RugMark is working to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children in South Asia.

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Nina Smith is the executive director of RugMark Foundation USA, having launched RugMark’s US organization in 2000. A fair trade advocate and marketing professional for over 15 years, Nina won the 2005 Skoll award for Social Entrepreneurship, acknowledging her work to employ market strategies for social change.Nina was formerly the executive director of The Crafts Center (1995 – 1999), a nonprofit organization providing marketing and technical assistance to indigenous artisans around the world and publisher of Crafts News. As president of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF) from 1996 to 1998, Nina raised funds for and launched FTF’s first consumer education campaign. Nina’s overseas experience includes a crafts export consultancy to the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in Dharamsala, India from 1994 to 1996, where she oversaw the development of new market-driven product lines, quality control mechanisms, and artisan training programs. Nina’s broad expertise includes nonprofit management, writing and publishing, marketing, public relations and small business development.


Cyndi Janetzko is RugMark USA’s director of operations. Previously an independent consultant with background in green products marketing, investment fund development and strategic planning, Cyndi has experience readying smaller socially responsible businesses to compete in the private sector and attract both capital and clientele. Beginning in 1997, she was a member of the Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund (EEAF) fundraising team to capital the fund, then developed its project origination strategy and marketing materials. While there, she was instrumental in the organization of Terra Capital Investors, a biodiversity fund for Latin American small business.

Scott Welker is RugMark’s director of business development. Scott has an extensive background in international brand management, business development and operations. While living abroad as the Area Market Manager for BAT, he developed distribution channels within emerging markets across the globe. Most recently Scott managed all aspects of a multimillion-dollar e-commerce entity. He has also provided operational and marketing expertise to a number of national and international non-profit organizations on a volunteer basis.

Program Assistant Erica Auker has a B.A. in urban studies and art from the University of Pittsburgh, and has studied international development in Jaipur, India. She has worked in a variety of capacities, from providing academic support and cultural orientation to recently-arrived refugee families, to facilitating community-based activities for an artist-run print shop. A proficient Spanish and Hindi speaker, Erica has taught and mentored urban youth in India as well as the U.S.

April Thompson, RugMark’s Partner Marketing Manager, has a broad background, blending experience in communications, international development and socially responsible business. A freelance journalist of more than 10 years, April worked for three years in Guinea, West Africa in various capacities for the UN World Food Programme, Winrock International and the Mano River Women's Peace Network. She has also worked as a consultant on fair trade issues for TechnoServe International in Tanzania, and as a media specialist for Modern Architects for Rural India in Andhra Pradesh, India. She recently completed a dual master's in Business Administration and International Development at American University, where she was active in the Fair Trade Student Alliance.

Biko Nagara, Program Officer for RugMark, has an academic background in international affairs focused on social, environmental and economic development. His experience working for leading research institutes and national nonprofit organizations ranges from grassroots organizing and advocacy around environmental issues to the administration of civic leadership trainings and public health programs. While working at the United Nations Secretariat, he focused on human rights and civil society, reporting on developments and current events for the UN Chronicle. He also has extensive experience in graphic design, and wrote on the topic of sustainable development for the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World.