We’re very excited to announce changes to the Peace & Justice Center and Store’s staff. Carmen Solari, who was previously the Assistant Store Manager and Volunteer Coordinator was promoted to the Store Manager and Fair Trade Program Manager. Congratulations! We would also like to thank Gaby Ochoa Brenneman for building such strong and vibrant Fair Trade and No Child Labor Cocoa Campaigns. Gaby also did amazing work in the Peace & Justice Store, developing relationships with vendors throughout the world, talking to students of all ages about the importance of Fair Trade, and working with volunteers through job training programs in the Peace & Justice Store. Thanks for everything you’ve done, Gaby!
Here’s a little note from Carmen Solari:
“I was introduced to the fair trade movement in 2005, when I began volunteering for Ten Thousand Villages in Richmond, Virginia. I moved to Vermont in the fall of 2007 to pursue a dual degree in English and Religion from the University of Vermont, which I received in the spring of 2011. During my time there I was lucky enough to live in the Global Social Justice House, work with Students Against the War, and study in Tamil Nadu, India where I worked with the children of the village and their mothers leading women’s empowerment groups. In the time since, I’ve earned a massage therapy degree, as well as accreditation to practice Reiki and Healing Touch.
It’s been an honor to serve the Peace & Justice Center as the Volunteer Coordinator and the Assistant Store Manager for the past 7 months, and I’m excited to continue to promote the values and mission of the Peace & Justice Center through the Fair Trade Program. I’ve worked with Krista Panosian for the last sixth months, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to fill my old position. We’re very excited that she’ll be joining us.”
And from our newest employee, Krista Panosian:
“I grew a strong interest in Fair Trade after having attended a presentation about Invisible Children my freshman of High School. I carried this interest through my following high school years and onto my travels abroad in UVA’s Semester at Sea program, traveling to 13 international ports. My travels reignited my passion for fair trade as I witnessed intolerable amounts of homelessness, poverty, and child and forced labor. Once returning to the United States, I made the decision to transfer from St. Cloud State University to the University of Vermont in order to study Community and International Development, and Community Entrepreneurship. During this time I conducted research and analyzed the growth of fair trades sales from ’08 to ’11 and also developed a mock business plan for my own fair trade certified producer.
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to spend the last six months of my time within the sustainable business practices of the Peace & Justice Center as the Store Intern, and am thrilled to fill Carmen Solari’s shoes as the new Assistant Store Manager & Volunteer Coordinator! I am eager to again work with Carmen as we continue to share knowledge and awareness within the community.”