Staff + Board
Meet our Team
Elisha Chan, Executive Director
Elisha Chan is the new executive director of Fair Trade LA and the founder of Elisha C., an ethical brand on a mission to end poverty through job creation. She found her passion while traveling on many Haiti trips as a student at UCLA and started her social enterprise six months after she graduated. She currently works with many artisans and producers throughout Haiti, while doing philanthropy work in a small village called Fond Doux, Haiti. She has since established a Scholarship Program, sending underprivileged youth to school, from preschool to university. A passionate advocator of establishing long-term solutions to break the cycle of poverty.
Phil Churnside, Board Chair
During Summer hiatuses from their teaching careers, Phil, and his wife, Rosemary, combined a fascination of foreign cultures, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the lure of distant lands, to build their Balirose business. This endeavor has been dedicated to importing unique items of sterling silver jewelry and textiles that are designed and created by indigenous artisans of several countries in Southeast Asia. Phi’s recreation time is filled with cooking, swimming, and traveling, and he now looks forward to serving on the FTLA Board.
Tony Fadale, Board Vice-Chair
Husband, father of two children and four grandchildren; retired teacher. Has served on several non-profit boards. One of the original founders of the Redondo Beach Ten Thousand Villages; present board member and head of Education Committee for the store, giving numerous presentations to churches and organizations. Involved in several organizations relating to fair trade and social justice issues.
Jane Affonso, Board Treasurer
Board member of South Coast Interfaith Council and Chair of its Social Concerns Committee; Chair, Justice Team of southwest CA Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America; Advisory Committee member of Fair Trade LA; Active member of Bread for the World.
Lynn Fadale, Board of Directors
Wife of almost 50 years, mother of two children and four grandchildren; retired Court Reporter. One of the original founders of the Redondo Beach Ten Thousand Villages; present board member and volunteer visual merchandiser for the store. Started Alternative Christmas Market at American Martyrs Church eight years ago.
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.
Elena Alcerro, Board of Directors
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.
Brittany Skiles, Board of Directors
Brittany is a graduate of Vanguard University of Southern California, where 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 in 2018. Beyond her involvement with the Fair Trade Los Angeles Campaign, Brittany is also on a team working towards making Mount Saint Mary’s University, where she currently works as Manager of Alumnae Relations and Volunteer Engagement, a Fair Trade designated university.
Jasmine French, Board of Directors
Jasmine graduated from Vanguard University in May 2018 with a BA in Business Administration and minors in Religion, Sociology, and Women’s Studies. She currently serves the Southwest Regional Coordinator for Fair Trade Campaigns. Before coming to FTLA, Jasmine was the president of Live2Free, an anti-human trafficking mobilization team, working toward educating community members on the issue of human trafficking, ethical consumerism, and Fair Trade.