This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Ten Thousand Villages announces leadership transitions

Photo: Llenay Ferretti. Photo provided by Ten Thousand Villages.

On Jan. 10, the board of directors of Ten Thousand Villages announced the resignation of Carl Lundblad as Chief Executive Officer of Ten Thousand Villages and appointment as a member of the board. To ensure the continuation of its current strategy, the board appointed Llenay Ferretti as acting CEO until a permanent successor is named. Lundblad will remain on staff through Feb. 1 to assist with the transition.

Ferretti has been working in a consulting capacity, overseeing the organization’s transformational brand strategy during the last nine months. She has a long history with Ten Thousand Villages, including as an executive director and more recently as a member of the board. She is the founder of Bhavana World Project, Inc., a social enterprise that specializes in trade development and skills training with a focus on the socioeconomic advancement of women through international trade.

“I’m grateful for the significant work Carl has done to position Ten Thousand Villages for success in this retail climate and look forward to applying my experience in the international artisan sector and business development to further develop our model and grow our global impact,” says Ferretti.

Lundblad joined Ten Thousand Villages in October 2016. Under his leadership, and with significant help from its partner in mission, Mennonite Central Committee, the organization significantly restructured its operations, reduced expenses and began a multiyear growth strategy, driven by a refreshed brand, expansion of wholesale and e-commerce markets and strengthened connections with key stakeholders, including 37 branded contract-store partners.

“Ten Thousand Villages works to create sustainable income opportunities for people in developing countries around the world,” says Ed Diller, Ten Thousand Villages board chair. “Together with our partners at Ten Thousand Villages Canada, we partner with artisan organizations in those countries to create beautiful, ethically sourced gifts and then bring those gifts and artisan stories to North American markets. The Ten Thousand Villages board is grateful to Carl for his principled leadership in guiding Ten Thousand Villages to a new season of growth, mission fulfillment and sustained and reinvigorated leadership in the international maker-to-market fair trade movement. As we continue our transformation, Llenay is the right leader at this time to maintain our momentum and culture. With Llenay in the acting CEO role and Carl’s addition to the board, we are squarely focused on continuing to expand our sustainable development efforts.”

“Mennonite Central Committee remains firmly committed to the success and mission of Ten Thousand Villages and our close work with Llenay and Carl will continue unabated in their new capacities,” says Ron Byler, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

Through a recently appointed search committee, the board will conduct a thorough national search for a successor CEO. Nominations are encouraged, and potential applicants and nominations should be directed to to obtain additional information about the position and the application and selection process.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!