The Organic Trade Association has named Laura Batcha to the non-profit’s top job, following former executive director Christine Bushway's resignation in the fall.
Batcha, who started with the association six years ago as marketing and public relations director, is the fourth executive director in the 29-year history of the Washington D.C.-based organization, according to a news release. Her focus will be on bringing together all players in the organic industry, regardless of size, Batcha said in the release.
“An engaged OTA membership of farmers, ranchers, handlers, manufactures and retailers — large and small — can achieve great things when working together,” Batcha said in the release.
Batcha and David Gagnon, OTA’s chief operating officer, have been interim co-executive directors the since September when new board president Melody Meyer announced that Bushway had left the organization.
“OTA is undergoing a change in management. After five years of leadership, Christine Bushway has made the decision to leave her role with OTA. Christine brought professionalism and a culture of openness and responsiveness to members’ needs that will be a lasting contribution,” Meyer said in a letter to members.
Most recently Batcha has been executive vice president of the Organic Trade Association and is the chairwoman of the association’s political action committee. She has served on two federal advisory committees in 2011, one on the coexistence of biotechnology and organic and identity-preserved agriculture and the other on international trade.
Before joining the Organic Trade Association, Batcha worked for Tom’s of Maine, Kennebunk, Maine, for almost 10 years. Before that she owned Green Mountain Herbs for more than seven years. Batcha has a bachelor’s degree in South Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in business management Marlboro College.