Staff + Board
Meet our Team
Elisha Chan, Executive Director
Elisha Chan is the Executive Director of Fair Trade LA, a nonprofit that officially made Los Angeles the largest Fair Trade City in North America and the fourth largest in the world. She is the host of the FAIR Talks Podcast: educating everyday people for extraordinary change. She is also the founder of Impactful Missions, a nonprofit dedicated to ending poverty through job creation, education, and empowerment. She found her passion while traveling on many Haiti trips as a student at UCLA and started her social enterprise, Impactful Market, six months after she graduated. She currently works with many artisans and producers throughout Haiti, while giving back to a small village called Fond Doux, Haiti. She has established a Scholarship Program that has given over 345 scholarships, sending underserved youth to school, from preschool to university. Now, she is building a Leadership Academy and Trade School in Haiti from the grounds up. A passionate advocator of establishing long-term solutions to break the cycle of poverty.
Brittany Skiles, Board Chair
Brittany works at Mount Saint Mary's University in institutional advancement, and serves on a campus team working towards making MSMU a Fair Trade designated university. As a graduate of Vanguard University of Southern California, she first got involved with promoting Fair Trade practices as a way to combat labor trafficking and worked at the Global Center for Women and Justice before moving to Los Angeles. On a trip to Kenya, Brittany witnessed first hand how artisans employed by a company paying fair wages with high ethical standards has generational impact on poverty alleviation and she has been an advocate of supporting Fair Trade initiatives and organizations ever since.
Elena Alcerro, Secretary
Elena traveled to the Dominican Republic, where she saw the exploitation of Haitian sugarcane workers. After seeing the conditions in the Bateyes she decided that she would no longer be part of the system that makes their lives so difficult. Elena founded a nonprofit, HUMAIN, and hopes that through HUMAIN she will one day be able to improve the quality of life for sugarcane workers across the Dominican Republic. Elena is the representative of Loyola Marymount University Fair Trade and the Oxfam America Club co-president. She works to educate the LMU community about Fair Trade and to show them how the purchases they make each day, on and off campus, can have a profound impact on people and communities around the world.
Erin Wallace, Treasurer
Erin works as a CPA and maintains bookkeeping clients from the business management company were she started her career. She has helped to run teacher trainings in LA with SCOE and UCLA and worked for SRA/McGraw-Hill selling products to LAUSD. Erin is passionate about equality of all kinds, climate issues, education, and ending homelessness and poverty. In her personal time, she pursues interests in photography, design, genealogy, and documentary films.
Joan Harper, Board of Directors
Joan co-founded FTLA corporation in 2005. Joan was active with the Office of Life, Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 16 years where she promoted domestic anti-poverty and global solidarity programs, including fair trade. Joan has an MBA from Loyola Marymount University and prior work experience in the corporate sector. She has travelled to India, Thailand, Ghana, El Salvador and Honduras with Catholic Relief Services, experiencing firsthand development programs in agriculture, micro-finance, and fair trade. Most recently she visited Fair Trade artisan cooperatives in Palestine to see their work and hear their stories.
Laurel Averill, Board of Directors
Laurel has been deeply involved with Fair Trade LA since 2010. She crafted her own position as "Boutique Coordinator" setting up Fair Trade boutiques all over L.A. county like gypsies in a caravan selling Fair Trade wares. She is the L.A. representative for Gifts of Nature.
Jasmine French, Board of Directors
Jasmine is currently a Trade Certification Specialist at Fair Trade USA, and the founder of Are & Be Coffee, a small coffee business that promotes mental health. The vision of Are & Be is to cultivate a space where every individual can come as they are and simply be, and experience calmness, hope, and a sense of belonging. With each product sold a percentage gives back to mental health initiatives. Jasmine has a passion to uplift the most marginalized in both her personal business operations and through her full time work, and believes Fair Trade is a tangible tool to do just that!
Juliette Roy, Board of Directors
Juliette Roy is a creative social entrepreneur passionate about social impact, social change, diversity and inclusion, education, and women in media. She is the founder of Be Your Change media, a platform to amplify the impact of women worldwide.
Amrita Thadani, Board of Directors
Amrita Thadani started her career as a Fashion Stylist right out of college and worked her way up as an independent Costume Designer for films and advertising. She worked in India, where textile design and access to the cotton industry allowed her to totally immerse herself in the process. With over 10 years of work experience, she moved to New York and studied fashion at Parsons. After graduating, she continued to work as a fashion stylist while volunteering on weekends with local refugee groups. As she developed meaningful relationships with the women, she learned about some of the biggest challenges facing refugees including secure housing, adjusting to a difference culture, finding a job, surviving on food stamps, and learning a foreign language. This lead her to start NEOCOCO in the Fall of 2017, a mission-driven apparel company that creates jobs for women refugees and displaced women through the art of hand embroidery.
Lizzy Case, Board of Directors
Lizzy is the founder and CEO of Arrayed, a liberative Christian apparel brand that prioritizes people and planet. She got her start in the fair trade community in Chicago, where she volunteered with Chicago Fair Trade for many years supporting social impact, environmental stewardship, and engaging faith communities in fair trade. Since moving to the West Coast, she is excited to support the growth of Fair Trade LA. In her free time, she loves to sew and hike the beautiful California countryside.
Robin Tolkan-Doyle, Board of Directors
Robin Tolkan-Doyle is a 25-year beauty industry veteran with successes as a writer, editor, public relations/media expert, and entrepreneur. Following a bucket list trip to India, Robin witnessed firsthand how Western consumerism impacts developing nations – and decided she didn’t want to perpetuate this cycle any longer. She fueled her passion for beauty, love of traveling and exploring global cultures, unparalleled ability to cultivate relationships, and media savvy to found Beautyologie.com, an online beauty marketplace catering to consumers who want their dollars to make a difference. Outside of work, Robin remains active in her community and enjoys supporting Fair Trade initiatives with Fair Trade Los Angeles. She loves spending time with her family and continues to jump at every opportunity to check additional countries off her bucket list.
Ron Tallakson, Board of Directors
Ron is a native Californian and has lived in Ohio, New York and Minnesota. He has a B.A. in English from UC Irvine, and a MDiv from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. His passions are caring for family, friends, the earth, and those suffering from poverty throughout the world. He is an advocate of volunteerism wherein he has logged countless hours in the areas of human rights, mental health, food distribution and rock art conservation. Today you can meet up with him at the Fair Trade events where he provides education for the community and support for the Fair Trade partners.