WASHINGTON — The Organic Trade Association has begun a search for a new chief executive officer and executive director since Laura Batcha, currently in the position, plans to step down next spring. The association has hired Korn Ferry, a consulting firm, to lead the search. Members of the association’s board of directors compose a search committee led by Paul Schiefer, a board member and senior director of sustainability at Amy’s Kitchen. The OTA, which represents over 9,500 organic businesses in the United States, will accept applications and resumes until Nov. 29.
“OTA has grown tremendously over this past decade thanks to Laura’s leadership,” Mr. Schiefer said. “What we’re looking for is someone who can match that level of passion for organic, a visionary leader who can build on Laura’s legacy of success. OTA is steering the organic sector into the future. Our next CEO will have the unique honor of guiding that journey.”
Ms. Batcha has worked in the organic industry for decades. She started her own botanicals business, Green Mountain Herbs, which was sold to Tom’s of Maine in 1999. Ms. Batcha joined the OTA in 2008 as director of marketing and public relations. She was named CEO and executive director in January of 2014. Under her leadership the association established its Washington office and government relations arm. US organic sales rose to $61.9 billion in 2020 from $38.3 billion in 2014, according to the OTA’s 2021 organic industry survey.
“If there’s one thing I’m feeling right now, it’s confident,” Ms. Batcha said. “Confident in my team at OTA, confident in the great folks at Korn Ferry who we’ve brought on to help with our search, and confident that the next person we select to lead this organization is going to bring a new outlook, fresh ideas and a dedication to moving organic forward.”