Senior Advisory Team
- La Rhea PepperManaging DirectorLander, Wyoming, USALa Rhea PepperManaging Director
La Rhea has an extensive background in the organic cotton agricultural sector as well as management and marketing. She is a 5th generation cotton farmer in Texas and her farm has been certified organic since 1991. She completed her BS in Education at Abilene Christian University in 1979. La Rhea was one of the co-founders of Organic Exchange and served as Chair of the Board until 2005 and then joined the management team. She is currently working on her Master in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Non-Profits.
- Anne GillespieDirector of Industry IntegrityChelsea, QuebecAnne GillespieDirector of Industry Integrity
Anne is the Director of Industry Integrity for TE. She has worked on standard development, training and education on certification and transparency and is collaborating with other organizations and experts to continually increase the organic integrity of the cotton industry. She has over 15 years of experience working with retail, including 10 years as a product manager at Mountain Equipment Co-op where she converted their cotton program to organic. In 2005, she co-founded Continuum Textiles, a sales agency representing socially and environmentally responsible textile products.
- Liesl TruscottEuropean & Materials Strategy DirectorBath, United KingdomLiesl TruscottEuropean & Materials Strategy Director
Liesl Truscott is the European and Materials Strategy Director with responsibility for developing and embedding Textile Exchange’s preferred materials program. Liesl has specialized in organic cotton and has a deep knowledge of the sector. With a first class degree in Environmental Management from the University of Newcastle in Australia, she has spent over twenty years in the fields of corporate social responsibility, occupational health and safety, and environmental management – working within both the private and public sector.
- Donna WorleyDirector of Marketing Communications and Public RelationsLubbock, Texas, USADonna WorleyDirector of Marketing Communications and Public Relations
Donna leads Textile Exchange’s Marketing Communications team to ensure all focus areas within the organization receive a high level of visibility through innovative strategies involving internal and external communication, branding, marketing and public relations. In addition to this, Donna is also responsible for the oversight of TE’s global events to create greater visibility for TE and to provide a space for industry engagement. Prior to joining TE, Donna worked in Development and Public Relations for a higher education institution from which she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership.
- Hanna DenesSustainability Specialist: Integrity & MaterialsBath, United KingdomHanna DenesSustainability Specialist: Integrity & Materials
Originally from Sweden but living in the UK, Hanna Denes has been with Textile Exchange since 2010. Hanna works as a Sustainability Specialist focusing on Integrity and Materials. Hanna has a Batchelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College, London, and 15 years’ experience working in environmental management and sustainable development.
- Lisa EmbersonMaterials Platform CoordinatorLondon, United KingdomLisa EmbersonMaterials Platform Coordinator
Lisa joined Textile Exchange in 2014. As Materials Platform Coordinator, Lisa supports the delivery of Textile Exchange’s Materials Strategy, including the production of TE’s annual market reports and coordination of the Organic Cotton Round Table, amongst other responsibilities. Lisa has a BSc in International Development from the University of East Anglia and joined Textile Exchange after an internship with the UK’s Soil Association researching organic cotton and food security.
- Ashley GillIntegrity SpecialistAustin, Texas, USA
- Amish GosaiCountry Program Manager - IndiaBangalore, Karnataka, IndiaAmish GosaiCountry Program Manager - India
With a Bachelor degree in Engineering with major of Textile Technology from India and MBA in Luxury Goods and Fashion Industries from Paris, France. Amish has held various positions with Voltas, Decathlon & Agorcel Industries Ltd in India and in France. He also has work experience in textiles, sustainable agriculture and retail industry. Core strengths include sustainable sourcing of textile products & supply chain, social auditing at factories & farms, traceability tools, and quality auditing. Amish also has a large working knowledge in sustainable cotton (BCI, Organic, Recycle, Natural Color Cotton, Khaadi) sector. He has planned and managed various projects in India, France and other countries including the initiative for Natural Color Cotton, Recycle cotton and PET project, Organic (cotton & food), Fair Trade and BCI.
My ideology is to “Think Sustainable, save the world and help humanity.”
