Meet our newest Board members

There are new faces on the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors following our annual meeting in June, latest election and Board appointments.

New to the Board are Adam Warthesen, who was elected by members, and Kellee James, chosen by the Board to fill an appointed seat. In addition, Domenic Borrelli was appointed earlier this year.

Adam Warthesen is Director of Government and Industry Affairs at CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley.

“From my experiences working in farm policy for the last 17 years, I can say that the Organic Trade Association is the preeminent voice for organic agriculture and trade. That is the kind of leadership group CROPP and I want to be a part of, helping to mold its future and win more gains for the organic sector and organic farmers,” said Adam.

Kellee James is Founder and CEO of Mercaris, a start-up company that provides a market information service and online trading platform for organic and non-GMO crops and ingredients.

“The work that the Organic Trade Association is doing to help the industry combat fraud is critical,” said Kellee. “Nothing is more important than the integrity of the label itself and consumer confidence in the label. It's also great to see our trade association supporting solutions that include both government/policy as well as private sector initiatives. Both approaches are needed.”

Earlier this year, Domenic Borrelli of Danone North America was appointed to fill an open seat. He is President of Premium Dairy and Plant-Based Food & Beverages at Danone North America.

“As a Board member, I am eager to bring my expertise and collaborative approach to strengthen the organic program and ensure that there is continuous improvement of the practices associated with organic certification to help strengthen dairy farms and grow the industry to continue to meet consumer expectations,” said Domenic.

In the recent Board election, incumbents Kim Dietz (Business Development Director--Organics, Extracts and Sustainability at Firmenich Inc.) and Britt Lundgren (Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture at Stonyfield) were re-elected. In addition, Bob Kaake (Organic and Natural Technical Director at General Mills) has been reappointed.

As part of the Organic Trade Association’s democratic election process, each trade member company regardless of size could cast one vote in the spring election. Additional members were appointed by the Board to ensure broad representation and expertise. The seated Directors serve the interests of the whole association, and are accountable to the membership in determining the strategic direction and setting the budget for Organic Trade Association priorities.

Officers and appointments

Kim Dietz has been chosen to serve as President for the fourth year in a row. Also retaining their positions, other officers are Tracy Favre (Owner of Fig Hill Farm Consulting), Vice President--USA; Britt Lundgren, Secretary; Perry Clutts (owner of Pleasantview Farm), Treasurer. In addition, Domenic Borrelli is Vice Treasurer.

Other Board members are Doug Crabtree of Vilicus Farms, Ben Diesl of Cal-Organic/Grimmway Farms, Avi Garbow of Patagonia Inc., Karen Jobb of Clif Bar & Company, David Lively of Organically Grown Company, and Paul Schiefer of Amy’s Kitchen.

The Canada Organic Trade Association also has a seat. James Sculthorpe (CEO, Yorkshire Valley Farms) fills the role as Vice President-Canada.

Perry Clutts holds the Farmer seat on the Board, and co-chairs the Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) along with fellow Board member Doug Crabtree. FAC provides the Organic Trade Association with input from small- and medium-sized organic farmers, ranchers, and growers. It is one of the largest coalitions of organic farmers and organic farming organizations in the United States, representing nearly 8,000 organic livestock, poultry, grain, and specialty crop producers.

Doug Crabtree also has been appointed to serve as an Ex-Officio on The Organic Center’s Board of Trustees. The Center partners with established research institutions and universities in the pursuit and achievement of (in)credible science for the public good. This research empowers consumers and helps make organic even better.

Adam Warthesen is now the designated Board member for Organic PAC. The Organic Trade Association’s Political Action Committee (PAC) provides financial assistance to candidates for Congress who are influential in protecting and promoting organic food and farming, and is the only Political Action Committee dedicated to that end.

The next election cycle kick-off is in September, with five open seats. If you are interested in running or want to learn more, email //