What brought you to Ganesh Himal Trading?

I’ve know Ric and Denise most of my life as family friends. My work at Ganesh Himal first started as a nanny to their son Cameron,  and continued each summer when I would return home from school to work in the warehouse.   It was in those early exposures to Ganesh Himal and their business practices that the seeds of Fair Trade and responsible small business were planted.

Why have you decided to build your livelihood around Fair Trade?

I think it was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to replicate their business model.   The concept of long term business relationships built on trust and operated at a small but impactful scale was very inspiring to me.   That concept combined with the opportunity to work each day towards making the world a more equitable place is what excited me then and continues to excite me today.  Having worked in the Fair Trade Federation community now for eight years I’ve learned so much more about the movement and it’s change-makers.  I am so grateful to work with the incredible people I do–in Nepal, at Ganesh and throughout North America.

What has it been like to move into a co-owner position with a business that prioritizes an intentional succession process?

During several trips to Nepal and eight years of employment, I’ve observed Ric and Denise at the helm of an incredible company –guiding it through natural disasters, threat of economic recession and more. Through all of that they’ve been very gracious, allowing me to voice ideas, make mistakes, observe and ask questions.  The network of relationships and systems required to run this business are extensive and  the wealth of knowledge gained through thirty-four years of experience is priceless.   Our hope is that through the succession plan, I’ll be able to continue to learn and navigate the business while still receiving input from Ric and Denise.  I recognize that there is still SO MUCH for me to learn, but I’m grateful to have two incredible mentors guiding me.  Ultimately, because the transition will happen over time, Ganesh Himal will continue to operate uninterrupted–which is something we felt we owed to our producer partners in Nepal, our dedicated employees and our customers.

What are you most excited about in your new role? 

Brene Brown defines a leader as “anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential”–I feel that Ric and Denise have approached their business relationships in this manor and that I have benefitted greatly from their approach.  To that extent, I hope to continue this approach and further nurture a team mindset which I find both empowering and inspiring. Together, I hope we continue to hone our strengths and potential to meet the needs of our customers and producers in a constantly changing market.