- Terry HydeExecutive AssistantLander, Wyoming, USATerry HydeExecutive Assistant
Terry has previously worked at Dow Corning Wright as an Executive Administrative Assistant and for State Farm where she serviced current customer accounts and generated leads for new prospects. She joined TE in October 2012 as an Executive Assistant. She provides Board, SAT, Platform Task Forces and HR Support as well as assisting Membership and Fund Development. She is a vital member of the Conference Team and handles registration for the event. Terry also publishes the “TE Times” monthly newsletter and is coordinating the TE effort to put systems and standard operating procedures in place.
- Rita LuppinoCommunications and Event ManagerTucson, AZRita LuppinoCommunications and Event Manager
Rita's background encompasses global communications, corporate responsibility and overseeing sustainability and social compliance programs for Fortune 100 apparel brands. She has a strong understanding of the apparel supply chain and brings hands-on experience working with US cotton farms and overseas textile mills and manufacturing facilities. Rita holds a Master of Science in Management and Policy Analysis from the New School in New York City and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Pace University in New York. As the Communication and Events Manager at TE, she will manage all TE events and online platforms, as well as develop cross-functional communication materials.
- Brittany MooreCommunications CoordinatorCheyenne, Wyoming, USABrittany MooreCommunications Coordinator
Brittany is the Communications and Events Coordinator for Textile Exchange. She joined the TE team in August 2012 after graduating from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in communications. Brittany is responsible for the design, layout, and delivery of TE communication projects and maintains the TE website. Additionally, Brittany also helps with logistical coordination of TE events.
- Stefanie PokorskiIntegrity & Standards CoordinatorOttawa, CanadaStefanie PokorskiIntegrity & Standards Coordinator
Stefanie’s background includes working in communications and graphic design, primarily with non-profit organizations based in the U.S. and abroad. As Integrity and Standards Coordinator at TE, she provides support to the Integrity and Standards team through website management, communications, design, administrative support, and more. Originally from the U.S., Stefanie is currently based in Ottawa, Canada.
- Evonne TanCreative & Analytics SpecialistPetaling Jaya, MalaysiaEvonne TanCreative & Analytics Specialist
Evonne has almost 20 years of experience in Customer Related Operations covering marketing services, systems/process improvement, data analysis and learning. She has worked in multiple industries and countries spanning across three continents from Australia, Asia to the UK. Leveraging on her years as a consultant in PwC and IBM and her passion for art, Evonne repositioned herself in data analytics and graphic design for the sustainability industry in 2006. Evonne spent her student years in Melbourne, graduating with a bachelor degree in Business and another in Marketing. She has collaborated with Textile Exchange since 2008. She is currently the Creative & Analytics Specialist for Textile Exchange and is responsible for data analytics in Materials Platform as well as creative development of reports, presentations and learning modules across board.
- Lee TylerStandards & Compliance ManagerArlington, Texas, USALee TylerStandards & Compliance Manager
Lee has been with Textile Exchange since 2008 and is primarily responsible for the consistent application of Textile Exchange standards by certified sites and certification bodies. This includes creating and maintaining an accreditation process, coordinating working groups, as well as providing guidance on the standards. He is also directly involved in the development and revision of standards and their supporting documentation. Additionally, Lee supports the financial and operational aspects of Textile Exchange. He holds a Master’s in Entrepreneurship, a Bachelor’s in Management, and a minor in Spanish from Texas Tech University.
- Sharon WhitleyFinancial AdministratorLamesa, Texas, USASharon WhitleyFinancial Administrator
Sharon is knowledgeable in QuickBooks accounting, Peachtree accounting, and Excel programs. Her job for TE is primarily bookkeeping - maintaining the accounting records, payroll, bank accounts and assisting with the yearly audit. Sharon has been involved with organic cotton since 1996 when she started with Organic Essentials, working in all areas for the business. In 2002, she became general manager of Organic Essentials and held that position until the company sold in 2006. As general manager, her job was mainly day-to-day operations.
- Amber YoungFinancial & Program CoordinatorLander, Wyoming, USAAmber YoungFinancial & Program Coordinator
Amber joined TE in 2014 as the Financial & Program Coordinator. She has experience in multiple industries including retail, hospitality, farming and real estate. She has assisted start-ups and worked with all aspects of small businesses. Amber graduated in 2001 from Wyoming University with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Finance and a Minor in Economics.
