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Fair Trade, Artisan Made since 1988.

Global Gifts Leadership

Meet the amazing members of our Global Gifts board and staff!

 

BOARD MEMBERS

Marks Cannon Jr., Board Chair

(He/Him/His)

Marks Cannon Jr joined the Board of Directors in February of 2020. He is a Consultant at BKD CPAs and Advisors, and brings financial management, program development, and strategic planning expertise to the board. Marks believes the impact of Fair Trade is far reaching and impactful, and should be on the minds of today’s consumers. Marks has served as Chair of the Global Gifts JEDI Committee since its formation in 2020.

Madhuri Bhaskar, Vice Board Chair

(She/Her/Hers)

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.

Kyle Stiffney, Treasurer

(He/Him/His)

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.

 

Jo Ellen Buffie, Past Chair

(She/Her/Hers)

"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."

Gracia Valliant

(She/Her/Ella)

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.

Sam Carpenter

(He/Him/His)

Sam is a former executive director of Global Gifts and the organization and mission still have a big place in his heart.  Sam also served on the boards of the Fair Trade Federation and Fair Trade Resource Network.  Sam currently works as a consultant helping small businesses and nonprofits on a range of issues including strategic planning, board development, and fund raising.   

Mary Clark

(She/Her/Hers)

Mary Clark is the Executive Director of the Global Village Welcome Center and International Marketplace Coalition in Indianapolis, the location of our newest store.

Caitlin Edwards

(She/Her/Hers)

Caitlin Edwards is a CPA and is currently Technology Risk Manager at Ernst and Young in Columbus, Ohio, and is a former volunteer from our Short North store.


Meredith Jones

(she/her/hers)

Meredith Jones joined our Board of Directors in February of 2020. As a previous Store Volunteer with Global Gifts, she has missed being part of our organization. Meredith is a Senior Utility Analyst at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and brings a background in Environmental Policy to our board.

Tom Kashin

(He/Him/His)

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.

Rhonda Sherer

(She/Her/Hers)

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.

Virgil Sauder

(He/Him/His)

 

Virgil Sauder is the Manager of the Bloomington Animal Shelter, the Director of Animal Care and Control, and a former volunteer from our Bloomington location.

Erica Poff, CAE, PMP, IOM

(She/Her/Hers)

 

Erica is an international nonprofit leadership professional, having spent her entire career working in or with nonprofit organizations both here in the United States as well as Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She has served a variety of roles in the nonprofit world, developing expertise in the areas of association and nonprofit management, strategic planning, governance, public policy advocacy, and training. In her current role as the Vice President of Nonprofit Effectiveness at Talbott Talent, she works with nonprofit clients on executive transition services, including CEO recruitment and onboarding, and improving board governance practices. Outside of work, Erica keeps very busy with her family, which includes her husband, Rob; her very energetic 2-year-old, Hank; and 3 lazy (but adorable!) pugs. She also serves on the board of directors for the Indiana Society of Association Executives.

 

Erica joined the board of Global Gifts in May 2022. She feels a special connection to the mission, rooted in her early career experiences working with entrepreneurs, artisans, and civil society groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Global Gifts provides these same groups with access to new markets and sustainable economic opportunities, which has the power to transform entire communities and create ripple effects of positive change.

 

STAFF MEMBERS

Sam Carpenter, Interim-Executive Director

(He/Him/His)

Sam is a former executive director of Global Gifts and the organization and mission still have a big place in his heart.  Sam also served on the boards of the Fair Trade Federation and Fair Trade Resource Network.  Sam currently works as a consultant helping small businesses and nonprofits on a range of issues including strategic planning, board development, and fund raising.   

Kinsey Davis, Store Manager

(She/Her/Hers)

In 2013, while studying Management at Indiana University, Kinsey Davis joined Global Gifts as a volunteer. Her time spent there instilled a determination to pursue a career improving lives. Graduating in 2015, Global Gifts gave her that chance as the Volunteer Coordinator/Assistant Manager in Bloomington. Kinsey dove right in, learning about fair trade, training volunteers, merchandising, and countless on ways to be a better global citizen. In September 2017, Kinsey was promoted to Store Manager at Global Gifts, Nora Plaza. There, she brings a fresh approach to many faces of the "destination location" and to Global Gifts' offsite events around Indianapolis.

Dianna Norris, Store Manager

(She/Her/Hers)

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

(She/Her/Hers) 

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.  

Sarah Swank, Marketing Manager

(She/Her/Hers) 

Sarah comes to us from HOPE Mentoring, Indiana and has founded her own travel blog, Suitcase Six. As a volunteer at the Bloomington store while she was earning her BA from Indiana University in History and Mental Health, Sarah learned first hand how Fair Trade directly impacts the lives of artisans and small producers. 

We are excited to have Sarah onboard to give voice to our Fair Trade mission and wonderful handmade products!  


Heather Giffen, Assistant Manager

(She/Her/Hers)

Since I can remember I have been passionate about learning and experiencing different cultures around the world. I have a BA in International Affairs that provided opportunities to help with international student orientation and travel to China and Germany. I also have a Master of Divinity degree and am an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. This path as led me to have powerful experiences visiting artisan groups in South Africa and to going to Standing Rock to support the Water Protectors against the DAPL pipeline. As an Associate Minister I oversaw organizing volunteers to support youth group events and fundraising initiatives. I started out volunteering for Global Gifts for six months in 2015 until I had another job that took me to Pennsylvania. When my contract was finished, I returned to Columbus and started volunteering again in 2019. I then became a seasonal staff member and in spring of 2020 was hired as a part-time sales associate. Now I am excited to be apart of Global Gifts as the Volunteer Coordinator for Short North!

 

 

Kim Lingeman, Assistant Manager

(She/Her/Hers)

While working toward a B.S. in Public Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington, Kim got her first taste of the fair trade movement when a volunteering friend recommended that she visit the local Global Gifts shop. Meanwhile, Kim was already involved with, and eventually President of, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance at IU, served on the committee for the Homeward Bound 5K Walk to help prevent homelessness, and interned with Stepping Stones, Inc. But she signed up to be a volunteer at anyway! Being at Global Gifts reinforced her desire to make a positive impact on people through the career she was building.

After graduating from IU, Kim moved away from Bloomington to manage a nonprofit dance studio in Columbus, IN and in 2017, she took over Dancers Studio, Inc. as Co-Director. Global Gifts was still dear to her heart though, so she was thrilled that while her family was deciding to make a move to the Indianapolis area, the position of Volunteer Coordinator/Assistant Manager became available at Nora! Kim joined the Nora team in that position in January 2020, where the sudden surprise of the COVID-19 pandemic still didn't stop her from diving right into her new responsibilities! Kim is excited to expand her fair trade knowledge and dive deeper into creating relationships with our volunteer team!