complex, Mark is the founder of the social enterprise development consultancy READY LLC preparing non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs toward impact investment readiness. Mark completed the Wells Foundation course on Impact Investment and Enterprise Development in 2016. 

Mark has 20 + years of experience in the field of marketing including production management, advertising and sales. Mark has filled professional roles with The American Red Cross, OSU Medical Center and Goodwill Rehabilitation Center. 
Mark has served as a board member and advisory committee member of various community organizations.

As Executive Director for the Ohio Marketing Association, Mark helps Global Gifts with Strategic Marketing planning.

 

Abri Hochstetler
Abri Hochstetler is the Associate Director of Communications for Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity and has worked there for 7 years. Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity's mission is to provide better housing and living conditions for low income families throughout Indianapolis. Abri brings nonprofit marketing expertise to our Board of Directors.

 

Rhonda Sherer
Rhonda Sherer is the Purchasing Agent at Aerosmith Fastening Systems. Aerosmith develops hardened steel for many uses including tool production and others. Rhonda brings expertise in operations and joined our Board of Directors in 2018. 

 

 

 Gracia Valiant

Gracia Valliant began to learn about and understand the impact Fair Trade has on the lives of the artisans and farmers when she worked and traveled in Honduras and Guatemala. She began volunteering at Global Gifts in Bloomington in 2012, later becoming a part time associate for 5 years. She left her position in 2019 but continues to volunteer regularly in the store. Gracia and Mary Embry have led two Fair Trade learning tours to Guatemala. Bloomington is a Fair Trade town so Gracia, Dave Debikey and Mary Embry promote Fair Trade in the community through various activities, events and showing Fair Trade documentaries. 

 

Tom Kashin (not pictured)
Tom Kashin has worked as a software developer for many companies and currently is working at Salesforce. He helps Global Gifts with technology, software, and IT needs, and has volunteered in store at the Mass Ave, Indianapolis location.

STAFF LEADERSHIP 

Alissa Head, Executive Director

Alissa Head began her journey in Fair Trade opening our Columbus, Ohio store as Store Manager in 2014. She has a background in nonprofit trade associations, working with the Oklahoma Restaurant, Travel Industry, and Hotel Motel Associations. She was previously Vice President of Operations for Skreened Inc, where she helped grow ecommerce sales and capacity over 500% over a period of four years. 

Alissa started the Fair Trade Columbus Campaign in 2015 and served on the steering committee, establishing Columbus as a Fair Trade Town in 2018. As Store Manager, she grew sales at our Columbus location over 40% within 4 years. Alissa was promoted to Executive Director in May of 2018.

Alissa has a BA in Visual Arts from the University of California at San Diego. She is a working artist, specializing in fiber art, knitting patterns and design. She plans to bring this knowledge to help expand our wholesale division with Global Gifts exclusive product designs.

  

Kinsey Davis, Store Manager -  Indianapolis, IN (Nora)

Kinsey joined Global Gifts in 2013. She previously served as volunteer coordinator and assistant manager at the Global Gifts location in Bloomington, Indiana. In 2017 Kinsey was promoted to store manager at our Indianapolis store in Nora Plaza. 

 

 

Dave Debikey, Store Manager - Bloomington, IN

Dave Debikey is the store manager at the Bloomington, Indiana location. He joined Global Gifts in 2009 when the Bloomington store first opened. Dave had a prior history with fair trade food through his 15 years with Bloomingfoods Cooperative Market & Deli. He served 5 years on the Fair Trade Bloomington board of directors and was a member of the Bloomington Fair Trade Towns steering committee. He has served on the Bloomington Environmental Commisson and the Bloomington Parking Commission, and has been serving on the Downtown Bloomington Inc. board of directors since 2010.

 

Jennifer Moncel, Marketing Manager

 As the Marketing Manager at Global Gifts, Jennifer is in charge of developing the organization’s marketing strategy, generating a customer voice, promoting fair trade, boosting brand awareness, advertising and creating marketing material. In addition to managing the marketing calendar and designing graphic art, Jennifer helps maintain the Global Gifts' website. She has played a pivotal role in restructuring the online store as well as modernizing the digital newsletter, which have streamlined online shopping and improved customer experience - resulting in a 65% increase in web sales.

Jennifer graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Apparel Design. Her international experience includes an internship in London, teaching in the Peace Corps and serving on the board for Exodus Refugee.

 

Dianna Norris, Store Manager - Indianapolis, IN (Mass Ave)

Mass Ave store manager Dianna began her journey with Global gifts in October of 2017. Not having a deep rooted background in fair trade she quickly embraced the mission and culture of the organization. Dianna's experiences in specialty coffee management and retail management gave her the confidence she needed to join the team right before the busiest time of the year.

Dianna had a basic knowledge of fair trade and how it "worked" but it wasn't until she attended the Fair Trade Federation conference that it all clicked for her. Dianna was able to fully grasp what fair trade meant and just how much of an impact it truly has not just locally but globally. Fair trade and Global Gifts has broadened her thinking, living, learning and teaching in just the couple short years she has been with the organization. Dianna will oftentimes say "Global Gifts never feels like work" because she treasures and appreciates the entire organization and does genuinely love her job. She hopes to grow and thrive along with the entire fair trade community for many many years to come. Global Gifts is not just a unique gift shop to her. To her, it is a global community. They are her friends, they are her family. Global Gifts is a group of positive minded people working together to strengthen the globe. When Dianna isn't working, she loves spending time with her new baby girl, and youngest Mass Ave volunteer, Parker (they are currently learning sign language), going to concerts, traveling and teaching herself the ukulele.

 

Amy Phillips-Gary, Store Manager - Columbus, Ohio
Amy’s intention in life is to do her best to create positive ripples and pitch in on efforts to make the world a better place. Her dream as a child was to be a country & western singer, but she was drawn to political campaign organizing instead as a young adult. After a stint in academia where she earned her master's degree in Sociology with a Women’s Studies concentration, Amy stepped back from the paid workforce to support her sons as they home-schooled. While not busy leading backyard chemistry experiments with her sons, Amy was active in the community organizing a sustainability-focused community swap meet and a recurring local kid arts show, among other pursuits. She also freelanced by writing content for various websites and coordinating social media accounts.  
 
When the opportunity arose to join the Global Gifts team in Columbus, Ohio in 2014, Amy jumped right in. Fair Trade principles centered on providing sustainable economic opportunities for skillful artisans, farmers, & producers in the Global South as well as the missions behind local social enterprises are a natural fit for the trajectory of interests Amy’s held from a young age. After almost 4 years as Assistant Manager and Volunteer Coordinator at Global Gifts in the Short North Arts District, Amy became store manager in 2018. One of her favorite things about being a store manager in this nonprofit organization is the true spirit of teamwork. She looks forward to continued learning, growth, and expansion in this organization.

 

VOLUNTEER AMBASSADORS 

 

Volunteer Ambassador, Betsy Loeb, has been volunteering for 2 years at Global Gifts in Columbus. She is retired but previously worked for Action for Children, a local non-profit. Her life long love is small children. She has wonderful grandchildren and takes care of her grandson Sam (the only one who lives in Columbus, OH) 2-3 days a week. Betsy came to Global Gifts because a friend who lives in Denver volunteered with Ten Thousand Villages and recommended it. When she saw we needed volunteers, she signed up! She loves the mission, the camaraderie, the people who work there, the customers, the artisans and their creativity.
Erica Billingsley - Mass Ave
Katherine Essink - Nora
Patricia Moon - Bloomington