- Carlotta CataldiSpecial ProjectsBarcelona, SpainCarlotta CataldiSpecial Projects
Carlotta has a degree in Public Relations and Fashion from the I.U.L.M. University in Milan and a Masters degree in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability obtained at the Blekinge Institute of Technology of Karlskrona, Sweden. There, she wrote an award-winning thesis on the topic of Slow Fashion. Passionate about spreading awareness and knowledgeable about the best practices in the fashion industry, she works as an educator in her community and collaborates with individuals and companies to help them identify the most efficient and rewarding path towards sustainability.
- Caterina ContiBizconti Inc.New York, NYCaterina ContiBizconti Inc.
Ms. Conti is a private investor and business consultant. She is an accomplished senior executive and counsel with 30 years’ experience in a wide variety of industries. A former member of Board of the AAFA and IAF, Ms. Conti has spearheaded many award-winning initiatives in the areas of operational efficiencies, supply chain transparency, sustainability reporting and communications. During her tenure at Anvil Knitwear, Inc., the company developed TrackMyT.com, ShirtScan(tm) and was awarded Best First Time Report at Ceres-ACCA North American Awards and as a Top Leader of Change in the Sustainability Category by The Foundation for Social Change and UNOP. Anvil’s digital short, Message from Earth: Organic Matters, was shortlisted for the TED Ads Worth Spreading Initiative. Ms. Conti will be consulting for the TE on a part-time basis primarily focusing on consumer engagement.
- Atila ErtemTE Ambassador, TurkeyIzmir, TurkeyAtila ErtemTE Ambassador, Turkey
Atilla has been an Organic Pioneer in Turkey since 1986 and started growing organic cotton in 1989. Since then he has been somewhere in organic cotton & textile as consultant, buyer, and project expert in SEA. Atiala’s path crossed with TE in 2010 and he has been trying to help in the Turkish organic cotton & textile sector on behalf of TE as country ambassador.
- Silvio MoraesAmbassador Latin AmericaPort Alegre, BrazilSilvio MoraesAmbassador Latin America
Silvio studied agronomy at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, acquiring a master's degree in soil science and microbiology. Still in college, he met the pioneer ecologist José Lutzenberger, with whom he began his professional career and has developed numerous projects in the field of sustainability. For over 25 years he develops consulting and audit activities for organic farming projects and environmental management systems for various companies in Latin America.
- Simone SeislSpecial ProjectsFreiburg, GermanySimone SeislSpecial Projects
Simone studied design and textile engineering in Austria and went for a career in the global fashion and sporting goods industry, held various positions in design, product management, marketing and buying departments, also at the headquarter of adidas. In 2008 she decided to only focus on sustainability topics within the industry, first working as a consultant at the Dutch NGO Made-by, then as head of marketing and sales at Remei AG in Switzerland. She has expertise in leading CR initiatives on brand level, in supply chain transformation and integrity, product innovation and best-practise marketing and communication. Based in Freiburg, Germany, she currently works as a consultant for individual as well as multi-stakeholder projects.
- Silvère TovignanAmbassador AfricaAbomey-Calavi, BeninSilvère TovignanAmbassador Africa
Silvère has been the Regional Director in Africa since 2006. Before joining Textile Exchange, he completed his PhD at Giessen University in Germany where he wrote a dissertation on “Gender perspectives in the adoption of organic cotton in Benin: a farm household modeling approach.” In Benin, he has been involved in many socioeconomic research programs tackling issues related to small scale farmers’ income and well-being. He joined OBEPAB (a Beninese NGO promoting organic farming) a member organization of the worldwide Pesticide Action Network (PAN) in 1998 where, for 4 years, he coordinated an information and training program on organic farming.
- Allen YouAmbassador ChinaBeijing, ChinaAllen YouAmbassador China
My name is Allen You. I come from the capital city of China, Beijing. I have more than 8 years of experience working in textile testing and the certification sector with local, international textile and agriculture organizations. He previously worked at Oeko-Tex, based in China, in TESTEX and Hohenstein, aiming at eco-textile idea promotion. During this period, I communicated with all kind of textile companies and buying offices in China and I know the China textile industry well. After that, I joined ECOCERT for organic cotton and the agriculture sector. Through visiting organic cotton farmers, I understand the organic cotton situation in China deeply, and am lucky to have been cooperating with TE from 2012. I am also working in the organic agriculture and textile industry in a local organization in China.