Home > Uncategorized > Holly DeGraaf to Lead Retail for 10,000 Villages

Holly DeGraaf to Lead Retail for 10,000 Villages

Congratulations to Holly DeGraaf, national sales manager for David C. Cook Canada, who is leaving DCC to become Director of Retail Sales and Public Relations for Ten Thousand Villages. The organization is run by the Mennonite Central Committee out of New Hamburg, ON. 10,000 Villages sources gifts, household, personal  and decorating products from artisans in several underdeveloped countries around the world and retails those products across Canada through 47 retail stores and various festival events. There may be a store near you that you weren’t aware of.

The parent website in the U.S. outlines their history.

The global fair trade movement began with the founding of Ten Thousand Villages more than 60 years ago through the visionary work of Edna Ruth Byler, a pioneering businesswoman. Byler was struck by the overwhelming poverty she witnessed during a trip to Puerto Rico in 1946, where she was moved to take action. The seminal contribution of Byler ignited a global movement to eradicate poverty through market-based solutions.

Byler believed that she could provide sustainable economic opportunities for artisans in developing countries by creating a viable marketplace for their products in North America. She began a grassroots campaign among her family and friends in the United States by selling handcrafted products out of the trunk of her car. Byler made a concerted effort to educate her community about the lives of artisans around the world.

For the next 30 years, Byler worked tirelessly to connect individual entrepreneurs in developing countries with market opportunities in North America. From humble beginnings, Ten Thousand Villages has grown to a global network of social entrepreneurs working to empower and provide economic opportunities to artisans in developing countries.

Holly’s departure after eighteen years at David C. Cook– beginning in order entry and working her way up through the organization —  leaves a big gap, and she will be no doubt be missed. In a letter that was sent yesterday to key accounts, DCC Executive Vice President Greg Tombs wrote:

…Clearly Holly’s experience with DCC makes her an excellent fit for this opportunity. Please join me in thanking Holly for her 18 years of service to both David C Cook Distribution Canada and the CBA Christian Retailers in Canada and blessing her as she leaves us for this new chapter in her professional life.

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