Tensie Whelan Joins Advisory Board of GoodWell


Jan 23, 2018

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Tensie Whelan Joins Advisory Board of GoodWell

GoodWell announced today that Tensie Whelan, NYUStern School of Business Professor, Director of Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business, and the former president of the Rainforest Alliance, has joined its advisory board. GoodWell is a public benefit corporation that certifies employers based on demonstrated fair and ethical treatment of workers. 

“I’m thrilled to bring my experience transforming business practices through Rainforest Alliance’s certification program to GoodWell’s important work,” Whelan said. “As a growing number of consumers are demanding positive change, C-suite leaders increasingly realize that they need to prove that their companies are doing the right thing by their workers and the planet.” 

Whelan is GoodWell’s fourth advisory board member, which includes 1% for the Planet CEO Kate Williams, Oliver Russell President Russ Stoddard, and consultant Angeli Weller. 

Whelan brings expertise in business ethics, sustainable business, and environmentalism. During her tenure at Rainforest Alliance, she increased the organization’s budget from $4.5 million to $50 million. As a result, the alliance ensured that 17 percent of the world’s tea, 14 percent of the world’s cocoa and 5 percent of the world’s coffee was certified by the Rainforest Alliance. She also increased the visibility of the Rainforest Alliance seal from zero to nearly 45%. Under her leadership, the organization recruited 4,000 companies and nearly 5 million producers and their families in more than 60 countries.

Whelan has been working in the environmental field for more than 25 years. She wrote one of the first books on eco-friendly tourism, “Nature Tourism: Managing for the Environment.” She has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere, and she was awarded the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2012.

“Tensie’s expertise and enthusiasm for joining our board is a testament to the momentum that is fueling GoodWell’s growth,” said founder and president Pete Gombert. “We are thrilled to apply her knowledge from scaling the Rainforest Alliance’s certification program as we grow GoodWell andcertify more organizations in 2018.”